The Forest Products Europe Conference in Istanbul is concluding today

The Forest Products Europe Conference, organized by our partner Fastmarkets, stands out as one of the most anticipated events in the pulp and paper industry within the series proposed by the consulting company. Following last year’s edition in Prague, the conference is currently underway in Istanbul this week, boasting a peak attendance of 270 registered delegates.

Speakers are addressing various segments of the industry, ranging from pulp to packaging board, graphic paper, and tissue, providing their insightful perspectives and market prospects. Jussi Pesonen of UPM received recognition as the European CEO of the year, a noteworthy acknowledgment as he transitions his role to Massimo Reynaudo.

The CEO Panel session drew a full house, featuring Michèle Bianchi, CEO of RdM; Markus Gaertner, CEO of Mondi Corrugated Packaging; Stefano Rossi, CEO Packaging of DS Smith; and Harald Ganster, CEO of Prinzhorn Group. They engaged in discussions about industry mega-trends within an uncertain geopolitical context.

The presentation by Italian professor Andrea Boltho on the industry’s capacity to adapt to numerous crises in the past five years was particularly interesting. He noted, “We are not in a happy world when you think of climate change, war, and inflation, but technology stimulates growth.

The event’s climax was the highly-anticipated PPI Awards ceremony, with 45 contestants across eight sections. The winners of the PPI Awards 2024 include:

  •     International CEO of the Year: Francisco Ruiz-Tagle, CMPC
  •     Industry Woman of the Year: Mayela Rincon, Chief Financial Officer, Bio Pappel
  •     Mill Manager: Paul Leitner, MM Premium Vienna GmbH
  •     Sustainability Leadership: CMPC
  •     Risk and Safety: Middle East Paper Co. (MEPCO)
  •     Product Innovation: Mondi Group
  •     Digital Intelligence: Smurfit Kappa – BI PM5
  •     Green Energy and Biofuels: Klabin

Responding to questions from PaperFIRST after receiving his award, Francisco Ruiz-Tagle of CMPC expressed, “It was a surprise for me to be nominated, and I feel very honored to have been chosen among my peers. Fastmarkets is a highly regarded organization with deep knowledge of the industry. This award is an important recognition for me personally, but I think it is even more important for my team and the 25,000 employees of the group who are all so committed.”