Afera, The European Adhesive Tape Association, calls upon authorities, policymakers and stakeholders at European, national and local levels to acknowledge and support the crucial role adhesive tapes play in ensuring that vital supply chains continue to function in times of COVID-19. As multifunctional bonding mechanisms, tapes play a key role in making product design, production, packaging, labelling and delivery possible in a host of industries vital to healthcare and hygiene, food and drink, security, communications, construction and shipping.
BONDS WE TRUST IN TIMES OF CRISIS
Tape is the invisible partner helping to realise all the visible necessities that touch our lives: diagnostic instruments and other medical devices, surgical and laboratory material, packaging for foodstuffs and medicines, building material for temporary, sanitary structures such as partitioned treatment spaces and field hospitals, shipped boxes and bags, refrigerators, freezers and microwaves, and signs and markings that inform, warn and designate secured areas.
TAPE IS THE INVISIBLE PARTNER ENSURING THE CONITNUITY OF THE ENTIRE CHAIN
In today’s race for survival, the value chain of supplying, producing, transporting and incorporating tapes for processing, producing, labelling and shipping in vital areas must not be interrupted. As the invisible key elements of end products, tapes are produced by intermediate product providers in the supply chain. A hiccup in one phase of the chain means that vital supplies will be delayed in getting to the people who need them to live, eat, work and keep safe.
FUNCTIONING SAFELY AND SMARTLY IN THE OFFICE, ON THE WORK FLOOR AND ON THE ROAD
Following the outbreak of COVID-19 and resulting health measures, companies across the E.U. within the tape value chain have taken extraordinary measures to ensure the safety of their employees and the continuity of their businesses and those of their customers, suppliers and partners. Because of the crucial role that tapes play in today’s economy, especially under the current circumstances, businesses have to stay open and production must continue.
Locally mandated general workplace safety precautions have been taken into account in scheduling and hygiene of staff and facilities. Where possible, companies are obtaining certificates of professional competence for their transporters.
KEEPING BUSINESSES OPEN AND SUPPLY CHAINS UNINTERRUPTED
At the beginning of the chain, the Industry could encounter a shortage of raw materials. Ethanol and isopropanol, for example, while used in the manufacture of solvent-based adhesives, also serve as disinfectant liquids.
Our flexible businesses have already begun to face the extended horizon of the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. In addition to keeping channels for raw materials and other supplies open, the E.C., local authorities and other industry stakeholders must work for normalised controls and operations at borders and ports, as well as availability of provisions for transport personnel. Employers should be guaranteed that supplies of personal protective equipment will remain available for purchase.
Furthermore, activities related to producing and transporting tapes or products incorporating tapes must be recognised as essential at the European level to ensure that business operations continue, and broader financial support for Crisis-challenged companies, especially SMEs, needs to be explored.
OUR FRAGMENTING SOCIETY STICKS TOGETHER POWERFULLY WITH TAPE
As the only network encompassing the complete value chain of tape in Europe and beyond, Afera believes in the power of the products tapes make possible, the power of a platform for sharing information, expertise and support we offer the Industry, and the power of a co-ordinated response with suppliers, partners, customers, end users, other trade associations, and the adhesive and label sectors.