The National Food Processors Association (NFPA) has announced that the association's name will be changed to the Food Products Association (FPA). The name change will be phased in during the first half of 2005.
"The name change reflects the continuing evolution of this association," said president and CEO John R. Cady. "NFPA now offers representation to an increasingly broad range of members -- including not only new types of food companies but also restaurants, retail grocers, and suppliers to the industry. The term 'processors' no longer reflects our full membership; in fact, the word does not resonate with our many audiences. Additionally, our new name reflects that the association's scope is more than 'national,' which will be helpful in our activities in the international arena."
A task force of member companies -- including several members of the board of directors -- led the process of developing a new name for the association. NFPA's board of directors unanimously approved the name change at its meeting in Washington, D.C.
The association was founded in 1907 as the National Canners Association, a science-based trade association representing the producers of commercial canned goods. Over the years, the scope of the association's services expanded to include government affairs, communications, services such as claims and insurance and subsidiaries such as the Food Processors Institute, the association's educational affiliate.
In 1978, the association was renamed the National Food Processors Association to underscore that it had increased its scope to represent a variety of processing and packaging technologies -- including drying, canning and freezing -- for fruit, vegetable, and grain products, meat, poultry, and seafood products, snacks, drinks and juices. Additional NFPA affiliates -- including The National Food Laboratory (The NFL), the association's for-profit laboratory subsidiary, and the Supplier Audits for Food Excellence (SAFE) program -- have expanded the association's focus and service offerings.
"Our new name will better communicate this association's focus and who we represent to various audiences, including government, consumers and media, in the U.S. and worldwide," Cady noted. "We believe that it will help create a better understanding of this association and its activities on behalf of the food products industry."
In addition to the name change, Cal Dooley, a member of Congress from California for the past 14 years, has been named the new president and CEO of the NFPA. He will begin working at NFPA in early 2005.
"For the past 14 years in Congress, Dooley has demonstrated a deep knowledge of and support for the food industry and its issues," said John Ruff, chairman of NFPA's board of directors and senior vice president of global quality and scientific and regulatory affairs for Kraft Foods Inc. "After a rigorous search, Dooley was the unanimous choice to lead NFPA. His leadership skills and balanced perspectives on food and agriculture issues will be invaluable to this association and its member companies."
Until announcing his retirement earlier this year from the U.S. House of Representatives, Dooley represented the 20th District of California. He served as a member of Congress since 1991. He served on the House Agriculture Committee, and was ranking minority member of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry. He also served on the House Resources Committee.
"As a member of the Agriculture Committee, Dooley's knowledge of food issues has been invaluable," noted Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), vice chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. "He will bring a wealth of personal experience in food and agriculture to his new position."
Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia), a former member of the House of Representatives, said, "As my former colleague on the House Agriculture Committee, Dooley served with me on the General Farm Commodities Subcommittee as the ranking member and we traveled the country holding hearings. I consider Cal a good friend, and he has a thorough understanding of agriculture which will benefit the association greatly. I know he will do an excellent job, and I look forward to working with him."
Dooley is a fourth-generation farmer and partner in Dooley Farms, growing cotton, alfalfa and walnuts at his farm in California's San Joaquin Valley.
"Throughout his time in Congress, Cal has been deeply involved in issues related to food and agriculture," said Cady, who retires on January 7, 2005. "He is a superb choice to continue NFPA's tradition of leadership on vital issues for the food industry."