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Two years of change

Two years of change

21 December 2021

Greetings from the CEO

It will soon be two years since we first heard the worrying news about a strange new virus in Asia. And within a few months, Europe was already in lockdown. This led to a great deal of uncertainty and even fear in companies – and unfortunately not all survived the sudden change in the operating environment. We, our suppliers and our customers were more fortunate and successfully managed to navigate the pitfalls reasonably well. In 2020, we were able to serve our customers almost as usual and most important of all, our people remained healthy. We took some considerable digital leaps both in managing remote working and our operations, and our employees had to show flexibility and adapt to a wide range of new instructions and ways of working. Partial remote working and the lack of a social interface have almost certainly challenged us all and so I would like to thank our entire personnel for coping during this exceptional time.

The post-lockdown period has seen a time of very rapid – even uncontrolled - growth in Finland, Europe and globally. The pandemic has impeded travel, which in the West has been reflected in consumption, including in machinery and equipment. This in turn has triggered rapid growth in demand for these. This year, we have had to read business news headlines about microchips, containers, steel and other raw materials, which are all connected by one word: shortage. Shortages of things immediately result in bottlenecks in the supply chain. In a market economy, this is usually corrected by price hikes in materials, which in 2021 have been exceptionally high. This has resulted in upward pressure on prices throughout the supply chain and we have unfortunately noticed this in consumer prices. We can only hope that the sharp rise in prices will level off and that consumption will normalise. This will make companies’ operating environments more stable and slightly more predictable.

When global growth is too fast, it can also easily lead to companies not necessarily being to operate in a sustainable way globally. Bottomless demand for a raw material might also attract to the market speculative profit-seekers for whom sustainability is not a core value in their strategy. We at Häggblom are fortunate in being able to work with stakeholders who share our view of social and environmental sustainability as a matter of honour. We believe that by investing in sustainable operations, we can be at the forefront of developing our products and services to ensure adequate demand for them also during times of calmer growth.

As this busy - and partly very special – year draws to a close, I would like to thank our superb personnel for the fantastic work they do, our customers for their trust in us and excellent cooperation, and all our other partners for a successful year.

On behalf of myself and the company, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year.

 Jukka Karhula

Jukka Karhula
Häggblom