The EPIA has undergone significant changes since it was proposed in Frankfurt in 2007. We initially attempted to incorporate under Germany association laws and, after several years, found that to be difficult and cumbersome. We then looked for a simpler, more convenient location in which to incorporate and become a registered association with all the benefits of an association. In 2011, while meeting in Barcelona, we took the initiative to incorporate in Spain as an official association under Spanish law. As the years have passed, we have operated in that manner with an official set of bylaws filed with the Spanish Government. We knew that there would need to be a great deal of flexibility in how we operated in this ever-changing industry and with our manner of self-governing. As such, we developed our Operational Guidelines to serve as flexible “bylaws” that all members can see on our website. This document allows for the Board of Directors to amend and update as needed without the time and expense of engaging a notary.
Now, after seven years operating under this dual “bylaws” arrangement, it is time to make some changes to our manner of incorporation. These changes will be explained by our Chairman, Francisco Wendt, during the first morning of the 10th Anniversary Convention. That will be followed by a general assembly discussion and final vote of the membership on adopting the changes proposed. This new revised charter will then be filed with the Spanish Government and the EPIA will continue on its path to improving the packaged ice industry in Europe.
We have reached a milestone that we can all be proud of attaining. Every EPIA producer member has provided documentation of HACCP Certification that is at least as rigorous as the EPIA PIQS requirements. This has been a confusing journey with so many levels of certifications, so many certifying organizations and so many certifications. This year, the BoD engaged a professional auditor who conducts food industry certifications of many kinds to evaluate the PIQS requirements and compare them to the major certifications used in the food industry (these being BRC Version 7, IFS, and ISO 22000:2005). This document is now complete and will be posted on the EPIA website for all to use, as needed. The second phase of this study was to provide a list of recommended auditors fully capable to conduct an acceptable HACCP audit. This list is not all inclusive but is a reference point for finding local auditors near your facilities.
During this current year, your BoD has accomplished several initiatives and to continue these successes into the future years, we are proposing a more inclusive way of operating. To ensure the initiatives are truly the desire of the full membership, each Director will propose an initiative for 2019 and present it to the membership during the convention. Once all potential initiatives have been discussed, there will be a general assembly vote to decide which initiatives will be worked on during the ensuing year. The proposing Director or his successor will then be the lead for that initiative and solicit the help of other members who would like to participate to help that initiative come to fruition. If any member would like to also propose an initiative and participate in its execution, please prepare something to discuss during the convention or send your ideas to the BoD.