European Panel FederationNewsPRESS RELEASE: EPF AGM 2024 in Riga
25 June 2024 Posted by admin News

EPF reports 2023 results in a Baltic State homeland of plywood, unanimously endorses the nomination of Ms Veronique Hoflack as new Vice-Chair and adds a new Board member

Brussels, 25 June 2024

On 19-21 June, the European Wood-based Panels Federation held its Annual General Meeting, hosted by Latvijas Finieris in Riga. The choice of location and activity of the host were significant. Visiting a leading plywood producer in the Baltics, underlined that EPF represents all panel types (from particleboard to plywood, via MDF, OSB, hardboard and softboard) and across all of Europe (from north to south, from west to east).  This embodies the concept of One EPF.

With the sponsorship of Surfactor, Siempelkamp, Govi, Prefere Resins, AFRY and VIOBOND, EPF and Latvijas Finieris proudly welcomed about 180 professionals and high-level guests from across Europe and beyond. A keynote address was delivered to all participants by Mrs Katharina Knapton-Vierlich, Head of Unit Construction, DG GROW in the European Commission.

Final consolidated 2023 results

Central to the AGM was the presentation of EPF’s Annual Report and the results of the European wood-based panels sector from 2023.  A contraction of 6.3% overall was reported. Disappointing as this was, it exceeded the overall performances of the two main end-user sectors (furniture and construction) suggesting a gain of share in both segments for wood, even in a down year.

GA nominations and EPF Way of Working 2024-2029

A major highlight of the Riga meetings was the unanimous election of Ms Veronique Hoflack as the new Vice-Chair of EPF.  CEO of Unilin Panels and a Managing Board member since 2022, Ms Hoflack now emulates her predecessor Mr Bernard Thiers in assuming the role as Vice-Chair for the federation.  She is joined on the EPF Managing Board by Mr Georg Maeder (SWISS KRONO Group) whose nomination was also unanimously supported by the EPF General Assembly.

“We extend our deepest gratitude to our hosts, Latvijas Finieris, for their outstanding hospitality and efficiency. As we move forward under the new leadership of Vice-Chair Veronique Hoflack and myself, we are dedicated to building on the legacy of our predecessors, leveraging the collective expertise of our members, and embracing both our current challenges and emerging opportunities” commented EPF Chairman Pablo Figueroa López, of FINSA.

He noted that EPF intends to maintain focus on its 5 Strategic Directions (Role Model Industry, Climate, Regulation, Harmonisation and Wood Availability) whilst further enhancing with priorities, focus, empowerment, ambidexterity and agility.

Save-the-date for the next AGM

The next EPF AGM will take place on 25-27 June 2025 in Berlin, Germany, hosted by EPF national member association, VHI, the Verband der deutschen Holzwerkstoffindustrie.

For further information on any of the above, please contact EPF Administration and Communications Officer Mrs Isabelle Henin: (+32 2 556 25 89).

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