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John Meale steps down after 42 years

31 May 2023

JOHN MEALE, one of the UK's leading names in vehicle loading and unloading, has decided to step down from his many key positions within the industry’s associations, believing that now is the time to pass on the baton to others.

As managing director of his own company, Thorworld Industries, for the last 42 years, Meale has spearheaded a revolution in the development of loading bay equipment with an emphasis on efficient, effective and safe products. 

Upon joining the industry, Meale soon realised the importance of not only joining trade associations, but also being active within them. These association meetings and discussions allow companies of similar mindsets to discuss industry-wide issues, and come together for a common goal, whether that be improvements to product safety, guidance documents to help users, changes to product standards, interpretation and understanding of legislation, or even awareness of planned changes to legislation.

"Personifying the richness and variety of innovative companies in the materials handling industry, John was amongst the pioneers who relocated FEM in Brussels and gave it a truly European dimension," said Olivier Janin of FEM. "Throughout his 15 years as a Board member - two of which as president - John tirelessly raised our industry's interests towards peers and policymakers. He was notably a strong advocate for efficient and effective market surveillance in Europe."

In the last 42 years, John has held many key roles within these associations, including president, and Executive Committee member of the Association of Loading and Elevating Equipment Manufacturers (ALEM); director of the British Materials Handling Federation (BMHF); president of the European Materials Handling Federation (FEM) 2010-2012; member of the FEM Board 2005-2020; and president of the Elevating Equipment Product Group within FEM.

"John has been a uniquely knowledgeable and authoritative voice across the UK and European marketplace for many years,” says Richard Spinks, president of ALEM, “I know I speak for all ALEM members, and hundreds of other people who’ve had the pleasure of working with John, when I offer sincere thanks and best wishes for the future."

Thorworld Industries remains dedicated to improving safety and efficiency within the industry. The company also remains committed to its involvement in industry associations, to build on the foundations laid down by John, and the many others who commit their own time to continually moving the industry forwards.