Overview of IBWA’s key areas of involvement

The International Bottled Water Association’s (IBWA) 47th Annual Convention and Tradeshow “Quality Through Innovation” will be held on Sept. 27–30 in Orlando Fla. This year, IBWA will connect bottled water buyers and suppliers all under one roof where they can learn about the newest quality products and services, state-of-the-art technologies and innovations available on the bottled water market. In addition, IBWA will host a variety of educational programs presented by prominent industry experts, which will provide the opportunity to learn about the latest trends and critical issues covering all sectors of the bottled water industry.

With so many events to attend and so little time to spare, Water Quality Products put together a comprehensive IBWA show guide highlighting some educational sessions and events that you can’t afford to miss at this year’s show. We can’t wait to see you at our booth #238. Make plans to attend today and enjoy the show. -WQP

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the trade association representing the bottled water industry. Founded in 1958, IBWA’s membership includes U.S. and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers, and ranges in size from the original family-owned and operated water bottlers to multi-national, diversified food corporations

By serving the bottled water industry, IBWA acts on behalf of its members and contributes to a better industry and more favorable business, regulatory and legislative environment.

Following, are some key areas in which IBWA is involved.

Government Relations

IBWA provides a unified voice in Washington, D.C. on all bottled water industry and related business issues, plus legislative monitoring and advocacy in all 50 states. The association works on legislative issues such as bottled water bills, labeling issues and sales tax proposals. In Washington and in the state capitals, the key to IBWA’s success has been the grassroots involvement of IBWA members with their elected officials.

One of the major federal issues within the industry today is bottled water security. IBWA has been working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Homeland Security to address the security of the nation’s food supply. FDA has prepared a security risk assessment for all food categories under its jurisdiction and classified bottled water as a “high security risk food product.” As a result, IBWA has established a Bottled Water Security Task Force to address all bottled water-related security issues.

At the state level there continues to be a great deal of activity, both on the legislative and regulatory fronts. Last year alone, IBWA monitored more than 700 bills that could impact the bottled water industry, ranging from recycling and groundwater legislation to bottled water tax and labeling bills. The IBWA State Task Force, which includes representatives from state/regional bottled water associations and IBWA committees, conducts biweekly conference calls throughout the year to determine IBWA’s strategy and approach to state issues of concern.


IBWA is the voice of the bottled water industry with increased dialogue and interaction with media, opinion leaders, industry stakeholders and others important to the industry. The association maintains an aggressive, ongoing campaign to educate key audiences about the positive facts regarding bottled water regulation, safety and quality.

Technical/Scientific Affairs

IBWA is a leading player in bottled water science and technology matters, and serves as a liaison with domestic and international regulatory agencies. In 2004, the IBWA technical staff represented the bottled water industry in more than 50 technical meetings with federal agencies, key national organizations and state health/environmental departments. IBWA works to help ensure the production of high quality products through the IBWA Model Code and provides technical education, plant inspections and various training programs.

Education & Training

IBWA develops, organizes and presents industry-specific education programs geared to the needs of its members. Examples include the Certified Plant Operator program, which provides ongoing education through the availability of Continuing Education Units, and also the Candidate Bottler Program. IBWA presents seminars at nearly all state/regional association meetings, at the International Association of Food Industry Suppliers convention, and during the IBWA’s Annual Convention and Tradeshow. Education presentations include topics such as bottled water safety and security, water quality data interpretation, route sales development and management, and other technical and regulatory issues.

Conventions & Tradeshows

The IBWA Annual Convention and Tradeshow is designed to meet the highest standards of today’s bottled water professionals. Through education and business sessions at the IBWA tradeshow, attendees have the opportunity to learn about important developments in the industry, examine bottled water issues and develop techniques to strengthen their businesses. wqp

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About the author

Stephen R. Kay is vice president of communications for IBWA, Alexandria, Va. He can be reached at 800.928.3711; www.bottledwater.org.
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