This year will bring some exciting changes to the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA).
First, we have the official start of our new supporting category of membership. Supporting membership will be open to any firm or corporation, or division thereof, engaged in the distribution of materials, equipment, supplies, or flexible packaging and businesses providing services within the United States and having sales in the U.S. of materials, equipment, supplies, or flexible packaging, or services to the flexible packaging industry.
While this category will not have voting rights and has lower dues than our core associates and converters, it provides a way for FPA to bring in brokers, service providers, consultants, and the banking sector to further the conversation, build resources, and strengthen the organization. Further, FPA’s proposed affiliate membership for downstream users of our products will be discussed for possible inclusion in 2025.
FPA also will unveil our new political action committee (PAC) that will be called FlexPAC™. A PAC is a legal entity organized to raise money to support political candidates. Trade and professional organizations such as FPA often establish a PAC to support the election of officials aligned with the organization’s policy goals.
PACs are necessary because federal laws prohibit corporations and nonprofit associations from using funds to support federal candidates or political parties. A PAC is a critical advocacy tool that aggregates personal contributions from eligible FPA members to provide financial support for federal or state elected officials who support our policy goals. Our PAC will enable FPA to donate to candidates who support the policy agenda of FPA, represent industry facilities or constituencies, and serve as leaders of key congressional committees of interest and in key party leadership positions.
The FlexForward® Conference this fall will also get a makeover. With a new location— Charlotte, North Carolina—and an extended agenda, the conference will continue to cover major policy topics with the addition of technical content and showcases. FPA will put out a call for papers early in the year and ask for content related to the theme of sustainability. Innovation sessions, along with sessions highlighting the Flexible Packaging Achievement Award winners for sustainability, will be introduced to complement the continuing discussion with the supply chain on how to meet the sustainability goals and mandates of the brands, retailers, consumers, and policymakers. Additional networking opportunities will bring the conversation to a new level with a renewed focus on achieving circularity and protecting and promoting the flexible packaging industry and its products.
Looking beyond this year, 2025 will be FPA’s 75th anniversary, and continued growth is the goal. I look forward to implementing the changes envisioned by the FPA board and membership in 2024 and celebrating them, as well as our remarkable past, at the 2025 Annual Meeting celebration.
Alison Keane, Esq., IOM, CAE
President and CEO
Flexible Packaging Association