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Thorworld’s outgoing European President reflects on achievements

John Meale photo
John Meale, Managing Director of Thorworld Industries

The handover occurred at the 34th FEM Congress, held in Italy from September 13-15. The members unanimously elected Jan van der Velden – Senior Manager Systems at Dutch materials handling company Vanderlande Industries, and Vice-President of FEM for the past two years – as Meale’s successor for the 2012-2014 term.

Meale – a passionate long-term advocate of FEM’s work in providing a focal point for the European materials handling industry – was elected in 2010. Reflecting on his mandate, Meale confirms that he arrived in the post with some strong ideas.

“When I started two years ago, I set myself three goals for my Presidency: enhancing FEM visibility, addressing the inefficiency of market surveillance and laying down the foundations of a stronger FEM.

“I believe FEM has delivered on all three and I have no doubt Jan van der Velden will not just maintain but further develop our association’s performance and value,” Meale explains.

FEM has implemented a number of notable policies during the past two years that have raised the profile of the European materials handling industry. Last Autumn saw FEM heavily involved in the launch of a common industry platform for Market Surveillance – – that will serve as an important tool for the EU Market Surveillance Authorities in carrying out their job. This complemented a Conference organised by the European Commission in Brussels, which was attended by over 200 participants from all sectors of Governments and the Mechanical Handling Industry sector.

Before that, FEM published for the first time a selection of industry-wide statistics, outlining the size and evolution of one of the largest sectors in European Mechanical Engineering. The organisation also introduced an internal Bimonthly Bulletin, providing a briefing on all the major developments and activities in the Materials Handling Industry which have occurred over the two previous months, which has been well received by members

Meale confirms that he was also pleased to be re-elected as the President of the FEM Product Group Elevating Equipment and that Thorworld Industries will remain dedicated to FEM. “We’re proud to be members of the organisation and we will continue to work with our European colleagues to do the best for our industry, in whatever way we can.”

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