More than 200 members of the Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) and their guests flocked to the House of Commons to prove right Chairman Neil Whittall’s declaration that the organisation is more robust than ever. Members gathered for the association’s annual Luncheon at the House of Commons, hosted by Mark Pawsey MP, member for Rugby and Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Packaging.
Neil Whittall highlighted that the foodservice packaging segment accounts for some 10% of the £800bn UK packaging sector, employs thousands people and makes a positive contribution to society, all of which are reasons for celebration.
Said Neil: “Single use, disposable packaging plays a vital role in the UK hospitality and foodservice industry. It’s the means of delivering food away from home to consumers, whose busy lives require fast, fresh food in a convenient and time-saving way, when and where they want. Without it, a culture of food and beverages out of home would not exist and many high profile brands depend on our products.”
Neil Whittall also highlighted the positive steps FPA members have taken and are continuing to take to ensure the sector’s environmentally responsibility and sustainability though material development and diversification, reductions in overall packaging weighting, encouraging recycling and playing a vital role in reducing food waste.
He said that acting together as a body, the FPA was playing a significant role in ensuring the voice of its members was heard at the highest levels and the FPA was actively consulting with relevant bodies and contributing to policy debate through organisations such as Defra and Keep Britain Tidy, and advising on the WRAP Voluntary Agreement for the Hospitality and Foodservice. He said it was vital that the FPA championed the interests of its members and challenged thinking on issues such as food waste, bag tax and recycling infrastructure outside the home.
He also underline the vital role the FPA plays in ensuring members stay ahead of legislative issues and announced a series of forthcoming seminars on BRC accreditation and the forthcoming EU Timber Regulations which will impact on bulk timber pulp imports.
Mark Pawsey followed on to explain the key issues currently being examined by the APPGP including the logistical challenges to any proposed plastic bag tax and plain packaging of cigarettes.
Neil Whittall concluded by reiterating that the FPA is in fighting form and challenged members to get involved on FPA activities, by supporting events and standing for key roles in the organisation.
The next FPA milestone events are the annual Environment seminar in January 2013 and the annual FPA Awards Dinner in March 2013.
You can read the full Chairman’s address on the FPA web site: http://www.foodservicepackaging.org.uk/news/item/house-of-commons-luncheon-2012-photos-report