During the second Board meeting, held in Barcelona (Spain), from November 4-7, World Packaging Organization (WPO, worldpackaging.org)Executive Committeeand Board decided to continue supporting packaging education programs around the world, but especially in developing countries. “In fact, for 2014 WPO has committed more funds than ever before for education support. We understand the importance of promoting packaging education around the world. One of our primary missions is to provide incentives and support for these programs. Through these efforts, WPO contributes to a “Better quality of life” for societies around the world”, states Tom Schneider, WPO’s president.

During the Barcelona meeting, WPOEducation Committee, led by Gordon Stewart, received and analyzed six proposals for packaging training projects to be held during 2014. In order of priority to receive WPO’s funding, are: Ghana, Nigeria, Vietnam, Turkey, Sri Lanka and India. WPO is now studying each program to decide the best way to fund them, including soliciting funding through sponsorships. It was also decided that all programs approved are required to submit a report to WPO with their results along with photos. These reports will be used as an instrument to recommend improvements and to encourage more sponsorship for future programs.

During 2013, WPO supported some very successful packaging training programs. A recent one was the 5 day Residential Training Program on Packaging Technology (September 18-24) accomplished in Lagos, Nigeria, that joined 34 students from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. As part of it, the students participated on presentations about specific topics and visited three local packaging converters and end users.

Another one, organized by APO (African Packaging Organization), a WPO member, was a training program focused on Competitiveness Through Quality Packaging (October 28-29), in Kenya. The program joined 20 students with the objective exposing small and medium enterprises (SME’s) to packaging as a tool for adding value to products and improving business performance. The program was also supported by a new local government agency that works for the development of SME’s.