Demand for special paper ‘rising in PH’

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Saturday, July 12, 2014


WHILE digitalization has caused some declines in the paper manufacturing industry, an Italian company that specializes in special paper said it has not been significantly affected by it.

In the Philippines, Fedrigoni Asia-Southeast marketing officer Ruth Toreno said the demand for special paper has increased yearly, ever since it established its office in the country in 2006 and tapped Prestige Paper Products as its exclusive distributor.

Last year, 360 metric tons of Fedrigoni papers were shipped to the Philippines, according to Fedrigoni Asia-Southeast area manager Kervin Valero. This year, roughly 400 metric tons of papers are targeted to be shipped in the country.

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“Actually, those that produce commodity papers (like newsprint, bond paper, paper used in books) have experienced the effects of digitalization,” Toreno said.

Special paper in Philippines
SPECIAL DELIVERY. Kervin Valero, area manager for Fedrigoni Asia-Southeast, says the company is on track to ship 400 metric tons of special paper to the Philippines this year, from 360 metric tons in 2013. Hotels, real estate developers and conglomerates are fueling the rise in demand for special paper, he said. (Sun.Star Cebu photo/Jonolin Luab)


Officials said the increasing demand for special papers in the Philippines comes from hotels, real estate developers and conglomerates.

“The volume shipped (to the Philippines) in the past three years has doubled,” Valero said.

Prestige Paper Products national sales and marketing manager Leah Marie Ayeng said the growth of more hotels and real estate projects increased the demand for marketing materials that use “quality or special paper.”

Company publications like annual reports are already using special paper instead of commodity paper. The packaging of some food products is also made out of Fedrigoni paper.

The trend now in paper and printing, according to Fedrigoni Asia General Manager Lorenzo Mari, is having “a lot of embossing and letter-pressing.”

“It’s not enough anymore to attract the eyes, it is important (for customers) that they feel it,” Mari said.

Fedrigoni, a 125-year-old company, produces 3,000 paper types, all manufactured in Italy. In the Philippines, 350 types are available, said Valero.

For the Southeast Asian market, the Philippines ranks third in terms of the volume of paper shipped. Singapore and Thailand topped the list.

Prestige Paper Products sales and operations manager for Visayas and Mindanao Abraham G. Villacorta said he is confident that Cebu will become a “significant” market for special paper.

The distributor is also envisioning that Fedrigoni products will be directly shipped to Cebu instead of going through Manila, said Prestige Paper Products General Manager Karen Ong.

Fedrigoni officials assured they continue to address environmental concerns associated with paper production. Mari said all their papers comply with the Forest Stewardship Council standards, which safeguard natural habitats and environmental sustainability.

In its website, the company said it has over 100 products that have FSC Chain of Custody certification, which means “always being able to identify the forest from which the wood used originally came, at every stage in its use, especially in the many phases that lead to the creation of the finished product destined for the end user.”

Fedrigoni was founded in Italy by Giuseppe Antonio Fedrigoni.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 12, 2014.

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