Arius Zúñiga
President
National Association of Manufacturers of Paints and Inks - Anafapyt
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Expert Contributor

Representativeness: The Piece That Makes the Industry Stronger

By Arius Zúñiga Lara | Fri, 12/03/2021 - 11:58

Undoubtedly, these are challenging times and the paints, inks and coatings industry has not been exempt from the prevalent challenges. Shortages of raw materials and containers have presented complications throughout 2021, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also due to the freeze in Texas and energy prices.

However, this situation is not new for Anafapyt. Throughout its 77-year history, it has had to face challenges on several occasions, one of the most relevant being World War II.

But as they say, unity is strength and it is precisely these events that have encouraged us not to remain passive and to look for joint and coordinated solutions since 1944, when our association was created.

Since then, representation has been a fundamental aspect in strengthening us as an industry. In fact, today, it is one of the three pillars that form the basis of our organization. To this end, we seek to ensure that all stakeholders feel involved in all the actions we undertake, while at the same time looking after their interests, as they are very different from one another.

That is to say, ink suppliers and manufacturers have needs that paint suppliers and manufacturers do not, but this is not an impediment to us having similar interests and forming a common front.

That is why we always seek to listen to our members’ needs, in addition to being a liaison to companies that supply raw materials, services and finished products, although we also have representation before the government and national and international non-governmental organizations.

A key to our success is to have privileged and first-hand information for timely decision-making, because there are always changes related to trade treaties and national and international regulations that cover aspects such as labeling, transportation, testing methods and performance, without forgetting to comply with aspects such as lead content and volatile organic compounds.

Our association has established very important links with international organizations, including the World Coatings Council (WCC), the American Coatings Association (ACA) and the Latin American Federation of Paint and Ink Manufacturers and Technicians Associations (LATINPIN), which unites Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Uruguay, the main paint, ink and coating manufacturing countries on the continent, which I also have the honor of chairing.

In addition, this year at Anafapyt, we have been making an extraordinary effort to strengthen ties with industrial organizations and chambers with which we have been working for decades, such as Concamin, where we participate in 20 work commissions, and Coparmex, which developed the Coparmex Conecta platform to promote networking among all the companies that register, with the aim of boosting sales and reactivating the economy, not to mention the training provided by Nacional Financiera, so that SMEs in the sector can access government loans at very competitive rates.

With the National Association of the Chemical Industry, we have held information sessions to give our members a clear picture of the prevailing situation regarding the shortage of raw materials. We also participated in the Meeting with Representatives of the Construction Industry Value Chain, organized by the Mexican Chamber of the Construction Industry.

Meanwhile, with the College of Architects of Mexico City - Society of Architects of Mexico (CAM-SAM) we are beginning a prolific collaboration to develop joint actions that benefit both parties, ranging from contests for students from affiliated universities to redesigning our logo to support in the planning of our corporate offices.

We have also taken up initiatives with other organizations, such as our cooperation with the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) to participate in training related to the Air Pollutant Emissions Reduction Program (PRECA). The purpose is to integrate this program with the Sustainable Development Goals (UN), which align with our organization.

We have also invited our members to participate in various calls and training programs, organized by the Mexico City government, and to place their products in new points of sale along with being part of the Suppliers’ Register of the Mexico City Public Administration.

We collaborated as spokespersons with the Senate Health Commission to continue developing initiatives that promote general well-being, with a special emphasis on issues related to the General Health Law, in addition to other collaborations with the Ministry of Economic Development of Mexico City.

Also, we recently participated in the first meeting of the inter-institutional work coordinated by the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection, to present the mechanism of the "Surveillance List of Substances Susceptible to Dual Use."

The objective is to contemplate the use of certain chemical substances, to ensure that their observation does not imply greater regulation or affect the industries that use them licitly in their activities, in accordance with the Federal Law for the Control of Chemical Precursors.

Precisely within the framework of this meeting, the General Management of Anafapyt reiterated the sector’s support for collaboration, in addition to acting as spokesperson and liaison between the industry and the various government agencies to achieve these objectives.

However, we have not lost sight of the fact that all these actions must be aligned with our sustainability objectives, while we work to continue promoting the visibility of our industry by generating a perception of renovation, modernity and added value.

Therefore, we consider representation as one of our most important pillars as we seek to ensure everyone has a voice and a vote, but also to make relevant contributions that benefit everyone, making Anafapyt a national and regional benchmark of integration and solidarity.

Photo by:   Arius Zuñiga