FIBERBOARD – FAST FORWARD! Industry resources’ annual think-tank

Around sixty delegates from around the world came together in Amsterdam in November to benefit from the fibreboard industry’s annual think-tank on the latest product developments and innovations, explorations of current and future market status, opportunities, and challenges.   The AWA International Fiberboard Industry Conference and Exhibition’s event theme, ‘Fast forward:  how to shape the industry’s future’ truly reflected current status — all-round growth is being driven by rapidly-expanding business in the furniture, building, and construction markets.

End-user-driven innovation

Hosted by AWA Alexander Watson Associates’ Fiberboard Industry Consultancy Services, the conference majored on end-user-driven  innovation.   It featured a lineup of speakers from across the fiberboard arena, whose in-depth presentations covered a broad range of highly-relevant topics spanning design, manufacture, recycling and end-use applications – today and tomorrow.     

With content carefully crafted to appeal to investors, producers, suppliers and end users, the program included lively speaker panel discussions with the delegates, and spanned as its major topics panel design, organizational excellence, environmental considerations, and industry developments.

Maurice Wassen, Business Development Manager, Fiberboard Industry Consultancy Services at  AWA hosted the event, and was joined on the podium by expert speakers from across the value chain, including fiberboard composite producers Sonae Arauco;  Bangor University’s Craig Bartlett and Dr Rob Elias, who spoke on MDF recovery;    Pöyry Management Consulting UK  and – a key feature of the agenda – IKEA.  

Board use in furniture

Inter IKEA’s Regional Wood Supply and Forestry Manager Hendrikus Odendal delivered a headline briefing on board use in the furniture market, as well as important related factors for this world-leading manufacturer.    Fiberboard’s participative agenda in the circular economy – a very positive feature of today’s industry – was also explored by speakers from both industry and academe.   Participants said that the event additionally offered good networking opportunities during program breaks and the cocktail reception at the end of the first day, and that the international and cross-industry content of the event were both valuable features. 

‘Time well spent’

Comments Maurice Wassen:  ‘In the post-event feedback we received, delegates felt their time had been well spent, and many will join us again at next year’s conference, which is scheduled for 11-12 June 2020 in Chicago.’   The full program for this year’s event, which was partnered by Sonae Arauco,  can be viewed on the AWA Alexander Watson Associates website,;  and  AWA’s specialist  Fiberboard Industry Consultancy Services have  also recently published the 2019 edition of their regular in-depth market study, AWA Fiberboard Market Study.

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