Emma Verkaik, Membership & Marketing Director at the BCMPA – the Association for Contract Manufacturing, Packing, Fulfilment & Logistics – celebrates the transformational expansion in the use of third-party partnerships and predicts the continuing growth of strong, robust relationships between retailers, manufacturers, and brands across a wide range of commercial sectors.

Emma Verkaik
Membership & Marketing Director at BCMPA

In recent years, brand owners and retailers have increasingly relied on outsourcing their contract manufacturing, packing and fulfilment projects to third parties. 2022 has been no exception to this trend, as the manufacturing and supply landscape changed completely and permanently due to continued global uncertainty and commercial challenges.

The outbreak of the Ukraine conflict in March placed additional pressure on the supply chain, with growing shortages of raw materials and packaging, after the already difficult landscape post Brexit. This impacted keenly on warehousing, with larger brands, retailers and ecommerce companies buying forward packaging stocks to overcome supply and ingredients shortages. BCMPA members reacted immediately, and are now delivering increasingly creative and rapid solutions in new packaging and short-run production, alongside providing additional warehousing and logistical support, to overcome these challenges.

Indeed, the importance of outsourcing to multiple industry sectors in challenging times has also been marked by the overall growth of the BCMPA as an Association. We now represent over 200 businesses, and continue to provide a platform to raise awareness of the crucial role outsourcing has for so many brands.

With six industry trade shows attended in 2022, a wider audience has seen the benefits offered by the third-party sector. This, together with our speaker programmes, has given brands, retailers, and manufacturers the ability to interact with suppliers, and the opportunity to learn more about the daily key contributions that outsourcing partnerships make.

This successful approach will continue in 2023, as the BCMPA represents its members at another seven exhibitions, including the flagship Contract Pack & Fulfilment show at the NEC in February, as well as The White Label Expo, IFE Manufacturing, Making Pharmaceuticals & Distributing Pharmaceuticals, CHEMUK and London Packaging Week. The diversity of this programme demonstrates the reach of members’ services, and each exhibition will showcase the value that contract manufacturing, packing and fulfilment services now deliver to manufacturers, brands, and retailers alike.

While this year, good news has often been in short supply, the BCMPA was happy to celebrate the success of its members at the UK Packaging Awards in October, with Staci UK winning the Co Pack & Fulfilment Company of the Year Award, recognising their performance in delivering fulfilment solutions and added value for their clients.

For 2023 the power of collaboration and partnership in the supply of third-party support will remain at the centre of commercial thinking, especially in such an uncertain economy. The BCMPA will continue to support its members, putting their services at the forefront of brand owners and retailers thinking and how, as always, we will be stronger and succeed together.


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