At last the UK packaging industry is rationalising its lobbying power. When faced with a confusing array of bodies and their missives, decision makers and opinion formers – such as politicians, civil servants and the media – tend to give less credence to a cause. A fragmented approach will never have the impact of a ‘joint forces’ initiative.

Recently, we have seen government recognition for the industry, resulting in the establishment of a training body – the IoP begins its transition into a global body and now association harmony – these are heady times.

Admittedly, the Packaging Federation-led lobbying group is decidedly materials oriented but any move to focus six into one has to be applauded.

The individual associations will retain their identities for specific sector lobbying, marketing and technical matters, but this does not in anyway detract from the progress that has been made.

Indeed, it makes sense for, while many of the important issues will warrant a unified voice, there will always be individual sector interests and matters to be dealt with.

As Packaging Federation chief executive Ian Dent points out, the industry has a number of critical issues to face in the coming year. This move could be crucial in ensuring its opinions are listened to.

Gerry Duggin