March 23, 2020
Dear fellow icemen, icewomen and all EPIA members,
Our packaged ice association, the EPIA, is not merely a social club, but is the extended family made up of responsible packaged ice producers, distributors, and all member companies providing the items that make ice production possible. Your elected Board of Directors has the responsibility to guide the EPIA actions to help build a strong packaged ice industry in Europe. We can only do that with physically and financially healthy members.
With this responsibility in mind, we have been discussing during the past couple of weeks, how best to do this during 2020. Some of the things we have evaluated are as follows:
Your EPIA BoD will be supporting our members to the extent we can throughout this very unreal biological event. The immediate steps we have taken are as follows:
• Reduce the dues by 50% for members during 2020.
We then have the financial risks associated with the convention in Malta during 5-9 October 2020. Each year we start our convention planning almost immediately after the convention just held. Again this year we commenced this planning with a hotel selection in December/January and settled a negotiated contract in February. At this point we obligate the EPIA for financial exposure for many facilities, services, events, and other activities associated with the convention. With the CoronaVirus upheaval, we have been discussing at length how to keep the EPIA safe from forfeited security deposits required for the hotel meeting space, hotel services for meals and events, as well as rooms, translation services, special events, transportation, and all the incidentals associated with the convention planning. Our first step three weeks ago was to negotiate a no initial deposit with the signed contract with the hotel agreement and substitute a first right of refusal in the event another organization were to contract for our space and time slot. That is still in effect and actually saves us a great deal of money for the time being. Our current options looked to be as follows:
convention time of year—Late September through late October.
One of the most beneficial activities for EPIA members is the ability to congregate and exchange ideas, successes, failures, lessons learned, and new approaches to ice production. With a great deal of disappointment, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 convention in Malta for October 2020. We will be discussing this with the hotel and will reschedule the same venue for October 2021.
Please follow your countries guidelines and protect yourselves, families, and loved ones from this virus and take whatever steps needed to keep your businesses sound for 2020 and the future.
We are the package ice industry of Europe. We need all of us to continue to build the packaged ice industry of the future.