Once more unto the breach…

Dick SearleIt was my great pleasure to be in Stratford upon Avon this month. Something of the Bard must have been in the air because the messages given and the audience receiving it provided a very good fit indeed.

The occasion was the environment seminar of the Foodservice Packaging Assocation, a member trade association of The Packaging Federation. The turnout was very healthy and the sessions were well structured and well organised. All credit to Martin Kersh, FSPA secretary, and FSPA chairman Neil Whittall of Huhtamaki UK for presiding over things.

As I walked to the podium to make The Packaging Federation presentation – the last presentation of the conference – it was clear to me that we were going to enjoy ourselves.  As you might expect, I generally work off a standard powerpoint module to introduce myself, the PF and packaging issues. However, the material is always structured for topicality and ad libbing and I try to make it fresh and new every time.

My Stratford audience certainly thought so – and was sympathetic and appreciative. Sometimes it just takes a thought or the right word to dislodge and articulate the truths that are self-evident. Those who know me will realise that preaching to the converted is something that I try to avoid. However, encouraging our own industry simply to know its strengths and to act upon them is for me a 101 requirement. It’s also a task that, for the sake of reason and common sense, is absolutely necessary.

And oftentimes we simply need a little fun and ‘kiddology’ to get the ball rolling and see the world straight again.  For example – ‘How much packaging do we sell to consumers?’ I am often fond of asking companies. The correct answer is none, of courseConsumers buy products. Packaging is simply the delivery system that brings those products to market.

Thanks to Simon Twilley and PackTV, who were present at the FPA event, these and other messages are now preserved and available over the internet. Simon’s PackTV gives our sector a regular and interesting diet of news and features in a handy format that is designed for our YouTube age.

Some of you will have seen me in this mode and setting. The message is familiar but I make no apology for that. A variety of media formats and offerings are key to keeping our message alive with all. Please do check out Simon’s site at www.packtv.co.uk where you’ll find me under his recent FPA coverage. Enjoy!

Many thanks again

Dick Searle

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