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Membership and influence grows as AFFI celebrates 50th anniversary.

It was fifty years ago this year that nineteen frozen food packers formed the National Association of Food Packers (NAFFP), which is now the American Frozen Food Institute, in response to the shortage of food during the war. Their budget was $13,000. At the end of the decade, NAFFP had 126 members.

Today, AFFI's membership stands at a record breaking 550 companies. Since 1990, 205 new companies have joined AFFI. These record-breaking membership levels have increased AFFI's influence throughout the industry, the trade, the government and the media. In addition, it has infused enthusiasm and a positive attitude throughout the membership.

The reason AFFI's membership numbers are the highest they have been in 50 years is because the association has been providing services that address the needs and desires of all companies involved in the membership. More and more companies are looking to AFFI for support and leadership during these very challenging times.

From government relations, to international activities, to research and technical services, to education, to scientific research, to physical distribution, to public and trade relations, the industry looks to AFFI to take the lead in planning for today and for tomorrow.

As AFFI builds for its next 50 years, we must remember that the only constant is change. There are constantly new technologies and ceaseless improvements in materials and processing methods. These new technologies and improvements obsolete established approaches and replace them with those that are most cost-effective and efficient.

As AFFI celebrates the Golden Anniversary of its founding, it's important to remember our proud past and our many achievements.

However, it is also important that we are looking toward the future. Many futurists have written that trade associations will be very prominent institutions in the decades ahead and that associations will play an even greater role in our society as we move into the 21st Century. I strongly believe this to be the case. This increased role, however, will not happen by itself.

To begin with, the question we must ask ourselves is not what we can expect to happen to the industry in the future, but what AFFI wants to happen to our industry in the future.

AFFI must articulate its mission to the membership and the industry, and establish future programs and activities that will capture the enthusiasm and imagination of all those involved in the frozen food industry.

Guiding an association in these times is challenging. We will not succeed if we are intimidated by problems and uncertainties. AFFI must have a shared vision that will excite the industry, and provide services to the membership to harness and direct conditions for our purposes.

Frozen foods' successful position in the marketplace is a direct result of the quality, convenience and nutrition of these products. I believe that quality, convenience and healthfulness will drive frozen food sales in years to come.

Albert Einstein once wrote, "I never think of the future. It comes soon enough." And surely it does. But we are not all Einsteins...we have to think of the future. When we are not building for the future, we are stealing from it. It is important that AFFI, through all of our programs, activities and issues, never loses sight of the yet unforeseen potential of this wonderful industry.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Frozen Food Digest, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:American Frozen Food Institute
Author:Anderson, Steven C.
Publication:Frozen Food Digest
Date:Oct 1, 1992
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