Contract packaging is “hot.” Survey results (Packaging World, April 2004) show that more than four in 10 companies will increase their use of contract packaging services during the next two years. Various estimates put the industry’s annual growth at 15 to 40%.
Yet contract packaging remains a misunderstood corner of the industry among firms that might enhance their bottom line by buying or providing these services. The publishers of PW, seeing the need to bridge this information gap, will introduce Contract Packaging magazine in 2005. CP magazine will serve as the official publication of the Contract Packaging Association, kicking off with a monthly e-newsletter in early 2005. The magazine will publish a print version twice in 2005, with the April and September issues of PW.
Contract Packaging editor Jim George asked John Mazelin, CPA president, to discuss the organization and its goals.
Q: What is the Contract Packaging Association?
A: The association started in 1992 to give direction to and serve as a voice for the contract packaging industry. Previously known as the Contract Manufacturing and Packaging Association, the organization is shortening its name to more accurately reflect the work of its membership. The CPA holds an annual meeting at which end-user companies and suppliers hold open educational forums. The meeting is also a source for sales training. A major function of the CPA is its role as an information clearinghouse for its 45 member companies. Member companies employ roughly 20 to 200 people each.
Q: The CPA is undergoing a bit of a “rebirth.” What are the new objectives?
A: Recently, the association brought Landon-Farrey Associates of Naperville, IL, on board to manage the organization’s day-to-day activities. The CPA believes that with Landon-Farrey’s larger staff and contacts, membership can increase to 200 companies. An immediate goal is to increase the visibility of the organization and its members. In addition, the CPA wants to continue to upgrade the quality of its services in areas such as human resources information and education in managing distribution and logistics activities. The association also would like to add a second meeting each year.
Q: What is the association doing to accomplish these goals?
A: In general, it is working to nurture a more professional perception of the contract packaging business. We see three ways of accomplishing this objective. First, the association’s revamped Web site, www.contractpackaging.org, should be online by the end of 2004, offering an expanded array of information and services. Second, plans are under way to develop a new directory of contract packagers. Finally, we want the association to participate more formally in packaging shows and conferences.
Q: How can someone become a CPA member, and what are the benefits?
A: Registration can be completed at www.contractpackaging.org. Membership is $1귔 per year. One major benefit is that members increase exposure to potential buyers for their specialized services. For example, through a service called Request for Quote, all inquiries for information sent through the association’s online service are delivered to members’ e-mails for consideration and response.
Q: Packaging Services Expo (www.pack servicesexpo.com) will debut next spring. Talk a little about the show.
A: The show will take place May 10-12, 2005 at the Donald E. Stephens Conven-
tion Center in Rosemont, IL. The show, organized by the Tarsus Group, is being planned as a focused marketplace for contract and packaging solutions. The anticipated attendance of 4ꯠ decision-makers will include both consumer and business-to-business companies looking to partner with contract packagers, contract manufacturers, package designers, packaging consultants, package testing labels and prototype developers, and more. Visit www.pack servicesexpo.com for details. —JG