The Canadian Pallet Council (CPC), Ontario, Canada, announced plans to close its doors. Here is a letter president and CEO Belinda Junkin wrote to its members:

The Annual General Meeting and the Future of the CPC

Where are we headed?
As members know, the organization has been struggling for some time, adjusting to decreased membership, new and significant impediments to the operation of the exchange program, diminished use of CPC pallets and an overall reduction in revenue. This decline has become an acute concern as a result of Loblaw’s withdrawal from the exchange program. Few suppliers can now use CPC pallets for all or even a substantial portion of their business. For some members, this has meant a complete conversion away from using CPC pallets. All indications are that this trend will continue. In light of these changes, the CPC has had to reduce expenses and operations, and we must now contemplate the closure of the organization.

During recent months, we have invested a great deal of CPC’s limited resources in seeking solutions, and at this point, the CPC board and management do not see a way to maintain a viable and meaningful organization for members, in light of all of the necessary service reductions due to loss of revenue. As a result, the termination of the organization by year end is anticipated, and plans are underway to close the CPC. However, this is an issue for determination by the membership, and we need to hear members’ views and consider any options, alternatives or suggestions that the members may have.

The annual general meeting and anticipated special meeting.
The CPC will be holdings its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on June 20, and all members are invited and encouraged to attend. Unlike previous years, this year’s AGM will be limited to the business portion of the meeting. We will not be engaging guest speakers or providing seminars. This year’s AGM will focus on a discussion of the problems facing the CPC and the planned closure of the organization. Members will hear from the officers and directors of the CPC, have a chance to ask questions, raise concerns and provide their views on the future of the CPC. This is your opportunity to speak. If no viable, meaningful mandate for the CPC is identified through this process, the board of directors anticipates that the closure of the CPC will be put to a vote by the membership at a special meeting in September (date to be confirmed).

Operational cutbacks.
In light of declining revenues, we must continue to impose cuts. To date, a number of expense reductions have been made with a view to minimizing the impact on services and members. Unfortunately, the reductions that are now being implemented will be much more visible. The CPC has eliminated marketing and tradeshow participation, and greatly reduced its member outreach, including staff reductions, cancelling regional meetings and reducing the scope of the AGM.

In addition, we will be discontinuing the provision of CTSWEB in the near future, as the number of members using the system, as well as the number of pallets and containers being accounted for within the system have decreased dramatically. While the charges imposed for the use of the system have never amounted to full cost recovery, the loss is now more sizeable. We are currently working to prepare this plan and transition options. If you are using CTSWEB we will be contacting you shortly to discuss this with you.

President’s remarks.
It is with sadness and regret that I pass on this message to you. Please plan to attend the Annual General Meeting on June 20 and take part in these very important discussions. I look forward to speaking with as many of you as possible over the coming weeks and in particular at the AGM, to discuss these issues further. As always, I encourage you to contact me with your thoughts and comments.


Belinda Junkin
President and CEO