18 MARCH 2020

Under these exceptional circumstances, the priority is to secure business continuity for the supply of consumer goods that are vital for the population. Food is one of them.

It is key that the supply of food to the European population is safeguarded and therefore any disruption to the supply chain has to be avoided.

The European printing industry therefore warns about the already experienced shortage of synthetic ethyl alcohol by certain companies. Synthetic ethyl alcohol is a critical input material for the production of printed packaging material[1] and therefore for the production of food packaging. Without packaging, food cannot reach the final consumer.

Synthetic ethyl alcohol is also used for the production of disinfectants, which demand has significantly increased with the spread of COVID-19. While the supply of synthetic ethyl alcohol should be secured for sanitary purposes in particular in medical environments, its supply for the continuous production of food packaging should also be available.

We urgently call on European and national authorities to secure the supply of synthetic ethyl alcohol for the continuous production of food packaging.

[1]  Synthetic ethyl alcohol is used in flexography printing processes to dilute inks and clean machines.

Updated 20.03.2020 to clarify the shortage is of synthetic ethyl alcohol.

– ENDS –
Notes to Editor

FTA Europe represents the common interests of the European flexographic (flexo) printing industry. The association provides a common platform for national flexo associations in Europe to collaborate in areas of shared interest and for advocacy. Flexo printing is the dominant printing technology for printed packaging in Europe.

For more information, please visit:

Intergraf is the European federation for print and digital communication. We are a Brussels-based trade association representing employers in the European printing industry. Intergraf represents 21 national printing federations in 20 countries. Our primary task is to represent and advocate for the interests of the printing and digital communication industry in Europe, working with European Union to support the sector’s competitiveness through advocacy, information-sharing, networking and social dialogue.

For more information, please visit: