29.11.2021 – 13:09
Association of the Pyrotechnic Industry (VPI)
Never in their history have companies in the pyrotechnic industry in Germany followed the New Year’s Eve countdown as closely as they do now. While the logistical preparations for the delivery of the products have long been in full swing, the 21 member companies look every day with growing concern at ever new, sometimes contradicting statements and decisions by politicians on dealing with Corona.
Thomas Schreiber, Chairman of the Association of the Pyrotechnic Industry (VPI) is not laughable these days. The situation has never been more serious. The last few days before the eagerly awaited New Year’s Eve party have never been seen as the “final countdown”. 21 member companies have come together under the umbrella of the VPI, including the large German providers WECO, COMET and NICO. Including the raw material suppliers and logistics companies involved, they employ around 3,000 people in Germany. They all fear for their future and their jobs.
Review: 2020 was the first year without private fireworks. 2020 – that means: earnings losses in the double-digit millions. The risk of bankruptcy was in the room and around 3,000 employees were faced with the question of how to proceed. Some companies in the industry are relying on short-time working, others on loans and supporting partners in order to stay afloat. Products that had already been delivered on New Year’s Eve 2020 had to be fetched back with a logistical effort, the production of environmentally friendly fireworks was on hold. Only two hopes remained: The one for a “normal New Year’s Eve” in 2021 and the one for bridging aid from the federal and state governments (bridging aid III). To date, the VPI members have not received all of the financial aid they had planned, but the members are constantly receiving new bans and other bad political news. “We are worried that our hopes for a normal New Year’s Eve 2021 could now fizzle out overnight,” says Schreiber.
The chairman knows what he is talking about. As managing director of the company WECO in Eitorf, he was forced to lay off 100 employees at the Freiberg location and close an entire plant. “We are a fragile branch of industry with particularly strict requirements from the legislature,” says Schreiber. “In an industry whose main turnover – i.e. more than 90 percent – is generated in just three days at the end of the year, it is all the more painful when, after months of hard work and hope for a silver lining, the entire economic basis for survival is withdrawn. So it was in 2020 It shouldn’t be like this in 2021! ”
Citizens’ health is unquestionably a top priority for the CPI. “For a functioning economy, however, the health of small and medium-sized companies is also of great importance – and that is seriously damaged,” said Schreiber. He puts the bank liabilities that have accrued due to Corona at around 200 million euros. And that only with the member companies of the VPI. “The only chance to shoulder this financial burden is New Year’s Eve 2021 with fireworks.” But that’s not all. The fireworks industry does not exist in a vacuum: “We have current contracts with food retailers”, especially Lidl, Aldi, REWE, Edeka, Kaufland, etc. – “without a New Year’s Eve business, we are also talking about a drop in sales of more than 250 on the retail side Million euros “, estimates Thomas Schreiber.
Nobody wants to think that far at the moment, so Schreiber, but in the worst case the industry would have to consider resorting to legal action. After all, the member companies are threatened with bankruptcy. “As an association, we represent the interests of our 21 member companies – but we also see ourselves as a mouthpiece to give a voice to the feelings of existential fear of thousands of colleagues,” said Schreiber.
While the CPI of course does not know which plans the new federal government or the federal states are currently developing for the end of the year, “we observe that not only the incidence values are rising, but fireworks critics are using the situation to make themselves heard and more symbolically than To fuel fact-based political actionism. We regret that very much and would instead like a little more solidarity with those affected, “said the VPI chairman.
The CPI is not interested in playing down the dangers of Corona. “We expressly welcome any form of vaccination campaign. Whether 3-G or 2-G regulations, whether warnings to be careful, to be considerate and to keep the necessary distance – also and especially at major events – we support all these efforts. That is precisely why we also see In the private, in the small fireworks experience with friends and family, a good opportunity to minimize the crowds that we encounter more than enough these days. ”
The members of the VPI have been investing in the optimization of environmentally friendly products for years.
You are committed to safe New Year’s Eve fun and have initiated a campaign especially for this: “Let it rip, but do it right” https://www.feuerwerk-vpi.de/lass-es-krachen/
“But our industry also needs security,” said Schreiber. “We need planning security and the secure feeling that we can continue to do our work in the future. Otherwise we will soon be history.”
To the association
The Association of the Pyrotechnic Industry (VPI) is the language body for 21 member companies from Germany. The VPI supports manufacturers of New Year’s Eve, large-scale and stage fireworks as well as manufacturers of pyrotechnic ammunition. These are located throughout Germany. The association represents the interests of its members vis-à-vis politics, business and society.
RA Klaus Gotzen
Association of the Pyrotechnic Industry
At the Pönt 48
Phone: 02102 / 186 200
Email: [email protected]
Original content from: Association of the Pyrotechnic Industry (VPI), transmitted by news aktuell