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Motivated by new trade opportunities opening up in post-WWII Europe, five independent can makers met at the Belleview Hotel in Hilterfingen, Switzerland, in 1953. Thus was born the EUROPEAN CAN ASSOCIATION.

The new association met yearly in a General Assembly (sometimes twice a year) and, in 1957, almost all members signed a Technical Assistance Agreement with American Can Company.


With expanding membership and increased project work, the task force was divided into committees which would become the backbone of European Can Association. After the creation of the Technical and Commercial committees, a Purchasing Committee was added in 1973.


By 1986, with 6 out of 14 members being non-European and several dealing also with non-metal packaging, it was clearly time to rename the association to the more accurately descriptive INTERNATIONAL PACKAGING ASSOCIATION.


The following year American Can Company was taken over by Triangle, becoming American National Can Company. After Pechiney's purchase of ANCC, the licensee arrangements with IPA members ceased. In 2006, there are member companies on four continents.


Nevertheless, the basic tenets set forth by the founding members still guide the association in the 21 st century, the main purpose of which is to create, through an exchange of ideas and know-how in an atmosphere of mutual trust, an organization with a competitive edge for small- and medium-sized metal-can makers in a world of heavy-weight multinational conglomerates.

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