Editorial: Paper on the rack

Unwelcome news for all printers this week came in the form of news that the paper merchants will raising prices by ten per cent in October.

The merchants point to the declining Aussie dollar combined with increased costs for mills for the proposed hike.

A ten per cent rise in the cost of paper means the cost of a job will increase by about three per cent, leading some difficult phone calls from printers to clients.

Paper rises are nothing new, especially in recent times as the Aussie dollar has dived. However given the cutthroat nature of the print business, merchants have been less than successful in implementing rises over the past couple of years, opting for customer retention over profits as printers have baulked at the rises and told their suppliers they will look elsewhere.

This time though the merchants say it will be different, as the mills themselves say that if Aussie printers refuse to come to the table they may redirect supply elsewhere, where they can achieve their desired price, so printers may be faced with limited options. Good luck.

Still on paper it seems the Indonesian manufacturers have now done everything the environmental NGOs have asked of them, with April now joining APP in declaring a total ban on deforestation, and receiving support, albeit of a cautious nature, from the likes of Greenpeace and WWF.

Between them the two giants of the industry manufacture several million tonnes of paper a year, both have had their previous environmental policies scorned by the NGOs, and thanks to the NGOs' successful campaigns both were treated as pariahs.

To their credit both have worked hard to meet the demands of the Western world, and now thanks to their transparent and determined environmental policies with their external accountabilities, both have been welcomed back into the land of acceptability, which is good news for printers as they manufacture huge amounts of stock.

It is somewhat ironic, and worth pointing out to your greenie friends and acquaintances, that paper based communication is far more environmentally friendly than the NGO's emails and digital reports, all generated on PCs and smartphones which at the end of their life are seriously environmentally damaging.

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