2022 proved to be extremely challenging for our supply chains due to raw material scarcity and the resulting speculation on the world market, a lack of packaging materials (including glass which requires a great deal of energy to manufacture), shortages of AdBlue or pallets for transport, the necessary agricultural transition, record inflation and the resulting changes in consumer behaviour, and a severe shortage of skilled workers, not to mention electricity and gas shortages. It was a permanent stress test – for us, for our suppliers and producers as well as for consumers.
We have all been and remain deeply affected by the illegal war of aggression against Ukraine and the consequences for the local population. The inherent dangers of globalisation, which has otherwise brought positive effects, were also thrown into sharp relief, with sudden bottlenecks, inflation and price increases. War presents us with challenges that we have only read about in history books.
Dealing with ever-changing chain reactions in our supply chains suddenly became part of our daily business. Since 2020, one crisis year has followed the next. It is my belief that a state of emergency is unfortunately becoming the new normal, presenting a social, economic and political challenge for us all. Geopolitical and social instabilities require bold decisions and a cool head. We have to learn to keep our eyes firmly on the road ahead and manage any obstacles that come hurtling at us. Crises force us to act quickly, which is why I also believe that talking to one another is more important than ever.