Dear EPIA Member,
I want to thank every person that attended the EPIA convention in Granada this year. We had a wonderful turnout that exceeded 110 attendees. We now have more members from more countries than ever before. Our membership reach now extends to 29 countries and includes 60 producers and distributors and another 19 suppliers for a total membership of 79. That success is due to the professional attitude each of our members display to one another and to the packaged ice industry in which we work.
We once again selected a group of directors from within our membership to represent our needs and desires for the next twelve months and thanked those directors who served our association during 2016. Our Board of Directors for 2017 continues to have the continuity needed to follow through with the multi-year programs that sustain our influence in the industry and helps make the association influential in our marketplace. The BoD for 2017 will continue to be led by Pedro Torres as Chairman, with support from Jack Stensland as Vice Chairman, Francisco Wendt as Treasurer, Lars Christensen as Producers/Distributors Representative and Rafael Labrada as Suppliers Representative.
During the convention we confirmed that Wieslaw Swierzynski we will host our 2017 convention in Wroclaw, Poland for our ninth convention since officially forming the EPIA in Seville in 2008 after our initial planning meeting in Frankfurt the year before.
This year we stressed two major activities that will make the EPIA more influential in the packaged ice industry. The first was to extend our reach by gaining members in more countries while at the same time gaining additional members in those countries where we already have representation. The second and just as valuable accomplishment was to reach the agreement that in order to remain a member or to become a member of the EPIA, the package ice producer company must meet the HACCP certification requirements as has been defined by the EPIA membership no later than the agreed upon 31 March 2017 deadline. The definitive requirements will be once again sent to all members and each renewing member will be required to provide acceptable documentation of compliance. Those who do not or cannot comply will not be allowed to continue as members of the EPIA. Currently we show approximately 75% of our members comply. Although we are prepared to lose a few who have not invested adequately in their companies to validate HACCP certification, the EPIA will be stronger in the knowledge that our tagline “ice you can trust” can be judged as a valid statement by anyone who might question such a high standard. Our sister association in the ice industry has supported the statement “ice is food” for some time now and their statement is recognized as fact supported by food purity guidelines in many countries worldwide. Our challenge is to take this another step higher and have the public recognize EPIA member ice to be “ice you can trust”. This will ensure the public that the EPIA label indicates trust and serve to the detriment of those other companies that might produce ice in a manner with a lesser public safety consideration.
I also just returned from the IPIA convention in San Antonio Texas and will be providing a summary of that convention next week.
21/11/2016Stan Williams – Director General
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