The French National Beverages Association is the professional organisation uniting and representing wholesale distributors in the beverages industry and Out-of-home Consumption Distributors (OHCD) who cater to the OHC market (Out-of-Home consumption: bars, hotels, restaurants, associations, private events, etc.).
It is a place for members to meet, exchange, and share their expertise. The FNB represents and defends the industry’s common interests. As the organisation’s Chief Executive, I reach out to our partners in the beverages industry, public authorities and institutions, and any other stakeholder, in order to make our voices heard and to undertake actions to highlight our specific interests.
As the only representative employers’ association, the FNB also manages the social and training policies for the industry, in application of transparency and compliance principles as well as the democratic process inherent to collective bargaining and parity.
On a wider scale, the FNB assists and advises its members on a variety of subjects such as fiscal, social, and legal issues in a context of complex regulations. We also keep them up to date via our various means of communications (website, members’ newsletter, open letters, and the e-dhcd-mag).
The FNB has taken an active role in the “Packaging and deposit systems: overview of reuse systems” working group. Could you briefly describe your point of view on the way this workshop was managed and carried out? What could be improved?
Carrying out such an undertaking in such a short deadline, while involving every relevant stakeholder, is a great accomplishment in itself! The subject was very complex to understand given the variety of players, divergent views, but also “myths” which needed to be clarified; it can often be difficult to obtain sufficiently reliable data to have objective debates. In conclusion, although I regret that some members were unwilling to contribute even though they were carrying out experiments on the matter, I like to believe that thanks to the listening and dialogue quality provided by all participants, this document will be welcome and useful in debates and changes to come.
This working group published a document about reuse. What are the highlights of this document?
First of all, the fact that these systems are used in a much wider range of industries and sectors than we think and that their use should be more promoted. Only when the different actors of the product’s lifetime are all associated is it sometimes possible to change dogmatic views. This allows us to conceive new models – often pertinent from an economic and environmental standpoint – in order to optimize flow management and limit waste production.
And finally, it would be smart to standardize the definitions found in legislation and regulations on a European level, at least when it comes to terminology, in order to avoid making the subject more complex than it already is.
As an FNB entity, what are some of your members’ packaging-related concerns that the CNE could investigate in a context of working groups or any other information means (morning brief, etc.)?
We are convinced that using refillable and returnable packaging in out-of-home consumption (OHC) is relevant in some product categories. First for our clients and suppliers who don’t have to worry about the waste generated by other packaging formats. And second because these same stakeholders are given a way to distinguish themselves from other places of consumption beyond any environmental and service advantages since we manage related logistic flows for them. In a world where packaging waste management is crucial, every industry player has responsibilities and can be aware of the benefits of once again offering this type of product, as long as it seems relevant to the time of consumption (restaurant service). A dedicated working group, which would also include OHC client professional organisations, could be set up. Morning briefs could also be organised in the presence of manufacturers who are in favour of maintaining this format in OHC. Moreover, the CNE could investigate on the wider subject of beverage packaging management in OHC and the opportunities to develop a dedicated sector based on our initiative.
Do you have any suggestions to develop the CNE’s activities and visibility?
Separate B to B topics and involve more players such as specialised distribution and mid-level wholesale distributors, which have an approach and a client relationship very different compared to B to C activities.