WPA and Natures Packaging: What you should know

February 1, 2016

Scott Geffros

January 2016 arrived and with it came the anticipation of the year to come.  From coast to coast the predominant feeling of CWPCA members is that times are pretty good in our industry. Demand for both new and reclaimed product is strong; domestic lumber markets seem relatively stable, and the low loonie is creating a strong appetite for Canadian lumber and wood packaging in the USA.  Similarly, times seem to be good in the US.  

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Western Pallet Association’s (WPA) Annual General Meeting where there was an overwhelming feeling of optimism for 2016. Equipment manufacturers reported strong sales, as did pallet manufacturing and recycling facilities. I was pleased to represent our association and wish to thank the WPA and their members for making the CWPCA feel welcome. I would be remiss if I did not also send out congratulations to CWPCA Director (and Treasurer) Sukhi Brar for his new appointment to serve the WPA on their Board of Directors, and to CWPCA member Dave Uppal for his appointment as the Vice President of the WPA following his term as Treasurer.  We are looking forward to enhancing our association’s relationship with both the WPA and the NWPCA in the years to come.

The WPA meeting was abuzz with excitement centered around two words:  Nature’s Packaging. For those who are not aware, the CWPCA, NWPCA, and WPA have teamed up in a sustainability endeavor called Nature’s Packaging, where members and staff of the three organizations are working together to tell the great story of our industry.  While not a surprise, the overwhelming support for Nature’s Packaging was evident in the WPA events where a special auction raised over $50, 000 to contribute to the cause!  There is genuine excitement and anticipation amongst their members regarding the resources that Nature’s Packaging will provide them. 

To date our teams have been busy researching and identifying ways and means to support positive messaging by way of concrete and accurate data, aimed at debunking the negative stereotypes associated with wood packaging.  We are pleased to announce that we are aiming to launch the website prior to month’s end (and before the NWPCA’s Annual Leadership Conference) and hope that you will all take some time to investigate the content.  A special thanks goes out to the CWPCA members who are volunteering their time to this endeavor: Mark-Patrick Tame (Herwood Inc.), Phil LeBlanc (Ressources Lumber), Dave Uppal (Pioneer Pallet), Rob Anderson (St. Boniface Pallet), and Jeff Doman (CHEP Canada).

More information about Nature’s Packaging will follow, and we will be sending out an announcement to members prior to the website launch.  We ask any of our members who are curious about this industry initiative to call either Brian Isard or myself and ask questions.  We would be happy to talk about this international project and how it will play a pivotal role in raising awareness about our industry as well as helping our members maintain and increase their market share against the growing presence of packaging built from alternate materials.

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