FTA Europe – a European umbrella for the promotion of flexo
ITALY • The newly formed FTA Europe used Converflex 2015 in Milan to showcase its plan for coordinating the efforts of national organisations into a cohesive working partnership. The association was established by five founding member associations: EFIA (UK), Atif (Italy), ATEF (Spain), EFTA (Benelux), and ATF (France). Membership of FTA Europe is open to all national flexo associations, and will be governed by a board, supported by Intergraf and Lejeune Association Management, which will create specialised working groups and negotiate European funding. Plans are well ahead for the 2015-16 period, with the creation of a new FTA Europe website, a launch project to develop a European flexo curriculum for professionals working in the industry, and a European Flexo Award, scheduled for next year. FTA Europe can also support its member associations through joint advocacy and collaborate in promotional activities, like awards, and the development of a technical knowledge bank.
Speaking at the meeting, Vice Chairman Wim Buyle outlined the need for the new association, and said that the synergy it offers will allow for the sharing of knowledge and resources, an exchange of programmes and facilities, and the avoidance of costly duplication. With business becoming increasingly international, the need to align the actions of national bodies becomes more important, and FTA Europe will allow companies to harmonise their skills and competences across national borders by collaborating on education, standardisation, research and testing. Sante Conselvan, Chairman of FTA Europe, picked up the story. With the aim of representing interests on a European level, he said: “There is a need to provide a common platform for exchange, collaboration and alignment. By encouraging technical standardisation, the existing practices of individual national bodies can be disseminated to allow the creation of a European curriculum and certificate for professionals operating within the flexo industry.”