September 2023


How Keter CEO Alejandro Pena Strives to Meet the Needs of a Multifaceted Consumer-Base

The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally altered the way we lived our lives. From shopping online to ordering food for takeout instead of sitting down, humans shifted behaviors to adjust to the events of the time.

It was in 2017 when Alejandro Pena was brought on board to operate as the CEO of the Keter Group, a sustainable resin-based supplier of home and garden supplies. Known for their highly durable resin-based outdoor furniture supplies, Keter became fiercely popular during the pandemic as customers sought better deals online.

A study by The American Institution of Architects revealed that outdoor living spaces had become one of the most popular household requests in recent years.

Pena took to the point to discuss the changes in how the business has operated over the past couple of years.

Better Outcomes For Online Shoppers

Alejandro Pena was brought aboard Keter Group to help expand its operations into newer regions, including North America and Europe. During this time, the COVID pandemic truly began to stagnate the markets.

To better reach customers in this new, harder-to-read market, Keter’s CEO Pena focused instead on delivering hybridized results. Instead of relying on the same old systems as usual, Pena and Keter poured resources into e-commerce, delivery services, in-store accessibility, and more.

Alejandro Pena and Keter Group have since been focused on an omnichannel approach to their business. Pena stated, “We will serve our customers wherever they are, whenever they want, in every possible way they want.”

Pena gestured toward physical stores, digital shopping, and delivery and pick-up services. Pena added, “Whichever way customers want to engage, we will be there.”

Beneficial Shopping Outcomes for Keter Customers

One of the most advantageous approaches to selling in a post-COVID market has been putting himself in his client’s shoes. Pena looks to replicate the shopping experience to improve it for his customers.

Pena says, “We see Keter becoming a more consumer-centric company. Brands will play an even bigger role.”

Alejandro Pena would go on to outline the way that Keter sets itself apart from the competition. Pena stated, “Keter products are significantly more durable than many outdoor products, and they’re made from recycled materials.”

Continued efforts will rely on CFO Pasquale Iannone as he works closely with Pena to help inform visitors and lead the company in its digital marketing efforts. Keter’s specialization in durable home consumer solutions gives it plenty of room to grow in an increasingly popular market.

Alejandro Pena says of his work at Keter, “Keter is shaping what is next for a better day. We are innovators. We invent what is new and next and do it with a sustainable mindset and consciousness.

read more

AFFF Contamination and Lawsuit Settlements: What’s in Store for Victims?

Amid technological progress and environmental concerns, Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) initially marked a pivotal advancement in fire suppression technology. Yet, beneath its surface lurks an alarming and far-reaching crisis, i.e., the contamination wrought by AFFF.

Driven by PFAS, AFFF contamination has triggered widespread havoc, profoundly affecting communities and individuals and setting off a crisis of epic proportions.

AFFF contamination’s severe impacts, spanning environmental harm to life-changing health issues, triggered a surge in legal actions and lawsuits. This article will discuss the latest developments in AFFF contamination lawsuits and the future for victims.

Understanding AFFF Contamination

At its core, AFFF is a highly effective firefighting foam designed to extinguish flammable liquid fires. It is a vital component in fire safety protocols, especially in aviation and petrochemicals.

However, the issue arises when considering the composition of AFFF, which typically contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These synthetic chemicals, known for their resistance to degradation, are the culprits behind the persistent contamination associated with AFFF.

AFFF contamination can occur in several ways. One common way is through the accidental release of AFFF during firefighting training exercises or emergency response operations. AFFF can also contaminate groundwater through leaks from storage tanks or landfills.

AFFF contamination is a growing problem in the United States and worldwide. EWG’s research revealed PFOA and PFOS contamination above safe thresholds in the drinking water of 2,013 communities, impacting 43 million people. It also estimates that approximately 200 million Americans are believed to be consuming water tainted by PFAS.

The Rise of AFFF Lawsuits

In recent years, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of lawsuits filed against the manufacturers of AFFF. Companies facing legal issues include DuPont, 3M, Chemours, Tyco Fire Products, ChemDesign Inc., Chemguard Inc., etc. However, more than a dozen companies have been named in different lawsuits, TorHoerman Law reported.

These lawsuits allege that the manufacturers knew about the dangers of PFAS but failed to warn users of the risks.

Facing legal pressure, certain AFFF manufacturers have begun settlement discussions, suggesting acknowledgment of their liability in AFFF contamination lawsuits.

Over the recent years, a number of substantial settlements have been reached. In June 2023, CNBC reported that DuPont reached a $50 million settlement in a lawsuit brought forth by the state of Delaware. Likewise, 3M agreed to a settlement of $850 million to resolve a lawsuit initiated by the state of Minnesota.

In addition to these class-action lawsuits, there have also been several individual lawsuits filed by victims of AFFF contamination. These lawsuits allege that victims developed serious health problems, such as cancer and kidney disease, due to exposure to PFAS.

The Path to Lawsuit Settlements

AFFF contamination settlements involve negotiations between plaintiffs, often represented by environmental law firms, and defendants, primarily AFFF manufacturers. These talks could lead to victims receiving compensation for medical bills, environmental cleanup, and other PFAS contamination-related damages.

However, the road to settlements is fraught with challenges, including determining liability, quantifying damages, and navigating the legal intricacies of each case. Settlement outcomes establish vital precedents, influencing compensation and ensuring accountability for those responsible for AFFF contamination cases. These settlements play a crucial role in shaping the AFFF litigation landscape and offering closure and justice to the victims.

What Victims Can Expect in Lawsuit Settlements

For victims of AFFF contamination, the prospect of a lawsuit settlement represents a glimmer of hope amidst the uncertainty and adversity they face. Settlements aim to compensate and bring closure to individuals and communities affected by PFAS exposure’s health and environmental consequences.

Settlements typically encompass medical expenses, ongoing healthcare, property devaluation, and environmental cleanup costs for AFFF contamination victims.

The AFFF lawsuit settlement amounts vary widely and are influenced by several factors. Factors include contamination extent, victim health severity, defendant’s role, and negotiation strategies in determining AFFF lawsuit settlement amounts. It’s essential to understand that AFFF lawsuits can result in individual settlements and larger consolidated settlements in MDL cases.

Factors Influencing Settlement Amounts

Various factors significantly impact AFFF lawsuit settlement amounts. The extent of contamination, including its severity and scope, influences settlements, particularly in areas with widespread issues.

Health impacts are crucial, with victims suffering severe health problems due to PFAS exposure receiving higher compensation. Defendant liability plays a role, with more culpable manufacturers facing greater financial obligations.

Effective legal strategies by plaintiffs’ attorneys can also lead to more favorable settlement terms, demonstrating the complexity of determining compensation in these cases.

Comprehending these factors and their intricate interactions is vital for victims and their legal counsel. They must navigate the intricate AFFF contamination lawsuit landscape and work diligently to attain equitable and just settlements.

Legal Challenges and Recent Developments

AFFF lawsuits are complex and challenging cases. The manufacturers of AFFF are well-funded and have aggressive legal teams. As a result, victims of AFFF contamination often face significant obstacles in their pursuit of justice and compensation.

One of the biggest challenges in AFFF lawsuits is proving causation. Victims must be able to prove that their injuries or illnesses were caused by exposure to AFFF. It can be difficult to do, as PFAS chemicals are very stable and persist in the body for many years.

Despite these challenges, there have been several recent developments in AFFF lawsuits that are favorable to victims. In 2022, the EPA introduced updated lifetime health advisory levels, measured in parts per trillion (ppt). The aim was to safeguard individuals from potential adverse health effects from exposure to specific PFAS compounds in drinking water.

Notably, the interim health advisory for PFOA was set at an extremely low threshold of 0.004 ppt. Similarly, the interim health advisory for PFOS was established at 0.02 ppt. It emphasizes the stringent standards to protect the public from PFAS-related health concerns.

This advisory is a significant step forward, providing scientific evidence of PFAS exposure’s dangers.

Support for Victims

Victims of AFFF contamination face several challenges, both physical and emotional. They may struggle with serious health problems, financial hardships, and the stigma associated with PFAS exposure.

Victims of AFFF contamination have access to various crucial resources. They can receive regular medical care to monitor PFAS-related health concerns. Financial assistance programs exist to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and more. Consideration of legal representation is advised, as attorneys can clarify legal rights and represent victims in court. Additionally, peer support groups offer emotional support and information to affected individuals and their families.

If you have been exposed to AFFF and are experiencing health problems, it is important to reach out for support. Several people and organizations are here to help you.

To Conclude

AFFF contamination is a serious problem that poses a significant risk to public health. AFFF contamination victims may face serious health problems, financial hardships, and the stigma associated with PFAS exposure.

However, there is hope. Victims of AFFF contamination have legal options available to support them. The rise of AFFF lawsuits is a sign that victims of PFAS contamination are seeking justice and compensation.

The outcome of the AFFF lawsuits could significantly impact the victims of PFAS contamination. If the lawsuits are successful, victims could receive compensation for their damages. The lawsuits could also lead to changes in how AFFF is used and regulated.

read more

Consumer Preferences & Product Packaging: How To Design The Right Package

In today’s fiercely competitive market, product packaging has evolved into a potent tool for shaping consumer behavior. Beyond its fundamental role of safeguarding products, packaging holds the potential to capture attention, convey brand identity, and ultimately drive purchasing decisions. This article explores the significance of product packaging and emphasizes the crucial role played by packaging companies in the Northeast in crafting compelling packaging solutions.

Consumer behavior is intricately connected to psychology, and packaging acts as a medium to tap into these psychological triggers. The importance of first impressions cannot be overstated, and packaging often serves as the initial point of contact between consumers and a product. It sets the tone for the entire consumer experience.

Striking Design

Packaging companies in the region understand that an eye-catching design can make a profound impact. Vibrant colors, well-executed graphics, and innovative shapes have the potential to stand out amidst crowded store shelves. Packaging should resonate with the target audience and authentically reflect the brand’s essence, whether it embodies eco-friendliness and rustic charm or exudes a sleek and modern aura.

Telling the Brand Story

Modern consumers seek more than just a product; they seek a narrative. Effective packaging serves as a canvas for narrating a brand’s story and forging an emotional connection with consumers. Through compelling narratives, product packaging can evoke feelings of nostalgia, adventure, or opulence, thus influencing purchasing decisions.

Prioritizing Sustainability

In an era characterized by heightened environmental awareness, sustainable packaging has gained prominence. Packaging companies are well-versed in creating packaging solutions that align with eco-conscious consumer preferences. Corrugated boxes, for instance, are favored for their recyclability and biodegradability, striking a chord with consumers who prioritize sustainability.

Functional Excellence

Beyond aesthetics, packaging must excel in its primary function – protecting the product. Packaging companies in the area excel in creating packaging that is functional, durable, and adaptable. Products must reach consumers in pristine condition, fostering trust and reliability.

Enhancing the In-Store Experience

Packaging’s impact extends beyond the product itself; it significantly contributes to the in-store experience. Unique and thoughtfully designed packaging can generate anticipation and excitement, motivating consumers to explore and engage with the product more deeply.

Within the realm of consumer goods, packaging companies play a pivotal role in shaping consumer behavior through the development of innovative packaging solutions. By comprehending the psychology of packaging, emphasizing captivating design, storytelling, sustainability, and functionality, brands can leverage packaging to not only safeguard their products but also to influence consumers’ purchasing decisions. In today’s competitive market, packaging isn’t merely a container; it’s a potent marketing instrument capable of making or breaking a product’s success.

Infographic provided by Abbott-Action, Inc.

read more

Olugbenga Agboola’s Flutterwave: Shaping Africa’s Financial Landscape

In the vast and diverse landscape of African economies, access to financial services has long been a critical issue. Millions of people across the continent have historically been excluded from the formal financial system, a barrier that has impeded economic growth and limited opportunities for personal and entrepreneurial advancement. However, in this era of technological innovation, one man and his groundbreaking fintech platform are changing the narrative. Olugbenga Agboola, renowned as “GB,” and his brainchild, Flutterwave, are playing a pivotal role in shaping Africa’s financial landscape, ushering in an era of unprecedented financial inclusion.

The Significance of Financial Inclusion

Financial inclusion is not merely a buzzword but a fundamental driver of economic development and societal progress. It revolves around the concept of ensuring that individuals and businesses, regardless of their economic status or geographic location, have access to affordable and convenient financial services. This inclusivity encompasses basic banking services, credit facilities, insurance, and a spectrum of digital financial tools.

The importance of financial inclusion cannot be overstated, particularly in the context of Africa. It serves as a catalyst for economic growth, job creation, and poverty reduction. When people have access to financial services, they can save, invest, and plan for the future. It empowers entrepreneurs to start and expand businesses, individuals to access education and healthcare, and communities to build resilient, self-sustaining economies.

Flutterwave: A Catalyst for Change

Born out of a vision to democratize access to financial services across Africa, Flutterwave has emerged as a transformative force in the fintech industry. Founded in 2016 by Olugbenga Agboola and his co-founder, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, the platform has redefined how digital payments and financial services are accessed and utilized on the continent.

Flutterwave’s impact is profound, as it bridges the gap between African businesses and global commerce. Its innovative solutions simplify cross-border transactions, enabling entrepreneurs and businesses to engage in international trade seamlessly. By providing access to a secure and efficient payment gateway, Flutterwave empowers entrepreneurs to launch and grow their digital businesses, reach new markets, and participate in the global economy.

Unlocking Potential Through Innovation

The success of Flutterwave lies not only in its ability to offer financial services but also in its commitment to innovation. The platform continually evolves, introducing cutting-edge technologies and tools to enhance financial inclusivity. For instance, the creation of the Flutterwave Store has empowered countless small businesses to establish an online presence and engage with customers beyond their local markets.

Moreover, Flutterwave’s partnership with global fintech giants, including PayPal and Alipay, has further broadened the horizons of financial access for Africans. This collaboration allows users to transact internationally, facilitating cross-border trade and expanding economic opportunities for businesses and individuals alike.

The Ripple Effect of Inclusion

Financial inclusion, as championed by Olugbenga Agboola and Flutterwave, sets off a ripple effect that reaches every corner of society. It leads to the growth of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, fostering economic diversification and resilience. It empowers women and marginalized communities, narrowing gender and income disparities. It fuels education, healthcare, and infrastructure development, improving overall living standards.

In conclusion, Olugbenga Agboola’s vision and Flutterwave’s innovative fintech solutions are actively shaping Africa’s financial landscape. The platform’s commitment to financial inclusion is more than a business model; it’s a commitment to a brighter future for Africa. As Flutterwave continues to evolve and expand its footprint across the continent, it brings Africa closer to a future where every individual and business has the opportunity to thrive, contributing to the sustainable development and prosperity of the entire continent.

read more