In recent months, the advocacy group of the Emerging Leadership Council (ELC) brought you a visualization of the legislative process, as well as a white paper explaining the implications of extended producer responsibility (EPR). This year, the advocacy group is setting its sights even higher, transitioning from informing our member companies to educating and influencing legislators. With this step change in the target audience, we now need your support more than ever to make an impact.
This newly established transformation can be broken down into two strategies: D.C. fly-ins and home state site visits. The D.C. fly-ins will include a core group of ELC members, Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) staff, and local lobbyists. Our group is targeting at least one fly-in this year. Fly-ins offer a unique opportunity to make many connections and shift perceptions in a few days. Our core intent is to provide legislators with a perspective on the flexible packaging industry from a younger demographic.
“Explaining the benefits of our industry through the lens of our Emerging Leadership Council offers a different kind of credibility. I understand my generation, but I disagree with some of its narratives on plastics,” says Roger Cortez, a sales manager for Reifenhauser Inc. and an advocacy group member.
Complemented by the focused burst of advocating from a fly-in, home state site visits offer a more sustainable and stable approach to advocating. Site visits from local legislators are not new to FPA, but they are nonetheless important, especially after the past two years, when site visits were less viable. Our group expects to facilitate up to 10 visits this year. However, this will be impossible without energetic action from our member companies. Your facilities best tell the story of what our industry has to offer, and we simply cannot do this without you.
To opt in as a participating member company, please reach out to your FPA contact.
To enable site visits and more rapidly mobilize our strategy, we will be releasing a suite of tools to best assist you with these critical engagements. Over the coming months, you can expect to see an etiquette document for hosts that outlines key industry facts to be shared with legislators, as well as how best to prepare for a site visit with a legislator. Additionally, a standard agenda template will be provided that suggests how to organize a visit along with a pamphlet that can be shared with legislators during the meeting.
It’s our hope you feel as strongly as we do and will commit to rallying behind our industry to better the future of flexible packaging.
Weston Harcourt is vice chair of FPA’s ELC advocacy group and a category manager at Sonoco Products Company headquartered in Hartsville, South Carolina.