DALLAS -- The Closure and Container Manufacturers Association will become part of the International Society of Beverage Technologists on April 1.
The CCMA board and ISBT officials finalized the merger late last week. Representatives from both organizations will form a group to coordinate the transition.
“The CCMA board has decided that the time is right to tap into the resources of a larger organization with which we already share several common interests and initiatives,” said CCMA Chairman Roy Robinson in a March 11 news release. “We now look forward to using our collective efforts to tackle key industry issues together.”
Robinson is also vice president of business development for Portola Packaging Inc.
Combining the two groups will be beneficial for everyone, said Larry Hobbs, executive director of ISBT, by phone.
CCMA was founded more than 25 years ago. The group represents those in the closures and containers businesses as well as related packaging industry suppliers.
The Barrington, Ill.,-based organization claims that its member companies represent the majority of North American closure manufacturers and a large segment of North American container manufactures.
Those members will bring a lot of expertise to ISBT, especially in areas, like sustainability, where the organization is looking to grow, Hobbs said.
Unlike CCMA, membership to ISBT is done on an individual basis. Membership is open to anyone involved in the science, technology or production of beverages, including bottlers, suppliers and scientists.
Representatives from CCMA member companies will be invited to join ISBT. They will have to apply to join the organization, but the membership process will be expedited, Hobbs said, noting that there is already some overlap between CCMA and ISBT membership.
The two groups have discussed ways to involve CCMA officers in leadership positions at ISBT, but ISBT's executive board has already been established for this year, Hobbs said.
Next year, I'm confident we'll see CCMA members on the board, he added.
ISBT is organized into technical committees that that cover various areas of the non-alcoholic beverage industry. Those committees prepare industry manuals, develop quality guidelines and procedures and discuss new technical issues and developments. They also prepare papers and seminars for presentation at ISBT's annual meeting, BevTech.
CCMA members who join ISTB will be able to participate in those committees, which include packaging technology, quality and beverage operations and processing, Hobbs said.
Committees are broken down into subcommittees that focus on establishing particular guidelines, methods or standards. CCMA has coordinated with ISBT on finish and closure standards for several years as part of the groups' Threadspec subcommittee.
Once guidelines are finalized, they are distributed worldwide and find their way into government and corporate standards. Combining with CCMA will help to leverage those guidelines, Hobb said.
“I think now perhaps we can speak with a larger voice,” he said.
ISBT founded in 1953, bills itself as the premier technical society for professionals in the beverage industry. The group, based in Dallas, has more than 800 members from 45 countries.
The group holds education programs, forums and meetings in the U.S., Europe and Mexico, including programs at the annual PackExpo and a conference at drinktec in Munich, Germany.