New President at the Confederation of Paper Industries

The Confederation of Paper Industries is delighted to announce the election of Richard Coward as its President; effective from its Council meeting on 20th June.

Richard, Group Managing Director of Rigid Containers Ltd, steps up from the position of CPI Vice President and succeeds Patrick Willink, who served as President for four years.

On his appointment, Richard said: “The UK’s Paper-based Industries are a continuing success story, providing employment throughout the country and producing a wide range of innovative and much-loved products that are inherently sustainable.”

“I foresee both opportunities and challenges ahead, and I look forward to helping CPI grow its influence and increase its public profile as it works for the common good of an industry with a turnover of £11.5 billion”, continued Richard.

“I would also like to pay tribute to my predecessor, Patrick Willink, who has done so much to build firm foundations for the Confederation during his tenure as President”, he concluded.

Focus on Health and Safety

Over the years, a key strength of CPI, has been its focus on health and safety – preventing work related death, injury and ill health in the UK’s Paper-based Industries. Each of the Papermaking, Corrugated and Recovered sectors achieved reductions in injury rates in 2017*.

Richard is completely committed to this area of work and is fully supportive of CPI’s plans to help the industry achieve further improvements across all health and safety matters, including a greater focus on occupational health and well-being.


For further information or to arrange an interview with Richard Coward, please contact Mike Dobson, Communications & Public Affairs Manager on 01793 889612 or email

Notes to Editors:

  • *2017 Injury rates, per 100,000 employees: Papermaking 607 (improvement of 8.6% versus 2016), Corrugated 407 improvement of 12.7%), Recovered 211 (improvement of 14.7%).
  • The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) is the leading trade association representing the UK’s Paper-based Industries, comprising paper and board manufacturers and converters, corrugated packaging producers, makers of soft tissue papers, and collectors of paper for recycling.
  • Patrick Willink, Chief Technology Officer at James Cropper plc, was president of the CPI for the last four years.
  • Rigid Containers is a leading manufacturer of sustainable corrugated packaging in the UK. It operates from three state-of-the-art integrated manufacturing and logistics facilities in Desborough (Northamptonshire), Selby (North Yorkshire) and Wellington (Somerset) as well as its site in Limerick, Ireland.