Budapest -- There has recently been a "storm through Europur," the European association of producers of flexible foam blocks, according to the group's president Ward Dupont.
"We have lost two important federations," -- the Polish and German ones -- and there has been "unrest at national level," with other associations failing to achieve a quorum for meetings, said Dupont, speaking 7 June at this year's Europur conference, being held in Budapest.
Withdrawal of the German and Polish national PU foam associations takes two of the biggest foam-making countries in Europe out of the equation for the association, and Europur will hold a meeting with representatives of the German foam maker next week to try and rectify the situation.
In an impassioned plea for the European flexible foam sector to support Europur, Olivier Chapelle, chief executive officer of major Belgian foam group Recticel, said, "a fully compliant trade association for the polyurethane foam industry is a must."
This year's Europur attendance -- about 115 -- is the lowest in 25 years, said the Recticel ceo. Some of the non-attendance may be "post-trauma effect" from the anti-trust investigation into allegations of price fixing in both the European and US flexible foam sectors, Chapelle suggested.
"We need your commitment to the future of the association," Dupont told the audience.
Chapelle encouraged other foamers to support Europur by affirming Recticel's strong commitment to the long-term future of the association, emphasising his company's willingness to continue to support the association financially.
For a sector such as PU foam, based on chemicals, Chapelle said there is constant need to fight worsening chemophobia, from both the public and the authorities etc. Pressure is growing concerning worker safety, environment, health and safety issues, consumer protection, fire-resistance issues and more, he stressed.
Foamers need to speak and behave with one voice and agree on a focussed, unified approach to such issues, the Recticel ceo concluded.