The Fox International Group has announced that Salmo brand manager, Matt Rand, has been promoted with immediate effect to the role of Fox Rage & Salmo brand manager. 
Matt has played a key role in the success of Salmo throughout Europe and America since the acquisition of the brand by Fox in 2016 and as a result he now takes on the additional responsibility for the Fox Rage brand in all territories.  
Matt told T&G: “I was part of the Fox International angler team when Fox Rage began, so this is a brand that means a lot to me personally. The predator brands within the Fox portfolio have so much potential and I’m really looking forward to helping realise this with new innovative product developments and growth in all markets. 
“At Fox we are lucky to not only have one of the strongest teams behind the scenes, but we also have an incredible amount of talent within our angler team worldwide. I’m sure as a result, we’ll see all predator brands continue to grow from strength-to-strength – watch this space!”
Norica standRegael, the exclusive distributor of top Spanish airgun brand, Norica, is supplying some free eye-catching point of sale for its dealers.
The display case is included free-of-charge to any dealer purchasing a package of just six guns, three scopes and 40 tins of pellets.
The offer accompanies Regael’s tagline – ‘We keep stock so you don’t have to’ – allowing dealers to showcase Norica rifles in a professional and attention-grabbing manner while allowing the dealer to make best use of cashflow.
Norica was founded in 1917 in Eibar (Spain).  For the last 100 years it has achieved national and international recognition in the field, thanks to a philosophy directed always at high quality, innovation and precision in all products and fully personalised customer service.
Positive movement being made in the fight against single-use plastic, but lack of pace in the packaging industry slows the will of the people.
 
“We are monitoring technology advancements and as and when viable replacements become available, we will surely be acting,” says Kevin Nash. He’s talking about the use of plastics and packaging. And his statement rings true across both the shooting and fishing industries. Everyone is looking. 
He continues: “This is subject that we consider a great importance for the future of the planet and it is our desire and wish to switch all our packaging to materials that are environmentally friendly.”
Sportsmatch, the UK-based scope mount specialists, knows all about the problems and pitfalls when it comes to packaging. Due to the nature of the product, it needs to be blister packed. Failure to do so means theft issues, and virtually no visible presence in a shop. It’s a must!
Matthew Ford-James, managing director of Sportsmatch, says: “The momentum is growing against the use of plastic – certainly single-use plastic. We’ve been let down by suppliers a couple of times and have even considered buying our own vacuum forming machinery to create our own blisters – but we’ve paused on this and are re-assessing the situation. It’s costly and momentum is building against plastics. Finding suitable biodegradable plastic is not an easy task though.”
Nobody is finding a solution? Well, not quite nobody… 
Rig Marole boss Nigel Harris thinks otherwise. His company is currently looking at repackaging to be more environmentally friendly – and he’s critical of the lack of movement in the trade by others.
“There are a lot of alternatives to plastics out there,” he says. “From wooden spools to biodegradable plastic alternatives – there is no shortage. And it’s good. Really good. Once I started looking I came up with hundreds of firms offering really good stuff. There isn’t really an excuse.”
But it’s costly. Or is it?
“What price do you put on the environment?” asks Nigel. “If we can’t look after our own planet, we shouldn’t even be allowed to live on it. The alternatives I’m looking at carry a little more cost – I’ll absorb some. Some of it will need to be passed on. But my attitude remains unchanged. We have to care for the environment and there is not price we can put on that.”
 
What about the bait market?
 
Bait packaging tends to be taken into the fishing environment, and sadly, often left as litter... we asked about future plans…
 
Howard Kaye, Marukyu: “Marukyu as a company take their ethical and environmental responsibilities very seriously indeed, whilst we currently still use single use packaging we (Marukyu worldwide) are currently exploring biodegradable substitutes as we realise the urgent need to do so. We are not yet in a position to swap to an environmentally sound alternative however in the near future we will be. When this occurs we will be the first to let you know.”
 
Daryl Hodges, Dynamite Bait: “As with all aspects of our manufacturing we aim to ensure our impact on the environment is as low as possible. We have made big steps forward on much more efficient use of all utilities and lighting especially. We also always try and select and source our packaging with the environment in mind – of course there is more that we can do as the packaging industry develops even more sustainable solutions. 
We have already made a conscious effort to change to more recyclable film on some products. Over the next 2-3 years as packaging develops we will continue to look into other options that further reduce the impact on the environment.”
 
Allan Parbery, Mistral Bait: “I think that you’ll be pleased to know that all of the packaging we use for the Mistral brand is recyclable and has been for many years. When we make OEM for other brands we try to ensure that we have an input into our customers packaging. I think we have been successful in getting the message across to people that the planet matters. A by product of using recyclable materials is that very often the pot or bag is of a much higher quality than just polythene. We don’t use any secondary packaging either - we sell singularly, rather than making trade packs that quite often are made of polythene and not, or not easily recyclable.”
 
Hayley Goldsmith, Bait-Tech:“We do take the issue seriously and a large amount of our packaging is recyclable or has been made from recyclable materials. It is not 100 per cent of our packaging, however it is something we are working on. We work with a variety of packaging manufactures who pass on relevant information and I keep up to date with news from the packaging industry to keep me informed of new developments. They are certainly much closer with being able to deal with this issue than they were say three years ago. We are, or course limited by the advancements in two external industries: packaging and recycling. There certainly needs to be more funds available for efficient recycling and more recycling plants across the world.”

Air Arms lead the way with Target Sprint, the discipline that makes target shooting more accessible for all… 

“It’s discipline that we’ve championed from the very beginning,” says Air Arms’ managing director, Claire West.
Claire is talking about Target Sprint, an exciting and very accessible form of target shooting loosely based on the Nordic biathlon, but with no skis!
“Target Sprint breaks the mould. You run. You shoot. You run. You shoot. It brings athletism to shooting. It brings precision. You need to control your breathing and whilst being a serious and competitive sport, it is also great fun. And that’s the key – make things fun, and you appeal to younger and wider audiences, and that’s how you grow the market!”
The discipline debuted in 2013 and but only started to gain some real traction in the UK in 2016 thanks to British Shooting, Air Arms and the increasing success by the British team on the International circuit.
T&G is talking to Claire on the eve of the company launching a new rifle, specifically developed for Target Sprint, the eagerly awaited TS400, and just days before the ISSF Target Sprint in Korea – an event in which Team GB has high hopes of a medal.
“The original Target Sprint rifle was our MPR Sporter,” says Claire. “The new TS400 looks very similar but features a newly designed cocking mechanism which aids the speed. We are also offering a much greater choice for the consumer with a stock wrapping service. We’ll have more news on this next month!”
“Nobody does what we do,” continues Claire. “We dedicate a lot of time and resources in to promoting the positive side to Airgun Shooting and bringing in a new audience is key to the longevity of our Industry.
“It’s why we launched the Air Arms Experience – to introduce target shooting to more people. 
“The Air Arms Experience is supported by all of the leading UK Target Shooting organizations such as British Shooting, UKHFT, BFTA and UK Benchrest and allows people to try all disciplines of target shooting in one place. They can find out what they like most and focus on it. Everyone is different. Target Sprint features heavily in our platform and it’s very popular, especially with younger shooters.”
You can learn more about Target Sprint, 10m Pistol, Bench Rest, HFT and FT during the next Air Arms Experience, which will be held during the Midland Game Fair at Weston Park, 15th & 16th September.  
Air Arms products are available to the trade via Deben Group Industries Ltd.
 
Inset
This year has seen a dramatic turnaround for Sonik. The Northumberland-based company is best known for its market leading rods and reels, and this year’s Vader X carp range is no exception. 
As the catalyst of this success story, the Vader X carp rods and reels have firmly established themselves as the market leader in the £50 price category. This can be attributed to their looks, performance, and sheer value for money – along with Sonik’s hallmark ‘buy two get one free deal’ consumer deal. Pairing this with the equally instrumental Dominator X range, Sonik is arguably now the market leader in the sub-£100 arena.
Complementing the rods and reels, Sonik has this year released the SK-TEK range including shelters, furniture and luggage. Featuring a highly attractive custom camo material and full colour packaging, the range has met with broad approval from both dealers and anglers  due to the quality design and competitive price points.
Starting in September 2018, Sonik are running a series of four trade shows to launch over 60 new products across carp, coarse and sea fishing categories. In addition to launching new products in the Vader X, Dominator X, SK-TEK and SKSC Commercial brands, Sonik are also launching four entirely new sub-brands, plus two new improved ranges of Gravity XT rods and Tournos XD reels.
“New products are the lifeblood of any company and are essential to the continued growth of a business,” commented Ian McCormack, commercial director of Sonik. 
“Our aim is for continuous improvement and I am confident that the 2019 product range is our strongest yet. With a strong focus on delivering quality, innovation and value for money, we look forward to showing all our dealers the products that will be sought after in 2019.”