CSPA Swings into Action

June 8, 2009

Despite economic turmoil, attendance remained steady at the mid-year meeting of the Consumer Specialty Products Association—proving that passion still plays a role in today’s business environment.

CSPA Swings into Action

Despite economic turmoil, attendance remained steady at the mid-year meeting of the Consumer Specialty Products Association—proving that passion still plays a role in today’s business environment.

Tom Branna
Editorial Director

Tough times demand bold actions. If attendees of the Consumer Specialty Prod- ucts Association (CSPA) mid-year meeting thought that the current recession should keep them from launching bold initiatives, CSPA chairman Frank Jusich reminded them how throughout history, military and business leaders not only survived but thrived after taking decisive action during difficult times.

For example, during the Korean War, despite naysayers within the U.S. Navy, General Douglas MacArthur decided to launch an ambitious amphibious landing at Inchon. But it took all of Gen. MacArthur's powers of persuasion to sell his concept to doubting Army, Navy and Marine Corps commanders. Ultimately, however, the assault was a success as U.S. soldiers and Korean units were able to recapture Seoul two weeks later.

“MacArthur had more confidence in the Navy than the Navy did in itself,” noted Mr. Jusich, during the opening session of CSPA’s mid-year meeting, which was held in Chicago, May 5-8.

Similarly, he reminded the audience of a Winston Churchill quote that is apropos to the challenges faced by industry today.

“Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential,” said the British Prime Minister when England was in the throes of World War II.

But bold actions and efforts aren’t restricted to the battlefield. Mr. Jusich recalled that Procter & Gamble created the soap opera concept during The Great Depression and actually doubled its advertising budget every two years during that difficult period.

And finally, after the aerosol industry was going through gut-wrenching times during the 1970s, the business still managed to thrive; CSPA’s aerosol division celebrated its 60th anniversary during the mid-year meeting.

“Further innovation is needed, but the will to succeed will propel us forward,” Mr. Jusich reminded the audience. “Without passion there is no spark of innovation.”

As author of The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, keynote speaker Sir Ken Robinson told those in attendance that most adults don’t know what their true talents are. He urged the audience to “shake off the ideas that hypnotize us.

Instead, he urged those in the audience to use their imagination, which leads to creativity and innovation.

“Legions of people are enthralled with ideas that don’t work,” he insisted.

Passion Aplenty

These days, sales and profits may be off from recent years, but there is no lack of passion among CSPA members. In fact, the association continues to grow during tough times, adding 16 new members in the past two years.

CSPA president Chris Cathcart
Chris Cathcart, president of CSPA, reminded the audience how much the association and its members have achieved during the past year. During the 110th session of Congress, a coalition, led by CSPA and the Natural Resources Defense Council, consisting of industry, environmental and labor/farm worker interests, successfully passed the Pesticide Registration Improvement Renewal Act (PRIA II) and worked hard to protect the important benefits it provides. In addition to reducing the time needed to bring new, innovative public health products to market, PRIA II provides dedicated funding to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Office of Pesticide Programs and more money for worker protection and pesticide safety education.

In the Fall of 2007, the association defended aerosols after several non-government organizations (NGOs) filed a petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to assess the risk to the public from exposure to air fresheners. Throughout the process, CSPA met several times with EPA and the NGOs to try to reach a resolution. Ultimately, the EPA sided with industry and denied the petitioners’ request for more regulation of the air freshener industry.

In other important areas such as reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), CSPA is working with NGOs to let them know what the association is and what it stands for.The plan seems to be working, as some environmental groups are eager to work with CSPA.

“We have environmental groups who say that it’s important for CSPA to be involved,” noted Mr. Cathcart.

To help reform the 30-year-old TSCA document, CSPA is also working with the Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

Similarly, CSPA, SDA and the Canadian Consumer Specialty Pro- ducts Association (CCSPA) have develop an ingredient communication initiative as a way to provide consumers with information about the ingredients used in four major categories: air care, automotive care, cleaning, and polishes and floor maintenance products. Now, the associations have asked the Sierra Club to get on board with the program, which creates a uniform system for providing ingredient information to consumers in a meaningful and easy-to-understand way.

“There’s been a sea change in how business is regulated. The role we play and the NGOs play has shifted dramatically,” explained Mr. Cathcart. “Compromise and relationship building is the key.”

Richard Song Wins CSPA’s 2009 Glauberman Scholarship

Richard Song of Plano, TX received the 2009 Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA) Murray Glauberman Memorial Scholarship Award. The four-year, $2,000 per year scholarship was
CSPA chairman Frank Jusich (left) and Paul Hiznay (right) congratulate Richard Song for earning the Glauberman scholarship.
created in honor of the late Murray Glauberman, 1986 chairman of CSPA’s board of directors.

The scholarship is presented annually to a high school senior demonstrating outstanding academic achievement and leadership qualities and whose parent is employed full time by a CSPA member company. Richard is the son of Max Song and Min Xie, an employee of Central Life Sciences, Schaumburg, IL.

Richard, who attended Shepton High School, received a combined SAT score of 2370, including a perfect 800 in math. He will attend Rice University and plans to study math and economics.

U.S. Aerosol Fillings Exceed 3.6 Billion in 2008

The 58th annual Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA) Aerosol Pressurized Products Survey has revealed 2008 as the fifth highest year for U.S. aerosol production, with North America maintaining a 33% market share of global aerosol production. Personal care and household products rank as the two strongest product categories.

“Despite the economic crisis, our survey results suggest consumer demand for aerosol products remains strong,” said CSPA president Chris Cathcart.

The survey, which reports the unit volume of aerosols filled and shipped for domestic use in 2008, as well as estimates for Canadian and Mexican production, has served for more than half a century as the primary index of the business strength of the aerosol products industry. It was fitting that the survey was released at CSPA’s Mid-Year Meeting in Illinois, the aerosol capitol of the U.S. Illinois produces 35% of all aerosol products made in the U.S.

The survey estimates overall unit production of 3.643 billion aerosols in the U.S. in 2008. This represents a 0.3% decrease from 2007, which was the third highest year for production at 3.655 billion units. 2005 was the highest year with 3.738 billion units produced. CSPA estimates total North American aerosol production in 2008 was 4.072 billion units, representing a 0.8% decline from 2007.

More info: www.cspa.org