A Word from the General Manager - January 2014

January 1, 2014

Brian Isard

 
A New Year is in front of us.
 
If we look back on 2013, perhaps the most important step taken by the Association was to solidify our relationship with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency with the signing of a new three year renewable Third Part Oversight Agreement for the operation of the Canadian Wood Packaging Certification Program. We successfully resisted attempts to have the lumber industry gain oversight over the wood packaging industry, and ensured that our inspection services continue to remain cost effective for our 480 registered clients across Canada.
 
In a marketplace where good data is almost non-existent, our Head Office staff was able to influence key decision makers both in industry and the government by developing our own sources of data through industry surveys.
 
From this experience we learned a good lesson: when we have facts to back up our arguments we can be very persuasive and strengthen our market position.
 
In 2014 your Association has a number of key initiatives that we will be working on that I would like to share with our members.
 
1. We will be taking steps to have our website operate in both French and English in an effort to reach out to the many industry participants in Quebec and various parts of the Maritimes.
 
2. Our Association has partnered with Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS) to act as consultants and develop a Virtual Safety Group available to our association members. WSPS will be familiar to some Ontario members who have sought a professional safety organization to provide industry-specific solutions to help achieve improvements in health & safety performance.
 
This initiative will incorporate several new features designed to improve workplace health & safety:
 
Build a Virtual Safety Group: Provide access through our website portal in order to give our members across Canada quick access to safety tools in order to better engage employees, better utilize our scarce time resources and reduce paper burden related to safety management program
 
Conduct a Safety Needs Assessment: Our members have a wide variety of areas they need support in. Within the next two months we will conduct a survey with our members and identify which areas need attention based on perceived industry needs and priorities being set by regulatory agencies. We will use injury/illness trends from the workmen’s compensation injury data to help prioritize areas for improvement (e.g. ergonomics, machine safety.
 
Develop Written Safety Program & Implementation Tools: Complete five safety program policy/procedures elements towards building a comprehensive safety program manual designed to meet the needs of the wood packaging industry. Develop safety procedures training tools including bi-monthly support through newsletters for use in consultation with plant safety committees.
 
Support Members by Providing Access to Expert Safety Consultants: Provide confidential one-on-one consultation support with safety professionals for members on local workplace issues. 
 
Set Out Measurable Objectives: Our goals are to keep your employees healthy and safe, reduce workplace accident frequency and injury severity over the next five years and provide the organization support to demonstrate to the regulatory agencies our commitment to improve workplace safety to do so.
 
3. Develop marketing programs to help protect our industry from misinformation and better demonstrate the merits of wood packaging relative to other  materials such as plastic.
 
4. Prepare for the advent of the new frequency of inspections starting in January 2015 and organizing the CWPCP Inspection Services for these added responsibilities, including streamlining our internal workflows and looking closely at our costs to meet the new inspection frequencies and subsequent changes to the client fee structure. 
 
5. Strengthen our relationships with our sister Associations, the National Wood Pallet and Container Association and European Federation of Wooden Pallet and Packaging Manufacturers, to speak with “one voice” for the wood packaging industry on such issues as examining the science behind the decisions being taken on ISPM-15 and the standards being introduced to ensure that they are harmonized between countries which ultimately serve to protect of the world’s forests.
 
The next few months will be critical ones with many members watching closely on what will happen with the Canadian Pallet Council’s continued operations, whether lumber prices and supply will follow last year’s pattern, and whether the US government will come out with a decision on the termination of the ISPM-15 Bilateral Exemption.
 
In the meantime, on behalf of our staff, our Board of Directors, and the various working committees that support our Association, I wish you all a safe and injury free year in 2014.

11-1884 Merivale Road, Ottawa, ON, K2G 1E6
T. 613.521.6468 or 1.877.224.3555 F. 613.521.1835 or 866.375.1835
info@canadianpallets.com
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