The past few days, the FINAT Executive Board and organizing committee of the FINAT Technical Seminar have been monitoring the events evolving around the outbreak of the COVID19 (‘Corona’) virus in Europe. As you will have read, also a number cases of the virus have appeared in Spain as well.
Although authorities in different countries are taking drastic measures by (self-)isolating persons who have been in the vicinity of infected persons, the virus has still not reached the status of a pandemic.
Having weighed the various options, the Executive Board of FINAT has taken the difficult decision to postpone the FINAT Technical Seminar and all meetings preceding the event next week. The reason for this decision, apart from the (limited) individual health risk, is the associated business risk for the participating members, their companies and the label industry at large, for instance in the case of an enforced 14 days’ quarantine period during the event, or a few weeks later if an infection caught up elsewhere emerges at home in the company.
The costs of such a lockdown for the industry in the long run could well exceed the cost of rescheduling in the short run. Several attendees and sponsors have already informed us that they have imposed a travel ban on their employees to manage this risk.
More than 60 years ago, FINAT was formed to act, maintain standards, well-being, safety, and above all the best interests of the self-adhesive label industry. It is in this spirit that this decision to postpone has been taken, given the current coronavirus global climate.
We sincerely regret that the efforts made by the Seminar Programme Committee to put together an excellent programme will not come to fruition in Barcelona next week, and that the engagement of various speakers to share their expertise have to be put on hold. However, we are looking for an alternative date and venue later in the year. More information will follow in due course.
We rely on your understanding for this difficult decision, and look forward to your continued support of our wonderful organization.
On behalf of the FINAT Executive Board,
Jules Lejeune, Managing Director