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FPI - Looking Ahead to 2014

In 2011, FPI spent a good deal of time drafting a new strategic plan for the association. We clearly articulated our core value (“FPI is committed to providing a legal forum to promote the responsible use of all foodservice packaging”), vision (“FPI will be recognized as the leading authority on foodservice packaging in North America by the industry and its value chain partners, stakeholders and others”) and our mission (sorry, too long to include here). We also identified key goals and objectives in five buckets of work: public affairs, research, communications, business development and membership. Much effort went into developing this document, and we wanted to make sure that it was something that we referred to regularly to make sure we were staying true to what we set out to do.


As much as we’d like to be able to do everything we included in our strategic plan, we can’t (way too much for our limited resources!), so every year, we narrow it down to a few key focus areas. At our Fall Meeting earlier this month, FPI’s Board of Directors approved our focus areas for 2014. We’d like to share these with you so you know what to expect from FPI in the year to come – and invite you to share your thoughts on these.


#1: Facilitate and promote PRA/PRG recovery initiatives

The recovery of foodservice packaging products is too great a challenge not to make the list. FPI’s Paper Recovery Alliance (PRA) and Plastics Recovery Group (PRG) are making tremendous progress, but there’s plenty of work still to do. For more details, please check out our Stewardship page.


#2: Evaluate and develop an informed position on litter/marine debris specific to foodservice packaging

Another big challenge facing our industry is the amount of our products that end up as litter or marine debris. While some blame the existence of the package itself, studies show that the #1 reason for litter is consumer behavior. FPI would like to get a better understanding of the issue and consider what could be done to put packaging in its place – meaning in a recycling, composting or trash bin, and not on the side of the road or in a waterway.


#3: Use social media channels to educate external audiences on the value and benefits of foodservice packaging

In 2013, FPI launched this blog, new Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts (hope you’re liking/following us!). With these building blocks in place, we now want to figure out how to take advantage of these new communications outlets. One thing we’re talking about examining is our messaging. Does it resonate with our target audiences? What should we be saying to communicate the value and benefits of foodservice packaging?


#4: Increase outreach to help promote FPI as the leading authority on foodservice packaging

When we were working on our strategic plan, we had an interesting discussion with our members. We – the FPI staff – said “we’re the leading authority on foodservice packaging,” but the task force challenged us by saying “yes, but does everyone know that you’re the leading authority on foodservice packaging?” The brutally honest answer was perhaps not. So, we want to find ways to make sure that EVERYONE knows who to turn to when they have questions about foodservice packaging.


#5: Examine ways to increase engagement with foodservice operators and distributors

While we have identified multiple target audiences, we want to focus on foodservice operators and distributors in 2014. We have a FREE membership for these folks (do they know that?!?), and we’d like to grow that list. Again, it gets back to establishing ourselves as the leading authority on foodservice packaging. How can we better engage with them so that they turn to us with questions? How can we get more of them to participate in our meetings so more of the supply chain is represented? How can we help them to procure more foodservice packaging? One option we’re thinking about is getting in front of these folks, but where? The NRA Show is too big. What about MUFSO or COEX? Where are opportunities to talk about foodservice packaging with large numbers of operators?


As you can see, we’ve got our work cut out for us – and are looking forward to it. If you’ve got thoughts on any of the above focus areas, we’d love to hear from you.

Posted By Lynn M. Dyer (President) | 10/29/2013 3:41:19 PM