New IFSA president, James Ball of Flying Food Group, turns the spotlight on industry collaboration.
The year ahead is going to be challenging and my goal is to continue the great work already underway at IFSA to increase membership value and promote active membership participation.
The mission is to help the industry navigate through the challenges it faces, to be the voice of the industry, grow international engagement and ensure we are strongly represented in government affairs.
It has been a long time, for example, since the industry had to face such a big issue as the ban on single-use plastics. It’s a big change and there are no easy solutions, but as the trade association, IFSA can be the focal point, pulling together expertise and helping to find answers. Initiatives were discussed in L.A and we were also pleased IFSA’s executive director, Lauren Costello, could join the sustainability debate at FTE-APEX Asia EXPO in Singapore.
The educational side to IFSA’s activities are also increasingly important as a way to share best practice among members so we can learn from each other.
The alignment of IFSA with APEX is very positive and enables us to grow our conference activities and EXPOs to provide more thought leadership and more opportunities to share best practice. While we do so much today electronically, there is still a need and great advantage to sometimes coming together face to face, especially when we are all working on similar problems and working on complex issues. On such issues competitors accept they need to get together and find industry-wide solutions to global problems that affect both airlines and suppliers.
For this reason, next year in San Diego, California, the IFSA/APEX Expo will include more speaker sessions, educational presentations and targeted roundtable debates designed to encourage further understanding and debate across the industry.
This year’s sessions were of a significantly higher level and relevance to what we have done before and this will continue as we encourage more airline CEOs from beyond the region to attend as well as more key caterers. We fully understand that costs and other commitments can make it hard to attend but our role will be to help demonstrate the value of IFSA and ensure our are ‘must-attend’ events.