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Consumer Packaged Goods Industry is a Major Part of U.S. Economic Engine

October 2, 2015

By: Jim Flannery, Senior Executive Vice President, Operations and Industry Collaboration

October 2 is National Manufacturing Day, and an opportunity to recognize the 1.5 million manufacturing jobs provided by food, beverage and consumer products companies across this country.

The consumer packaged goods industry is the biggest single source of our country’s manufacturing jobs and a major driver of America’s economic engine. The next largest sector is transportation with 1.4 million manufacturing jobs.

These nearly 1.5 million manufacturing jobs in our sector are important to the 30,000 communities across our nation where these employees work, as well as to the families of these workers. In addition, these and other manufacturing employees play a critical role in producing food, beverages and consumer products that are used across the nation and the globe.

Our industry’s impact extends beyond the playing a major role in America’s economy with these manufacturing jobs, and provides families across the country with safe, healthy and affordable food. Companies throughout our industry have a culture of ongoing improvement, creativity and innovation, and are constantly working to empower consumers with tools and information that help them live healthy and active lifestyles.

For example, companies have introduced more than 30,000 new product choices – with fewer calories, reduced fat, sodium and sugar, and more whole grains – between 2002 and 2013. And we launched Facts Up Front, a voluntary front-of-pack nutrition labeling system designed to help busy consumers—especially parents—make more informed decisions when they shop.

On top of our progress so far, our industry is always building on its long-standing commitment to providing consumers with innovative, environmentally-friendly products while preserving our natural resources for future generations through efforts, like those geared towards reducing food waste.

Just a couple weeks ago, the federal government announced a goal of reducing food waste by 50 percent by 2025, and our industry has already stepped up on this important issue. Last year, Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) member companies recycled 93 percent of the food waste generated from manufacturing and donated 106 million pounds of food to food banks. GMA is also a founding member of the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, which seeks to reduce how much food waste is generated, increase the amount of safe, nutritious food donated to those in need, and recycle unavoidable food waste to divert it from landfills.

So, on Friday, October 2, as people eat their meals and snacks, enjoy a beverage, or use a personal care or household product, take a moment to think of the people and companies responsible for the manufacturing of those products we all rely on so much every day.

 

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