Phoenix Speciality Oils grows business by a third in twelve months

The UK’s largest producer of cold pressed seed oils Phoenix Speciality Oils has reported a 35% increase in output year-on-year during the 12 months to October and is predicting the growth will continue during 2015.

The Nottinghamshire-based firm, which supplies 1.2 million litres of food oils a year to the UK’s major food retailers, saw its turnover rise by 15% over the same period. It is now predicting a further 50% growth in turnover for the next year thanks to new contracts to supply multiple retailers nationwide.

Seven years after it was established, the company is now pressing more than 8,000 tonnes of British grown rapeseed annually at its custom-built seed pressing facilities in order to meet growing customer demand.

Ben Guy, managing director of Phoenix, says: “Last year’s figures represent a period of impressive growth for the business. Everyone involved has played their part and as a result we’ve been able to announce our strongest year-on-year growth yet.

“The numbers come as no surprise to us - we know by talking to shoppers that they want more cold pressed food oils for their weekly shops that are healthier and more environmentally friendly than the alternatives.

“That’s why we’re continuing to invest in new equipment to give us additional capacity and expanding our management team in readiness for this growth.

“We’re now focused on becoming the complete ‘end-to-end’ supplier for our customers, from seed to shelf, while delivering even bigger volumes to help them meet demand.”

Mailway shortlisted for industry accolade

Mailway Packaging Solutions, the independent co-packer based in Bradford, have been shortlisted for the UK Packaging Awards’ Contract Packer of the Year.

The news follows Mailway’s recent growth and financial success, which has seen the organisation more than double its turnover in just 12 months.

The UK Packaging Awards, which puts the spotlight on the very best packaging businesses and products within the UK, are judged by the markets most influential figures including representatives from major retailers, brands and industry bodies.

Mailway Chief Executive, Richard Bramma says: “Being shortlisted for the Contract Packer of the Year award is a real privilege. Everyone working within the industry strives for recognition through these prestigious awards. We know that competition is tough, so to get this far means a lot.

“We have experienced an exceptional year, driven by strong growth that’s the result of hard work and a clear strategy to develop our people and a lean infrastructure, we just hope that this is acknowledged and rewarded on the night of the UK Packaging Awards.”

Winners of the UK Packaging Awards will be announced at a ceremony taking place in London on Wednesday 12th November. More than 700 people from across the UK Packaging sector are expected to be in attendance.

Mailway Packaging Solutions are a preferred partner for leading and aspirational brands in a range of sectors, specifically confectionery, beverage and food. Mailway’s services include flow wrapping, bag filling, cartoning, hand packing and shrink sleeving.

Packaging seminar debates radiation curing

The Food Packaging Seminar held by RadTech Europe drew together participants from across the food packaging value chain to discuss the proper use of radiation curing in food-safe printing.

The perfect recipe for radiation curing for food packaging has not yet been proposed or defined by the EU legislators. All that exists today are the GMP and Framework Regulation, as well as Swiss Ordinance, respected and now widely adopted across the food packaging supply chain, but still something less than the definitive answer. This situation was the driving force behind the Food Packaging Seminar held in Stuttgart by RadTech Europe, the regional association promoting the radiation curing technologies across all markets. The event drew together around ninety participants to discuss and debate the proper use of radiation curing in food-safe printing, with the aim of enabling this technology - which delivers a broad platform of benefits - to achieve its well-deserved maximum potential.

Stephen Harrod, author of many specialist market reports for Smithers Pira on aspects of packaging and print, set the scene with an overview of the global packaging market and its current ‘megatrends’. He forecast 2014 growth in the revived global economy at +/-3.5%, and annual global growth to 2018 at 4%. Food packaging – a €55 billion market in 2013 – will, he said, show 2.1% real annual growth to 2018, led by the meat, fish and poultry, chilled foods and fresh food and vegetable sectors. UV curing, in this dynamic environment, has much to offer - good environmental credentials, fast turnaround and high performance. Barriers to its use are currently cost – in terms of inks, varnishes, and energy usage, perceived lack of ease of use, heat from standard UV lamps, healthcare ‘scares’ involving migration of print through the packaging substrate and recycling challenges.

Stephen Harrod drew attention to the strong growth in inkjet print. UV inkjet is already enjoying a CAGR of 14.8%, and there are considerable and continuing refinements in the technology base – printheads, inks, curing systems, android integrations, and presses. Packaging is a great opportunity for this versatile print technology.

Dr Stephen Klump, Global Head of Packaging Quality and Safety for Nestlé, spoke on ‘Managing Risk’. He outlined the many risks associated with the many different materials which come into contact with food items. Conveyor belts, plastic moulds, pipes and hoses are among the risks involved in food processing, and packaging materials – paper, board, plastic, metal, glass, coatings, inks, and adhesives - are risks to finished or semi-finished products, as are a host of auxiliary items, such as straws, ice cream sticks, drinks dispensers.

Dr Klump said that ‘consumers are very aware that there are problems out there with their food’ – highlighting the recent horsemeat scandal, and reminding participants that governmental, NGO and media coverage means that the consumer focus ‘goes viral’. In such a complex supply chain, involving many specialist suppliers of chemicals and raw materials as well as converters, packers, brand owners, and retailers, a publicly-identified safety problem can have serious consequences for a brand. Nestlé’s outstanding and continuing commitment to mitigating such brand risk through its packaging safety and compliance programme is long-established and proven, and Dr Klump told the assembled seminar participants to join him and ‘think like a food company’.

John Wilson, BPIF Cartons’ Technical Director, who is also Product and Applications Manager at Sun Chemical, completed the formal programme with a view from the mainstream packaging industry on the safe use of radiation curing. Printers in the food packaging arena choosing to take the radiation-cured low-migration inks route are facing a number of new challenges – and many questions for which they need answers both from their brand owner/retailer and their own suppliers. The BPIF are actively supporting their members with the creation of a low migration questionnaire which they can use with their suppliers as a discussion document, creating a technical focus at meetings, and exploring the new ‘barrier boards’ that the board mills are now introducing to the market. John Wilson admitted that BPIF Cartons are also closely following the Nestlé and EuPIA guidelines – proof that, in an industry sector where there is still no legislative clarity, the supply chain is taking the initiative and creating its own consensus.

General Secretary Mark Macaré concluded that the RadTech Europe seminar "brought the industry closer to achieving full clearance for UV/EB curing in the food packaging segment".

Label Apeel welcomes new MD

Amy Chambers has been promoted to managing director of Leicester-based label printers Label Apeel, taking over from owner Stuart Kellock.

Formally commercial director, Amy has been with the company since 2010 and has played a major part in winning new heavyweight clients and developing a business strategy to take the label printers into an exciting new era.

Stuart Kellock, who bought the business from his father in 2007 and has since turned it into an award-winning business, with a turnover of over £4 million, explains why now is the right time to let someone else take to the helm: “Amy is becoming known as a strong formidable character across the print and label industry. She has an in-depth knowledge of devising excellent labelling solutions and a style that we describe daily as the iron fist in a velvet glove. She’s done an sterling job with developing and honing the Label Apeel team and I know the business is set to do even more amazing things with her wearing the captain’s hat.”

As Amy takes over the day-to-day running and management of the business, Stuart will be looking at ways to develop the Label Apeel empire, he says: "With Label Apeel in Amy’s safe hands, it leaves me with more time to focus on looking at other areas of investment and ways to expand the brand further, while also dabbling in marketing and social media. In other words, more time to play.”

Amy says: “I’m delighted to accept the position of managing director of Label Apeel.

“Stuart’s are big shoes to fill, but I’m looking forward to the challenge of developing the business, the team and the excellent service that we already offer. I want to give particular time and focus to helping get more women and young professionals into the print and manufacturing industry.”

Prior to Label Apeel, Amy was Packaging Technologist at Boots; Packaging Manager at RF Brookes and then Sales Manager at Labelsco, where she’d worked for 5 years.

Getting personal in the confectionery market with new technology

Cost-effective digital printing equipment from SUN Automation Group is allowing corrugated packaging to align with opportunities within the confectionery industry.

Customisation is becoming increasingly popular in the confectionery sector. According to market analysts Canadean, the value of the global personalisation market is more than £7 billion. Now there is print-on-demand technology to transform corrugated into customised and customer-oriented packaging that helps the industry to take advantage of this growing phenomenon – and for more modest events, too. Cost-effective digital printing equipment from SUN Automation Group means box makers can now create distinctive packaging to engage consumers and help products stand out.

SUN Automation’s range of new digital printers – CorrStream 66, 40 and 20 – provide the corrugated packaging industry with unrivalled output, reduced operating costs, improved efficiency and outstanding print quality. The range brings inkjet sophistication to mainstream applications as a real alternative to conventional analogue methods.

The CorrStream range brings an extra dimension to brand owners and retailers through the print on demand of high quality, colourful Shelf Ready Packaging in smaller batch runs. With no minimum order quantity, boxes can be customised for special occasions including seasonal, regional or event-based promotions.

CorrStream’s CMYK digital printers allow graphics to press in hours instead of days, small or large production runs at speeds of up to 70m/min, plus graphic changes, data merge capabilities and mass customisation. With increasing demand from the confectionery sector for packaging to attract and excite consumers, CorrStream is the first digital corrugated printer to offer reliability, output levels, and aqueous inks that meet box plant needs in a familiar way.

Sean Moloney, SUN Automation’s Global Product Manager for CorrStream, says, “Consumers are faced with a bewildering array of options on confectionery displays. Customised displays are perfect for suppliers wanting to stand out by connecting packaging to significant events such as festivals or sports tournaments - or perhaps a competition linked to a popular TV show. This is especially relevant to the larger volume bag-share products.

“With the majority of UK supermarkets recently pledging to remove till-side confectionery displays, it’s even more important for packaging to stand out almost instantly with current, relevant messages. Thanks to CorrStream the corrugated industry now has the digital printing equipment available to meet the level of packaging performance required for this lucrative market.”

CorrStream’s single pass solution – one of the first in the world to use this technique – is the culmination of several years’ development work and brings much needed added value back to the corrugated industry.

Coca-Cola wins top Brazilian packaging award

Coca-Cola’s Del Valle Reserva brand of juice won the Technology in Beverage Packaging prize at the 2014 ABRE Awards for being the first brand to use Tetra Pak cartons with bio-based low-density polyethylene films derived from sugar cane.

Rino Abbondi, Technics & Logistics Vice-President at Coca-Cola Brazil, says, "Tetra Pak has been characterized by its expertise and leadership in renewable resources. The packaging with green technology is part of that. Our participation in this innovative process, with Del Valle, is also the result of the environmental vision already incorporated into the DNA of Coca-Cola. The partnership with Tetra Pak puts us, once again, in front of the most modern and sustainable in the packaging sector."

The award winning Del Valle juice in Tetra Prisma Aseptic 1000 reaches more than 200 million Brazilian consumers every year. Following the successful pilot with Coca-Cola’s Del Valle brand at the beginning of the year, Tetra Pak has introduced cartons with bio-based LDPE to more than 150 customers that source from Tetra Pak Brazil since April, a total of more than 13 billion packs every year. Combined with paperboard, the use of bio-based LDPE increases the content of renewable materials to 78% in the Tetra Prisma Aseptic package used by Coca-Cola.

Charles Brand, Vice President Marketing & Product Management at Tetra Pak, says, “We are delighted that Coca-Cola has won this award, which stands as testimony to their vision and their commitment to drive the sustainability and performance of their packaging through the use of renewable materials. We will continue to work with both customers and suppliers to find innovative ways to increase the renewable content of our packaging - which currently averages 70% across our portfolio - because we strongly believe this is the best way to protect the sustainable future of the packaging industry.”

Produced by Braskem, one of the world’s leading biopolymers producers, bio-based LDPE used in Tetra Pak cartons has the same physical and chemical properties as the traditional fossil-fuel derived polyethylene.

The 2014 ABRE Awards is organised by the Brazilian Packaging Association and is designed to recognise quality, technology, design, functionality and innovation within the packaging industry.

No rage clean peels from KM Packaging

Following the news that nine out of ten British consumers are regularly gripped by "wrap-rage" – frustration with impenetrable or poorly functioning food packaging - KM Packaging Services is planning to remedy the situation with the launch of a new user-friendly lidding film KM KPeel 3G.

The new lidding solution will be music to the ears of the 73% of consumers who proactively seek out foodstuffs that are easier to open. KPeel 3G is a technically-superior heatsealable polyester film which peels cleanly from trays in ambient or chilled conditions. thus enhancing KM’s already-impressive lidding range. Available in 21, 25 and 40 micron thickness, KPeel 3G is debuting hot on the heels of the company’s launch of KM Klarity, another flagship product offering game-changing antifog performance.

KPeel 3G is extremely versatile, sealing to CPet and APet trays and providing superior cold peel in one piece without shredding, even direct from the freezer. Dual ovenable – microwave and conventional oven – and chillable, this ground-breaking film also facilitates an excellent hot peel as well, making it ideal for use on products such as ready meals, soft fruit and salad bowls.

Commercial Director Graham Holding says, “KM is constantly looking to innovate, not just for the sake of it, but to really seek out ways to make the consumer experience better and thus keep our customers - food manufacturers – happy. As we celebrate our thirtieth Anniversary we’re having a fantastic year with the launch of several genuinely market-leading products over recent months, which have so far proven to be very successful.

“We expect KPeel 3G to be another trailblazer thanks to its sheer versatility and user-friendly qualities in almost any food dish, from ready meals to fruit platters. Additional features include multi colour printing as well as macro hole and lazer perforation."

Yorkshire Packaging Systems honoured for customer service

After fighting off strong competition, Yorkshire Packaging Systems won the Customer Service award at the PPMA Group Industry Awards.

Winning this prestigious award marks a significant landmark for the company, who pride themselves on delivering best in class customer service. The company’s motto is “If we don’t look after the customer then someone else will”.

Traditionally, many companies supplying capital equipment neglect the importance of investing in ongoing back-up and support from a customer service angle because of the required investment. Shrink wrapping machine downtime costs money, whether that be because of a spare part or a service engineer.

Yorkshire Packaging Systems are of the opinion that, as every piece of equipment has their name on it, they need to protect this at all costs. They believe it is a false economy to not invest in supporting the machinery supplied – as more business would be lost from potential repeat orders.

YPS have been in business for almost forty years and have a dedicated team of service engineers, office staff and sales people, all dedicated to ensuring that their customers receive high quality shrink wrapping solutions - and to ensure that the customer service and after sales back up and support is second to none.

Smurfit Kappa leads the way with innovations

Smurfit Kappa, one of the world‟s leading paper based packaging firms, became the winner in two categories at the prestigious 2014 Pulp & Paper International Awards in Boston. Smurfit Kappa took home the prize for best “Advances and Innovations in Specialty Papers” and “Innovation in Luxury Packaging”. Winning in these two categories underlines the company‟s position as a leading player in its sector. These awards are recognition of Smurfit Kappa‟s ongoing commitment to delivering innovative and sustainable solutions to its customers.

Smurfit Kappa's winning entry in the category "Advances and Innovations in Specialty Papers‟ is the Catcher Board MB12, a unique solution which prevents the migration of mineral oil hydrocarbons from packaging into food products. It is 100% recyclable, FSC certified board and furthermore it is made of natural components that meet the regulatory requirements of the food industry.

Lady BiB won the award in the category "Innovation in Luxury Packaging‟. A three litre Bag-in-Box packaging solution for wine proving that elegance goes hand in hand with functionality (quickly erected and easy to carry) while at the same time appealing to its target group in the retail environment. It also possesses the sustainability benefits of having a low carbon footprint and easily separated for recycling streams.

These two innovations demonstrate Smurfit Kappa‟s global brand initiative “Open the future”, which highlights the company‟s focus on opening opportunities with its customers by utilising its expertise, insights, and industry leading innovation, including the developing of new customer experience centres around the world.

Gary McGann, Group Chief Executive Officer, says, “Smurfit Kappa is very proud to win in this year‟s PPI awards. These two prizes reflect our efforts in creating value for our shareholders by growing our business through building proactive customer relationships and providing innovative and sustainable packaging solutions. It is from this basis we are also able to create value for our customers while enhancing the social and natural environments where we operate.”

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