By Max Goldbart, Thursday 09 November 2017
The European Flexographic Industry Association (EFIA) has named Bobst UK managing director Neil Jones as its new chairman.
Elected at the EFIA’s AGM last month in Altrincham, Jones will replace DS Smith print technology manager Andy Young after four years, with Coveris group colour manager Andy Wilson promoted to vice-chairman and Amcor’s Dean Stamford stepping down from the board.
EFIA consultant director Debbie Waldron-Hoines said she was delighted, having initially persuaded Jones to join the board in 2012.
Jones said: “I am proud to be part of such an important trade association working with Debbie Waldron-Hoines and a board of industry volunteers. It has been supporting the entire flexographic print industry since its conception in 1972.
“During my career to date with Bobst, I have gained a vast amount of leadership experience, which will help me to provide strong guidance and strategic development for EFIA, focusing on the vision, core values and objectives of the organisation.”
Jones added that he plans to further develop and promote the EFIA’s online training academy, along with improving industry data availability to its members to identify growth opportunities. The association has around 200 members, divided equally between printers and suppliers, and Jones is looking to continue its current rate of 5% year-on-year member growth.
“It's a really exciting time in the flexo industry at the moment,” he said.
"The exciting part for the EFIA is growing the breadth of membership across the supply chain as packaging designers, brands and retailers clearly identify the benefits of membership and being truly involved with their print and packaging supply chain.
“Clearly everyone is wondering about the impact of Brexit and the overall trend toward digital for personalised and very short-run work but flexo is holding its own and the industry is extremely busy at the moment.”
Young said he could not be leaving the association in safer hands than with Jones, after what he described as a “tremendous period of growth”.
Jones, who returned to Bobst UK to become managing director in 2010 after five years running Bobst Japan, began his Bobst career in 1988 as a field service technician before being promoted to UK service manager in 1996.