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IOP members back merger, but PPMA persists

Institute of Packaging members have formally voted for the Institute's proposed merger with the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (IOM3).

At a London EGM on January 24, 24 members voted in favour, and four against, while 218 postal votes were received supporting the merger and 35 opposing it.

The vote had been preceded by a letter sent to all 2,200 IOP members by the Processing and Packaging Machinery Association (PPMA) on January 14 offering to financially and practically back “the alternative of “a new fully independent institution for packaging industry professionals”.

Andrew Manly, PPMA general secretary, said: “We believe it is time to offer UK packaging professionals an independent organisation, fully focussed on members’ needs and providing a qualification truly valued within the industry. While the IOM3 is an excellent trade body, what real knowledge has it of packaging?”

An IOP counter-letter issued a few days later dubbed the PPMA proposal “unnecessary and a duplication of present resources” and argued it would be likely to “create further sub-division and loss of focus”.

After the vote result was announced , Manly said he had received over 200 letters supporting the PPMA’s initiative. He intends recommending to the PPMA board’s next meeting on February 9 that proposals for an alternative packaging association be “taken to the next step” via further gauging of IOP members’ views. He added: “I think those IOP members voting for the IOM3 merger have taken a poor, short-termist decision; I remain unconvinced the IOM3 is the proper environment for a clearly identifiable packaging association.”