Premier takes on UPM grades

Darryl Danielli
Monday, February 1, 2021

Premier Paper Group has expanded its sheetfed portfolio with a trio of UPM coated and uncoated grades as it leverages the buying power of being part of the world’s largest merchanting group.

The UPM range can be offset through Premier’s Carbon Capture programme
The UPM range can be offset through Premier’s Carbon Capture programme

Premier began building stocks during the tail-end of 2020, and started selling UPM Finesse woodfree coated, UPM Digi Finesse and UPM Fine woodfree uncoated during January.

While its Reel division had some UPM grades previously, these were mill orders and this new arrangement represents the firms time Premier has sold UPM products direct from stock.

While one of the key drivers of the deal was the fact that Premier’s parent, ¥534bn (£3.7bn) turnover OVOL Japan Pulp & Paper, is UPM’s largest global client it was also part of Premier’s strategic review of its coated offering fueled by Stora Enso’s decision to retire its high-end coated Lumi grade and focus on packaging grades.

OVOL Japan Pulp & Paper acquired Premier in 2019.

Offset optimised Finesse, which expands Premier’s range of Lumi alternatives, is available in either gloss or silk. While Digi Finesse is available in gloss or premium silk. It’s optimised for sheetfed electrophotography presses and also certified for HP Indigo engines.

Premier marketing director Dave Jones said: “UPM Finesse, Digi Finesse and Fine are excellent, well recognised brands throughout the world.

“Introducing these ranges is a very positive move for Premier and a direct benefit of the strong relationship between UPM and our parent company. We are always looking to offer the widest choice of top brands to the market, together with the Premier service.”

The three UPM product families are available for next day deliveries from stock via Premier’s own fleet. According to the merchant, they will be stocked “in depth” and purchases will be offset through Premier’s Carbon Capture programme, which works in partnership with The Woodland Trust.

Denmaur Paper Media, which had exclusively stocked Fine and Finesse for more than 20 years and seven years respectively, will continue to carry the range. Printweek understands it will remain the exclusive merchant of Cutstar reels and will maintain its current sheet stock levels having recently added UPM Fine to its range of carbon balanced grades.

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