The revitalised IoP will work hard to broaden its membership, expand its services range and internationalise its role, says chief executive Lynda Purser.

What a wonderful Spring this is – the relaunch of the Institute of Packaging to over 25 000 people at Total, the highest attendance ever at our Packaging Industry Dinner and Starpack Awards, and membership recruitment figures for March 2004 up 900% on the same period last year.

Please join me in thanking my team for all their hard work and dedication in the run-up to the event.

We signed up the first new member within 10 minutes of opening our Total stand, receiving accolade after accolade both for the stand itself and our work to revitalise the IoP. We have, of course, more to do yet to ensure the IoP is open and transparent in its dealings and strong and knowledgeable in its provision of services for members and the industry.

After Total I travelled to Brussels to attend a meeting of the European Packaging Industry Consortium, which was formed quite recently and has 12 members – Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Italy, UK, Spain, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden and Denmark.

Being involved helps add a European dimension to the IoP’s work and it will be hugely interesting to see the developments it can bring about and what EPIC’s relationship with the World Packaging Organisation will be. I do feel we must ensure that what the IoP does is strong enough to make it respected worldwide for its training, qualifications, membership services and increasing activity in the commercial world.

We are ready to provide web-based services which will facilitate business operations across the sector, and are also embarking on the challenging route to become chartered. This will require us to increase our overall membership, attract more graduate members and adopt a more professional approach to membership itself.

We are also becoming increasingly international with our training. Interest is being expressed not only in China and Sri Lanka but also in Turkey and Greece. This is in addition to continuing programmes worldwide.

We are poised to be the significant organisation of influence for people in the packaging industry globally.

Lynda Purser