With the New Year already a distant memory, we would like to welcome you to a new crisper, cleaner, more cut-down style for the PITA Affairs newsletter. We understand that you are all busy, so we have pared down this form of correspondence to cover just four essential areas:

  • Training & Educational Courses
  • Member & Industry News
  • Forthcoming Events
  • Classified Advertising (when appropriate)

In addition we have provided quick link buttons to facilitate easy transfer to the section of interest, where each item will have, at most, a two line description, in keeping with the aim of simplifying and shortening our communications.

While on the subject of ‘Communication’, this is not just one-way, so we would like to hear from any mill or supplier company where charitable or social activities are being undertaken by staff: regular readers will no doubt have seen the efforts by Rakem on behalf of a local hospice, this being a prime example of what we would like to help publicise in the ‘News’ section. PITA is a Membership Association, so let us help promote your activities to a wider audience; you never know, it may even inspire others to take up a similar cause.

Within each section of the Newsletter, links will be provided that take you to the relevant information which is stored on the PITA website. As you will see, if you have not visited it recently, our website is becoming a one-stop shop, not just as regards information on training and events, but also on general industry news and even technical information. For example, how many of you have seen or downloaded (free of charge) Leslie Webb’s excellent book A-Z of Practical Paper Chemistry, which can be found in the ‘About Paper’ section?

The website is also a source of useful contact information, most notably in the Directory area (found under ‘What We Do’). This contains updated details of PITA Corporate Members (Mills and Suppliers), UK Mills, Benelux Mills, Middle Eastern Mills, and Norwegian Mills. However, in keeping with the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which comes into force in late May, we have removed all personal contact information from entries in the PITA Corporate Directory. These have been replaced with general contact details (corporate office phone numbers and non-person specific ‘info’ or ‘sales’ email addresses). Of course, the PITA Membership Directory still contains all of the personal contact details for our members, but note:

• This is not available electronically (so cannot be ‘trawled’ by a robot), and
We NEVER sell the information; paper copies are only available to bona fide members, and we ask that they keep the directory for personal use only, and do not pass it on to third party vendors.

We feel that the PITA Membership Directory constitutes a major reason why people join PITA, and we wish maintain it as a publication going forward. But in order to do this and comply with the forthcoming legislation, we are asking all members when they complete renewal forms to indicate their willingness to have details included in the next issue, due to be published December 2018. Since we can no longer assume acceptance, we need positive affirmation, which is why anyone not completing that part of the form will be contacted in coming months to ascertain their preference for what we include in the next Directory.

Finally, being an Association implies that, from time to time, we ‘associate’. The main event during 2018 which will allow members to gather and network will be our forthcoming PAPERmatters! Biennial Conference. Following on directly from the success of the relaunched Conference in 2016, we intend to hold our next event at Lancaster University on 19-20 June 2018. The homepage of our website has a ‘save the date’ notice, and further information will be available soon.

From the above you will see that, although PITA is rapidly approaching its centenary, it is not in any way stuck in the past. It remains a forward thinking Association which continues to educate and communicate best practice and new ideas in the fields of paper and pulp manufacture and related aspects of fibrous forest product industries. As ‘sustainability’ becomes the watchword for industry as a whole, we remain in the prime position to succeed in such divergent areas as communications, health and hygiene, and packaging, and in new areas such as chemicals derived from wood and cellulosic biomass. As such, I am delighted to say that your Association has an excellent future ahead, as it continues to mould and adapt its activities and publications to the ever changing needs of our great industry.

Daven Chamberlain
(PITA Publications Editor)