WASHINGTON, DC -- Hugh Topper, a well-known figure in the produce industry for more than 20 years, is the recipient of the Reusable Pallet and Container Coalition's (RPCC) prestigious Leadership Award for 2007. Topper, vice president, produce procurement and product development, H.E. Butt Grocery Company, was an early advocate for reusable packaging systems and fostered their use in the 1990’s.
RPCC President Fred Heptinstall, president of IFCO RPC Management Services NA, presented the award at the Coalition’s annual Education Forum.
Heptinstall said, “Hugh is one of the strongest supporters of RPCs from the retail side of the business. His motto is ‘it’s RPCs first as the right shipping format.’ ” Topper’s involvement in reusables over the past eight years has been steadfast; he has been an outspoken advocate for their value and their growth to suppliers and other retailers.
Accepting the award, Topper acknowledged his commitment to reusable transport packaging and the many benefits it has brought to the supply chain and to H.E.B. in particular. “RPCs are an efficient transportation packaging system; they protect the product better and are more sustainable,” said Topper.
In addition to his involvement with the coalition, Topper has served on the United Fresh Produce Board of Directors and is chairman of the PMA Produce Electronic Identification Board. He is also a board member of the Texas Vegetable & Fruit Improvement Center at Texas A&M University. He graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Agricultural Economics and grew up on a family ranch in southeast Oklahoma.
The Reusable Pallet & Container Coalition (RPCC) is a non-profit trade association representing manufacturers, poolers, distributors, retailers, educators, and others involved in the reusable transport packaging industry.