EBB has strengthened its three-year-old partnership with Sappi. From the start of the new year, the merchant will concentrate purely on Sappi as supplier of coated woodfree papers, in sheet and CutStar reels.
EBB had switched to Sappi when Antalis took on distribution of the MSC range of papers four years ago. Now it is dropping distribution of Lecta and Burgo papers in favour of Sappi’s Galerie Art brand.
Sappi is the largest papermaker specialising in woodfree coated papers in Europe and at the Gratkorn mill in Austria, it produces around 1 million tonnes a year. The move will assure EBB of continuing supply of coated paper as moves elsewhere are likely to change the supply in the coming 12 months. And EBB is the UK’s largest supplier of coated woodfree papers.
EBB will expand the range of sizes and weights of the Sappi substrate to cover gaps that had been filled with product from other suppliers, says sales and marketing manager Kevin Smith. “There is no need to double what we hold in the warehouse, but we will be making sure that we have everything covered but stocking in greater depth,” he says, “including more short grain product.”
“We had initially considered moving from three coated paper suppliers to two, but followed the logic and decided to go with one.” Having a single supplier eliminates the costs associated with double stocking and with modern production, there is little to distinguish one brand from another. “Sappi is the supplier that creates fewest complaints from printers,” Smith adds.
The Gratkorn mill can produce 1 million tonnes a year and is the largest coated woodfree paper mill in Europe with recent investment to improve consistency of coating weights across the width of the web. EBBs will benefit from this with improvements to the GalerieArt grade.