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FPI: Working for You

It seems that we spend an awful lot of time in these blog posts talking about what we’re doing through our Paper Recovery Alliance and Plastics Recovery Group to decrease the amount of foodservice packaging going to landfills and instead finding a higher and better use for it, be that recycling, composting or even energy recovery. But the truth is, while that is a very important project for us and our members, it is but a small part of what we do at FPI. I’d like to shed some light on some of the other activities we spend our time on at FPI…

From a broader perspective, we’re really trying to do three key things:

•  Encourage the use of all foodservice packaging through promotion of its benefits and members’ products;
•  Serve as the voice of the industry to educate and influence stakeholders; and
•  Provide a legal forum to address the challenges and opportunities facing the foodservice packaging industry.

How do we accomplish this? We can break our activities down into six buckets of work:

Bucket #1: Advocate for the interests of the industry, including the responsible manufacture, distribution, use and disposal of its products. We accomplish this by monitoring legislative and regulatory initiatives that may impact the industry and keeping our members up to date on these initiatives; educating legislators and regulators; communicating our position on key issues to partners and stakeholders; and collaborating with allies in coalitions to tackle broader issues impacting the industry (after all, we’re small and can often be more effective working with our allies).

Bucket #2: Collect, maintain and disseminate accurate facts and science-based information related to the industry and its products. Everyone wants numbers. We’ve produced our own market research using third-party providers, as well as developed proprietary product-specific statistics programs. And sometimes it’s not just the “how much” but the “why” question that needs to be answered, and that’s where we’ve commissioned technical research studies showing the value and benefits of single-use foodservice packaging.

Bucket #3: Communicate the value and benefits of foodservice packaging to internal and external audiences. Internally, we’ve developed resources for our members’ use to promote foodservice packaging. Externally, we work with media, other organizations and the general public to support our industry, through interviews, presentations, educational materials, website, social media outlets (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter), and of course this blog!

Bucket #4: Promote our members’ products and identify potential new business opportunities. Our online product directory is one of the most visited parts of our website. In addition, we’re more than happy to share news about our members’ latest products through our quarterly Packaging Innovations & Insights newsletter (this is free for anyone who wants to receive it). But that’s for those of you who are not members. For our members, we share sales leads from foodservice operators and track market trends in the foodservice industry through various members-only publications, reports and surveys.

Bucket #5: Offer compliance and develop technical services. That’s where we can really get down into the weeds. We compile resources related to compliance and good manufacturing practices for the foodservice packaging industry – and perhaps more importantly for our members’ customers. We’ve also devised and adopted voluntary technical standards and testing protocols for the industry. BTW, all this work is available to anyone. Click here for more details.

Bucket #6: Bring together customers and suppliers. Year after year, when we ask our members what they find the greatest value in, they report it’s our semi-annual meetings. Our meetings are the only place where you’ll find the entire foodservice packaging supply chain, from raw material supplier through operator, discussing one central topic: foodservice packaging.

Phew! We do a lot for a little staff. We certainly keep busy providing benefits to our members and the industry as a whole. For those of you reading this who can count yourselves members: thanks for your continued support. Without you, we could not accomplish what we do day in and day out. For those of you who are not members: Why not? Please contact me (ldyer@fpi.org) to learn more about FPI and what we can do for you.

Posted By Lynn M. Dyer (President) | 3/11/2014 12:56:49 PM
 

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