The Flexible Packaging Association’s 2011 Fall Executive Conference, recently held in Chicago, IL, provided great networking opportunities for flexible packaging leaders and peers, and focused on key issues and topics important to the flexible packaging industry including Opportunities for the U.S. Flexible Packaging Industry; M&A Activity in the Packaging Industry; U.S. Fiscal Challenges; Food Safety; the Global Economy; and, the Cost and Availability of Flexible Packaging Materials.

Presentations from the 2011 FPA Fall Executive Conference are available in the Members Only section of the FPA Web site ( www.flexpack.org). This issue of the FPA Update provides a recap of those presentations.

FPA Update

Bill Burke, president and COO of Nordenia U.S.A., and chairman of the FPA Board of Directors, opened the 2011 FPA Fall Executive Conference with a review of recent FPA activities and accomplishments. Bill also discussed the results of the FPA Flexible Packaging Waste Resource Recovery Pilot Program.

Opportunity

Assessment for the U.S. Flexible Packaging Industry Jeff Bornstein, vice president; and, Bruce Deckman, president of SAI Industrial LLC, presented the results of the FPA Opportunity Assessment for U.S. Flexible Packaging Industry study. FPA commissioned SAI to conduct this research, which explored top trends, opportunities, and barriers to flexible packaging growth. The study also examined issues and opportunities for conversion from other packaging formats to flexible packaging.

Packaging Industry: M&A Perspectives

Richard Weil, director, Investment Banking; and Louis Mitchell, managing  director, Investment Banking for Mesirow Financial discussed recent merger and acquisition activities in the packaging industry, and their impact on flexible packaging businesses. Combined, Richard and Louis have more the 25 years of M&A experience, and have advised on more than 70 mergers and acquisitions in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, packaging, plastics, and flexible packaging.

Addressing our Nation's Fiscal Challenges: What it Means for Manufacturers

Dorothy Coleman, vice president of Tax and Domestic Policy at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) discussed current U.S. economic and financial challenges and their impact on the manufacturing industry. At NAM, Dorothy is a spokesperson for tax policy issues and provides NAM members with important tax-specific information, and represents NAM’s position to Congress.

Applicability of Food Safety Modernization Act on Packaging Manufacturers Joseph Levitt, partner, Hogan Lovells discussed the applicability of the recently enacted Food Safety Modernization act (FSMA) to makers of food packaging materials. During his address, Joseph examined several key issues including Act compliance, regulation implementation, and material adulteration.

Flexible Packaging Materials Update

Nick Vafiadis, business director of Polyolefins & PVC at CMAI provided an update the cost and availability of flexible packaging materials. Nick’s presentation focused on polyolefin resins - the highest volume raw material for the flexible packaging industry – including polyethylene (high, low, and linear low density), and polypropylene. Nick also discussed key issues that are expected to drive the evolution of the industry in the near future.