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TRSA and ETSA - Stronger Together
Jun '11
Textile Rental Services Association of America President Joseph Ricci took the association's 'Stronger Together' theme to Europe for a June 21-22 meeting of the European Textile Services Association (ETSA), where he addressed common concerns ranging from environmental compliance to emerging market trends. In an address to ETSA's Board of Directors, Ricci called for closer collaboration between the European and U.S. textile services associations on these and other issues. The meeting was held in conjunction with ETSA's Annual Conference in Brussels.

In his Board remarks, Ricci outlined TRSA's mission, services and regulatory agenda, as well as the latest developments in the U.S. textile services market. In addition, the group discussed opportunities for the two organizations and other European and global textile services associations to work together, share research and identify industry and global trends.

TRSA and ETSA share many of the same regulatory, legislative and business challenges in two primary areas – the environment and health & safety. Emerging issues in Europe include a focus on hygiene, particularly in the food safety and healthcare sectors, as well as new markets for casual and business workwear. Both TRSA and ETSA strive to foster cooperative relationships with regulators. However, ETSA emphasizes developing ISO and CEN (European Committee for Standardization) standards, while TRSA focuses on working with federal and state agencies and legislators.

TRSA, ETSA and the other global associations have agreed to begin a process of identifying, sharing and pursuing research that can provide marketing support to their members. Their goal is to expand markets and compete with home or OPL laundering as well as disposable products, while at the same time demonstrating the textile services communities' commitment to safety and the environment.

The conference drew nearly 100 CEOs and executives from the largest European textile services companies, including Alsco/Steiner, Bardusch, Berendsen, CW, Elis, Initial, Johnson, Lindstrom and Mewa and associates such as Ecolab, Jensen and Kannegiesser. The attendees enjoyed networking at historic Brussels venues.

At the conference, general session speakers addressed global trends, strategic management, economic forecasts and social networking. The sessions shared a common theme – Bringing Solutions Resource Challenges – that emphasized customer-driven innovation, service differentiation and today's evolving global landscape of emerging markets and trends.

TRSA will continue to coordinate efforts with ETSA and will reciprocate participation at upcoming events to foster improved information sharing and cooperation between the United States and European textile services industries.

Textile Rental Services Association of America

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