I have had the privilege of
working with FPI for several years now, and have learned quite a bit about the
foodservice packaging industry. Although I’ve heard a lot about their meetings,
this spring is the first time I’ve been invited to attend one of their
members-only conferences. It was a unique opportunity to not only spend some
quality time with the FPI team, but to learn more about their member companies,
talk to the members and better understand how everything fits together within
the foodservice packaging industry.
I arrived in time for a
networking dinner and was able to meet a handful of members and talk about what
their companies do and how they fit into the foodservice packaging industry.
The members were all friendly and looking forward to the upcoming meeting
sessions. It was so interesting to hear directly from the members about the
work that FPI does on their behalf and what they find most important.
The first general session was
very interesting. We had the chance to hear about environmental claims –
obviously an important topic in today’s eco-conscious world – and some in-depth
data about the foodservice market, including trends and areas of growth. While
the presentations were really informative, I found it most interesting to hear
the questions being asked by the members. Their questions highlighted their
areas of interest and opportunities for FPI to provide support. Everyone walked
away with a ton of information to digest and take back to their companies.
After a morning spent on some
serious information, I think everyone was happy to break for additional
networking on the golf course, along with some friendly competition. All the
non-golfers had a chance to catch up on some work, or explore the resort and
surrounding area before reconvening for another networking dinner.
The final day kicked off with
the FPI member meeting where president Lynn Dyer briefed the membership on the
status of FPI. Suffice to say they are making great progress against their
strategic goals for 2016 (to read more about their goals, check out Lynn's blog post) and we even got a sneak peek
at an upcoming video on foodservice packaging!
After Lynn briefed the
membership, we heard from the Environmental Protection Agency and Keep America
Beautiful about litter prevention before closing out the conference with a
fascinating panel of foodservice operators. This panel was a highlight for me,
not only because the speakers had a lot to say but because the members asked
thought-provoking questions that showed how all the different pieces of the
industry come together – from the raw materials to the converters to the
Overall the conference was a
great experience! I was able to learn a lot about the industry and what FPI
members want, along with hearing nothing but amazing feedback on FPI’s work.
After experiencing this conference, it’s no wonder that FPI’s members see these
as one of the most valuable aspects of membership. I know I hope to attend