Editor’s note: This is an expanded version of an interview that appears in the November/December 2022 issue of FlexPack VOICE®. The printed article can be found online, too, in the digital format of the full magazine.
Each issue, as well as occasionally in a digital exclusive, FlexPack VOICE® hosts a question-and-answer segment that discusses issues with an industry leader. In this segment, we interview Fredy Steng, director of sales, strategic accounts, Berry Global Group Inc. and a member of the FPA Chairperson’s Advisory Council.
Steng has been working since the 1960s, primarily in sales and executive management positions. He currently works with clients nationwide that are strategic accounts at Berry Global.
FlexPack VOICE®: What do you see as the major issues facing the industry this year, globally and/or domestically?
Fredy Steng: Raw material availability, especially specialty resins that are required for food and medical packaging applications. Staffing of manufacturing facilities—everyone’s problem. Excessive price increases, many unjustified, contribute to the world inflation situation.
FPV: Sustainability often comes up when answering the first question, so what is the industry doing well and where does it need to do better in this area?
FS: The industry is committing itself to sustainability and that is the best news we can have—after several false starts over the past 10 years. We can do better by staying the course and letting the world know that the flexible packaging industry is a leader in the sustainability effort.
FPV: Other than sustainability, what are the long-term challenges—beyond this year—for the industry?
FS: Keeping the public informed, especially the politicians, most of whom are ignorant about industry efforts to reduce waste, clean the environment, etc.
FPV: Generally, how do you see government regulations as they pertain to the industry? What should change?
FS: If we are going to have regulation, let the laws be constructive rather than destructive.