MAY 2014 | $10
Lorenzo Piccioni, Co-Owner, Piccioni Bros. Mushroom Farm Ltd.
MUSHROOM MAGIC Mushroom grower scaling new heights with home-grown weighing expertise
Publication mail agreement #40069240.
Story on page 11
IN THIS ISSUE: PACKAGING FOR SHELF-LIFE • FLEXIBLE PACKAGING • PACKAGING FOR FRESHNESS • CORRUGATED PACKAGING
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PACKAGING THAT MATTERS
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COVER STORY 11
Lorenzo Piccioni, Co-Owner, Piccioni Bros. Mushroom Farm Ltd.
MUSHROOM MAGI C Mushroom grower
scaling new heights
Story on page 11
IN THIS ISSUE: PACKAGING 05PAC-COV-TAB.indd
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UPFRONT By George Guidoni NEWSPACK Packaging news roundup. NOTES & QUOTES Noteworthy industry briefs. FIRST GLANCE New packaging solutions and technologies. ECO-PACK NOW All about environmental sustainability. imPACt A monthly insight from PAC, Packaging Consortium. ANNOUNCEMENTS Company and marketplace updates. PEOPLE Packaging career moves. EVENTS Upcoming industry functions. CHECKOUT By Jaan Koel Joe Public speaks out on packaging hits and misses.
FOR SHELF-LIFE •
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DEPARTMENTS & COLUMNS
Magic Touch By Andrew Joseph Ontario mushroom grower sprouting its stuff in the marketplace following successful installation of automated weighing and scaling equipment at its processing and packaging facility. Cover photography by Kazuyoshi Ehara.
MAY 2014 • CANADIAN PACKAGING
| $10 www.canadianpa ckaging.com
VOLUME 67, NO. 5
Similarly, 20 per cent of surveyed online shoppers became “friends” or “fans” of the brand or company on social network sites based on the product packaging, with 18 per cent posting their personal comments on packaging on social media. “Packaging continues to play an important role in building brand loyalty and driving repeat purchase in-store and, increasingly, it is also a vehicle that connects brands and consumers online,” says MWV vice-president of global creative Steve Kazanjian. “Brands that recognize how packaging can inf luence online shoppers have an opportunity to see a ripple effect as those consumers share their positive experience with others via product reviews or through their social networks.” While packaging suppliers can take comfort in the study’s logical conclusion that “because every purchaser is guaranteed to interact with a product’s packaging, it should be an integral component of the marketing mix and the physical manifestation of a brand experience,” the fact that only 11 per cent of the survey participants reported to be “completely satisfied with packaging today” should serve as a sobering reality check. “Functional attributes, such as protecting the product from spilling and making the product easy to get out, are considered more important packaging attributes to consumers across all product categories,” the study observes. “By comparison, attributes related to the appearance of packaging, such as being attractive and easy to find, are overachieving based on the perceived importance to consumers.” As MWV director of consumer and customer insights Brian Richard points out: “Our research shows that the package needs to do more than look good on a shelf and drive trial of a product. “The package also needs to be easy to transport, store, use and dispose of, if the consumer is going to buy the product again.” We really could not agree more.
t’s virtually impossible to overstate the importance of packaging competence, preferably packaging excellence, for consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies operating in today’s hyper competitive, technology-driven global economy, where what once passed for breakthrough innovation can suddenly be dismissed as yesterday’s news with blinding speed. And while the impact of product packaging on the consumers’ purchasing decisions at the retailshelf level has been thoroughly studied and analyzed in countless studies, progressive CPGs would be well-advised to align their long-existing packaging practices and strategies with the fast-growing emergence of online shopping, with its disruptive potential to change the traditional brick-and-mortar retail business model beyond recognition in the not-so-distant future. According to the recently-published Packaging Matters study—conducted by leading global packaging products manufacturer MeadWestvaco Corporation (MWV) across 10 major international markets—companies who may be tempted to cut corners on their product packaging for goods sold online will do so at their own considerable peril. Based on an extensive survey of 7,665 consumers in four major ‘developed’ packaging markets of Germany, Japan, U.K. and the U.S.—along with the ‘developing’ packaging markets of Brazil, China, India, Russia, South Africa and Turkey— the survey finds surprisingly little to suggest that consumers anywhere are prepared to settle for inferior packaging execution for the convenience or novelty of the online shopping experience. Among the surveyed consumers who have shopped online, 29 per cent report to have used the product packaging to research more information about the products, with 22 per cent actually posing an online review that mentions the packaging.
PRESSING TO IMPRESS By Andrew Joseph Ontario flexible packaging products manufacturer making a giant leap in marketplace positioning following a comprehensive capital investment upgrade.
FOR BODY AND MIND By Andrew Joseph Organic dairy combines modern technology with traditional authenticity to make its mark in the highly competitive marketplace. 29
THINKING INSIDE THE BOX By David Andrews How retailers and produce growers can save big bucks by using corrugated containers.
FOOD SMARTS By Helena Gourven Why canned foods remain a highly viable meal option for modern-day consumers.
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NEW BREAD PACKAGE A WONDER OF DESIGN INNOVATION MOTHER PARKERS GETS It may not quite be the eighth wonder of the world, brand’s first-generation packaging. REAL ON RECYCLABILITY but a newly-launched retail package for the perenWhile still paying a nod to the original inspira-
nially bestselling Wonder bread brand has a lot of wonderful things going for it: including proud history; good nutritional content; iconic branding; uncanny brand loyalty; and thanks to some clever package design work by the Mississauga, Ont.-based branding experts Davis, a catchy new look to make a real emotional connection with Canadian consumers. Launched across Canada by Weston Bakeries Limited in late March, the repackaged Wonder bread brand—first sold in Canada way back in 1921—presented several significant creative challenges for the Davis design team to make the brand stand out in a product category that has been increasingly dominated by nutrition messaging in recent years. As Davis creative director Chris Plewes recalls, “Davis was challenged to refresh an iconic brand and packaging, reclaiming core equities to gain relevance with today’s families and millennial consumers.” The original package design (picture above) was inspired by the International Balloon Race held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where massive crowds were treated to the spectacle of seeing hundreds of balloons take to the sky in a brilliant kaleidoscope of red, yellow and blue balloons— creating a colorful display aptly captured on the
tion, the new design was intended to reclaim the white color traditional associated with the Wonder bread brand, according to Plewes, while also weaving a sense of softness throughout the packaging real estate with a softer wordmark and a more gentle shape to house the brand. “The bubble graphics so ingrained in consumers’ memories still convey variety, but have moved from functional carriers of information to fun symbols of the soft sandwich bread,” says Plewes, while also noting the addition of a playful, interactive ‘Squeeze Me’ on-pack message emphasizing the bread’s freshness and soft texture. “The overall clean and contemporary look brings Wonder into today’s market, without relying on nostalgia cues,” he says. Julia Kovacs, core brand marketing director with Weston Bakeries, concurs. “Wonder carries a full line of nutritious white and whole-wheat breads, yet it’s the carefree emotion and soft, pillowy texture that consumers really associate with Wonder bread,” says Kovacs, adding the packaging update is being extensively supported via television and digital advertisements, a multiplatform media marketing and communications strategy, and in-store product displays.
NEW SPARKLING WATER HITS ALL THE SWEET SPOTS
Water is rarely ‘just water’ for Canada’s leading water-bottler Nestlé Waters Canada (NWC) of Puslinch, Ont. Operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Nestlé Waters North America group of Stamford, Conn., NWC revels in its role as Canadian brand-owner of some of the world’s most popular water-based beverages—always busy introducing Canadian consumers to exciting new beverage sensations. Originally relaunched in Canada in 2009 after a major reformulation to a sodium-free product with higher juice content, the Sanpellegrino Sparking Fruit Beverage brand family has just gotten bigger again last month with the addition of its new Clementina f lavor, containing 16-percent juice from concentrate. Using only pure cane sugar, with no corn syrups, the new Clementina (Clementine orange) f lavor joins four other bestselling Sanpellegrino brand beverages—also including Aranciata (Sicilian orange), Aranciata Rossa (blood orange), Limonata (lemon) and Pompelmo (grapefruit)—to offer Canadians an upscale adult sparkling fruit beverage to be consumed as a healthier, trendier alternative to cocktails at fine-dining occasions. Made with all-natural ingredients for a moderately sweet f lavor with small bubbles for a uniquely refreshing taste, the Sanpellegrino beverages are retailed in six-packs of 330-ml, 100-percent recyclable aluminum cans featuring a premium foil-lidded seal to protect the top of the can from pollution and dust—providing consumers with a highly hygienic value-added packaging feature.
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“With the pure pleasure that comes from drinking them, Sanpellegrino Sparkling Fruit Beverages have taken Canada by storm, giving consumers everything they want in a beverage product,” says Jennifer Semley-Robert, NWC’s marketing manager for international brands. “Our Sanpellegrino Sparkling Fruit Beverages are a great example of how our company is giving consumers what they want in increasingly novel, healthy and environmentally sustainable ways,” says Semley-Robert, describing the brand’s target audience as sophisticated consumers looking for a thirst-quenching sparkling beverage with a unique European f lavor profile. According to Semley-Robert, the high quality of the fruits used in Sanpellegrino drinks is rooted in the original radiance of Italian citrus fruits, the sweetness of their juice, and a unique aroma and f lavor of the freshly-squeezed juice. Semley-Robert explains that the brand uses only the finest oranges and lemons ripened in the sun-drenched groves of southern Italy, which are still hand-picked the old-fashioned way during the strictlyobserved harvest times. Says Semley-Robert: “The deliciousness of Sanpellegrino sparkling fruit beverages has always been ensured by its exclusive use of high-quality citrus and by sophisticated technological innovations, which make it possible to translate the extreme high quality of raw materials into equally first-rate finished products—ensuring nutritional properties remain unaltered and thus avoiding the addition of preservatives.”
Since becoming all the rage among Canadian coffee drinkers in recent years, the single-serving coffee capsules—often referred to as K-Cups based on their original design compatibility with the Keurig brand coffeemaking machines—have gathered a lot of unwelcome notoriety as being an extremely difficult package to recycle, due to the multitude of little components made from different materials that are hard for consumers to separate effectively after use. But that’s all about to change in coming months, thanks to the new recyclable RealCup capsule developed by Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee, one of North America’s largest coffee and tea processors headquartered in Mississauga, Ont. Already used for the company’s premium looseleaf tea brands—including Higgins & Burke, with Numi coming in the summer—RealCup capsules with single-serve coffee brands, including Marley Coffee, will be available across Canada in 2015, according to the family-owned company originally founded back in 1912. “While other companies are aiming to offer recyclable capsules by 2020, our RealCup capsule launch for loose-leaf tea is the first step in making this a present-day reality,” says Mother Parkers vice-president of business development Bill VandenBygaart. “In just months we’ll reach our next milestone of bringing RealCup to single-serve coffee. “This is the type of game-changing innovation that results from open competition, and consumers are the ones who benefit,” he states. “There are billions of capsules thrown into landfill each year, but we will change that.” As VandenBygaart explains, recycling the BPA (Bisphenol A)-free RealCup capsule only requires consumers to pull off the top with an easy-to-use tab, recycle the cup, and dispose of the tea and the filter. “One of the top three challenges for consumers when it comes to adopting single-serve capsules is in the impact on the environment,” VandenBygaart notes. “We wanted to make sure that consumers didn’t have to sacrifice being good to the planet for the sake of convenience and a great-tasting beverage,” says VandenBygaart, explaining that the company’s 2012 launch of the non-woven FlavorMax filter—incorporated into the RealCup capsule design— laid foundation for accelerated research into developing a recyclable coffee capsule. “Over the past century, the Higgins family has built a successful business by looking after our customers, our communities and the environment,” says Mother Parkers co-CEO (chief executive officer) Michael Higgins. “These are things that matter deeply to us, and we want the next generations of our family to inherit a better Earth and a company that has contributed to making it better.” Adds co-CEO Paul Higgins: “Despite the highly competitive nature of the coffee and tea industry, our innovation with RealCup is something we are open to sharing with other single-serve manufacturers. “If it helps reduce landfill and improve the planet for future generations, then this is an innovation worth sharing,” he states.
CANADIAN PACKAGING • MAY 2014
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NOTES & QUOTES pany’s Systems Equipment Center operations into a separate, 62,000-square-foot facility across the street. Says Pregis president and chief executive officer Kevin Baudhuin: “With demand continuing to increase for Pregis’ protective packaging materials and systems, by increasing our HC film output and moving our equipment center to a larger facility, we will be better able to service growing customer requirements for custom protective packaging systems and materials.” Flex Essentials Inc. of East Caledon, Ont., has been appointed as Canadian sales agent for the Flexotecnica line of central-impression f lexographic printing presses manufactured by KBA-Flexotecnica, Italian-based subsidiary of German-owned packaging equipment group German printing technologies group Koenig & Bosch Packaging Technology has comBauer AG (KBA). Headed by company founder Fabbri_2014April_FoodPkgAd_Mushrooms_CP_Layout 1 4/3/14 7:13 PM Page 1 pleted a move to a new US$2-million facility in and president Jim Waslowski, Flex Essentials is Musahi, about 70 kilometers north of Tokyo, Japan, to accommodate the company’s growing business in the development and manufacture of product inspection technologies for pharmaceutical industry applications. Employing over 100 people, the new 4,420-square-meter site (photo above) will enable the company’s Inspection Technology Pharma unit to boost its presence and growth in the competitive market, according to Bosch, which also operates another three production facilities in Japan to serve other industrial sectors. “We want to build on the experience we have amassed in Japan over many decades and offer our customers technology that is ‘Invented for Life’ around the world,” says Joachim Baczewski, head of the Inspection Technology Pharma unit and general manager of Bosch N O T H I N G S AY S Packaging Technology in Japan.
expected to help KBA grow its market share in the Canadian paperboard and f lexible packaging markets. “We wish Jim and his company great success in this strategically important role with our company,” says Mark Hischar, president and Jim Waslowski, chief executive officer with President, the Dallas, Tex.-based KBA Flex Essentials Inc. North America. “With the recent acquisition of Flexotecnica, our parent company announced its intent to enter this key growing print market for f lexible packaging and Jim will be leading our efforts in Canada in this important market, while promoting our wellknown high level of service, expertise and parts support to Flexotecnica’s current customer base.” Tel. (647) 221-3100.
F R E S H like FABB R I PAC KAG ING
Deerfield, Ill.-headquartered protective packaging products and systems manufacturer Pregis Corp. has announced plans for a multimilliondollar investment at its manufacturing operations in Plymouth, Ind., to increase production capacity of low-density polyethylene hybrid cushioning (HC) void-fill film used with the company’s AirSpeed Versa brand (picture above) of protective packaging equipment. According to Pregis, the project includes startup of a new production line—expected to be operational this fall—which will double the previous production capacity, as well as relocating the com-
Fabbri Automatic Stretch Wrappers produce highly attractive packages that make your products look fresh and “just packed”. Fabbri Stretch Wrappers use stretch film to package fresh meat products in preformed trays to provide an in-store wrapped appearance. They employ four-way stretch technology to produce tight, over-the-flange, wrinkle-free packages with securely sealed bottoms and a superb case presentation. And here’s something you might find even more attractive: Fabbri Stretch Wrappers can help increase your profitability. Fabbri packaging is produced using low-cost packaging materials. And when you factor in its Best in Class low cost of ownership, the Fabbri Stretch Wrapper is your most economical and affordable packaging solution. Compact and robust servo-driven Fabbri packaging machines are built for speed, versatility and the highest levels of productivity. Fabbri Stretch Wrappers can handle a wide range of tray sizes with no changeovers, producing up to 62 packs per minute. All models feature a user-friendly full-size control panel for easy operation and maintenance. Test the Fabbri at our Reiser Customer Center and see for yourself how it can improve your packaging. Contact Reiser today.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CIRCLE 104 Reiser Canada 1549 Yorkton Court #4, Burlington, ON L7P 5B7 • (905) 631-6611 Reiser 725 Dedham Street, Canton, MA 02021 • (781) 821-1290 www.reiser.com/fabbrimeat
Leading the food industry in processing and packaging solutions.
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FIRST GLANCE automatic robot tool changes, the Ergobot system provides fully-integrated case-erecting and taping functions to facilitate lean operations and an ergonomically enhanced work environment, according to the companies. Combi Packaging Systems LLC
DIRECT APPROACH The new breakthrough DecoType direct printing system developed by Krones AG allows beverage, cosmetics, and household goods brand-owners to print attractive graphics, logos, pictures, images and variable information such as barcodes and bestbefore dates directly onto the surfaces of various shapes and sizes of empty plastic containers made from PET, PP or PE materials—accommodating numerous short-run, small-batch application requirements of targeted marketing campaigns and short-notice product launches. Requiring no labeling materials or adhesives, the DecoType direct printing system can accommodate printing heights of up to 200 millimeters using various UV inks on both f lat and uneven surfaces—with built-in arc emitters ensuring quick and reliable UV drying of the printed containers—while its integrated printing units with ink supply and automatic pushbutton adjustment help facilitate fast and efficient product changeovers. Krones Machinery Co. Ltd.
PULLING ITS WEIGHT Weighing less than 100 pounds and featuring built-in handles, wheels and ramps, the new Run-a-Weigh model RW-1000S portable f loor scale from Cardinal Scale Mfg. Co. offers full portability and f lexibility for quick and accurate weighing of barrels, drums, totes, and small crates at various locations in a single facility or at remote job sites. Boasting washdown-ready stainless-steel construction and an IP69K-rated polycarbonate Cardinal 190 indicator with seven different LCD display colors and cap capacitive touch keys, the scale’s 15-foot-long quick-connect cable allows users to unplug the indicator from the scale during transport, while the scale’s self-aligning loadcell and battery power options make it well-suited for weighing on uneven industrial f loor surfaces and in awkward locations. Cardinal Scale Mfg. Co.
PILOT PROJECTS Available as an oil-based system for printing on porous surfaces like corrugated cases or as a solvent-based system for printing on nonporous materials like plastics, the new PZ Pilot Touch high-resolution inkjet printing system from Squid Ink Manufacturing, Inc. employs reliable piezo printhead technology to print up to four lines of text at speeds of up to 135 feet per minute, while
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offering users the option of running two printheads from a single touchscreen controller to print on two sides of a product. Featuring modular and space-saving compact design, the PZ Pilot Touch system’s heavy-duty cabinetry and printhead bracketry ensure continuous operation in harsh industrial environments to produce razor-sharp text, scannable barcodes, logos and graphics on PET bottles, PVC pipe, metals and foils, blisterpacks, coated corrugated, and many other types of primary and secondary packaging. Squid Ink Manufacturing, Inc.
GENTLE GIANT Well-suited for packaging applications for a wide range of products such as cereal and granola, crackers and snacks, IQF (individually quick-frozen) products, baking and soup mixes, the new Flex1 horizontal cartoner from Triangle Package Machinery Co. boasts the ability to load single or twin-pack packages at speeds of up to 100 cartons per minute, according to the company, with its KB Kinetics servo drives providing optimal intermittent motion control and eliminating the need to synchronize the bagger and cartoner. Designed for gentle product handling and equipped with AllenBradley ControlLogix controls, the compact system can accommodate many various carton sizes with quick tool-less changeovers, and it can be seam seamlessly integrated with Triangle’s X-Series vertical form/fill/ seal bagger and a direct-mounted InLine Weigher for a turnkey solution. Triangle Package Machinery Co.
Designed for the needs of space-constrained, smaller-sized retail operations, the new all-plastic, small-format HP series pallets from ORBIS Corporation—measuring 42 by 30 inches— allows for easy access through narrow doorways and tight store aisles, with their contoured corner edges helping prevent unsightly product damage. Featuring molded-in stretchwrap notches in each pallet corner, the HP pallets provide generous clearance for forklifts to de-nest a full stack of pallets with slanted fork entry and a discontinuous, stepped pallet lip, as well as high truckload density with 45 pallet locations per 53-foot trailer. ORBIS Corporation
BUILT FOR SPEED Designed specifically for high-speed, highthroughput applications in pharmaceutical manufacturing environments, the new TriVex RLi line from Douglas Machine Inc. is a fully-automated, top-load case-packing solution employing a high-performance robotic loader and end effector to pick up and spread bottles or other containers into cases with protective trays. Incorporating advanced product detection and vision systems to ensure optimal package quality and verification, the TriVex RLi line performs all the case-erecting, pocketed bottom and top tray placement, product loading, leaf let insertion, inline case labeling, and case-sealing functions all within the confines of one compact machine at up to 15 cases per minute.
JOINT EFFORT Jointly developed by Motion Controls Robotics, Inc. and Combi Packaging Systems LLC, the new Ergobot case-packing system was conceived as an automated version of Combi’s proven Ergopack ergonomic hand-packing station. The new system employs advanced robotic pick-and-place and machine vision technologies to ensure increased throughput and reliability, higher packing rates, and 100-percent product tracking and traceability, lot verification and serialization, while easily accommodating variable pack counts. Offering multiple product packaging capabilities and menu-driven product selection, with manual or
Douglas Machine Inc.
FLEX IT! The all-new HFS-IM FlexPack system from Massman Automation is an Designs intermittent-motion f lexible pouch filling machine capable of accommodating a broad range of pouch size at speeds of 30 to 60 pouches per minute. Designed for fast and repeatable changeovers, the HFS-IM features custom-sealed bearing pouch transport conveyor to eliminate ‘chain stretch’ and Allen-Bradley servo control on critical elements, according to the company, along with modular design for special application requirements and an optional pouch former. Massman Automation Designs, LLC
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PAPERMAKER ADDING GREEN STEAK SIZZLE
A premium cut steak virtually speaks for itself at the grocer’s refrigerated display case, and thanks to a new line of sustainable steak papers developed by Canada’s leading forest products group Cascades Inc., progressive supermarkets, butcher shops and deli stores can also make a proud statement about their own environmental mindset. Made at the company’s kraft and specialty papers mill in East Angus, Que., the new Cascades Enviro Kraft Steak Papers are the first FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)-certified, 100-percent recycled paper formulated specifically for direct contact for beef, pork, poultry and seafood, according to the Kingsey Falls, Que.headquartered Cascades. The papers are specifically treated to form a barrier that prevents excess juices from permeating the sheet to provide maximum display life, according to Cascades, while also preventing the meat from blackening. “Our Enviro Kraft Steak Paper is a unique product that offers superior performance, competitive pricing and very high environmental standards,” says Cascades East Angus Inc. sales manager Yves Bienvenue, adding the FDA-approved papers can also be used to maintain the integrity of red meats, poultry and seafood in a processing environment.
LESSER WEIGHT FOR BIGGER SLICE OF PIE
Eating pizza may not spring to mind as a quick way to weight loss, but for the Italian mozzarella producer Gruppo Francia, switching the packaging of the private-label Cucina brand of mozzarella cheese—marketed by German discount retailer Aldi—to the new SuperLight pot from RPC Superfos is shedding a lot of serious tonnage across its supply chain. Weighing less than half the brand’s previous packaging, the SuperLight pod is made of a single material, polypropylene, making it easier to recycle, while its compatibility with the IML (in-mold labeling) process enables more effective brand differentiation through the use of high-quality images and graphics. “There were two major factors in favor of SuperLight—the opportunity to have the Cucina label displayed immaculately on the pot and the reduced amount of virgin polypropylene per unit,” says Gruppo Francia owner Fabrizio Francia, citing brisk sales for the repackaged Cucina brand.
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USING GREENER CANS TO BEAT THE SUMMER HEAT With beer sales typically hitting their peak during the hot summer months, fast-growing southern U.S. microbrewer Red Hare Brewing Company certainly has time on its side this year with the world’s first commercial use of the new evercan beverage can, boasting at least 90-percent recycled content. Developed by global aluminum recycler Novelis Inc., the evercan containers—certified by leading environmental auditors SCS Global Services for production at Novelis plants in North America, Europe, South America and Asia—will reaffirm the Marriotta, Ga.-based craft brewer’s longstanding commitment to reducing its environmental impact, according to Red Hare Brewing founder Roger Davis. Founded in 2009, Red Hare is the first craft brewer in the State of Georgia to sell its beer in cans rather than glass bottles right from the time it launched its core Long Day Lager, Gangway IPA and Watership Brown Ale brands to market. Hitting the shelves in select U.S. markets this month, “The Novelis evercan is a perfect fit for Red Hare,” Davis asserts. “The independent certification of the closedloop recycling process behind evercan strengthens our commitment to employing the best in sustainable business practices, making evercan a natural extension of the Red Hare brand,” Davis states, adding he hopes to see other microbrewers follow suit. Davis estimates that there are currently 400 craft brewers in the U.S., canning more than 1,300 different beer brands in total. “Working with Red Hare, we have developed a proven supply chain to deliver this industryfirst offering to consumers, setting an example that other beverage companies are sure to fol-
low,” concurs Novelis president and chief executive officer Phil Martens. “This introduction marks the commercial availability of the world’s first certified high-recycled content aluminum beverage can,” Martens says, adding that increasing the recycling of beverage cans is a key component of the company’s global strategy to boost the recycled content of its products to 80 per cent by 2020. Already ranking as the world’s largest recycler of aluminum, Novelis has announced several major capital investments worth about US$500 million over the last two years, primarily aimed at doubling its global recycling capacity to 2.1 million metric tonnes by 2015. According to Novelis, recycling aluminum requires 95 per cent less energy, while generating 95 per cent less GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, compared to manufacturing primary aluminum. “Novelis’ evercan is an excellent model for sustainability-based innovation, which will enable beverage brands and retailers to advance their own sustainable packaging goals,” says Stuart Hart, professor emeritus of the Sustainable Global Enterprise program at the Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. “This introduction also serves as an important catalyst to educate other brand-holders and consumers about the value of closed-loop aluminum recycling and to engage them to take action themselves,” says Hart, author of bestselling management book Capitalism at the Crossroads, published in 2007.
NEW SHIPPING BOXES GIVE FINE WINES A BIG CHILL Good wine needs no sign, according to an old French proverb, but a really fine vintage that is best served chilled is likely to leave a much better impression when it’s been delivered in one of the new temperature-controlled shipping cartons developed by Thermal Packaging Products— with minimal environmental footprint to boot. Designed for an easy custom fit inside most regular corrugated shipping carriers (see picture), the Chilled Wine Shipper cushioning carton liner features ultra-insulating padding made from purified, recycled, biodegradable, highly absorbent, cotton-enhanced textile fibers sandwiched between the inner layer and outer layers of poly film sealed on all sides, according to the Norfolk, Neb.-based company, with the poly film containing a special additive claimed to prompt total biodegradation in a landfill environment. With the inner surface of the poly film perforated to allow condensation from the refrigerant to wick away and be absorbed into the cotton fibers—thereby protecting the bottle labels—the shippers comprise innovative proprietary cooling chambers to allow for use of adjustable amounts
of refrigerants to control the wine’s specific temperature requirements. According to the company-conducted 48-hour tests, wine bottles packaged in Chilled Wine Shippers were able to maintain their temperatures under 21°C (70°F) while enduring more than 20 hours of ambient temperatures of over 43°C (110°F), while a more challenging 24-hour test showed the wine temperature to stay below 27°C (80°F) after withstanding more than five hours of extreme ambient temperatures exceeding 60°C (140°F). Using high-strength corrugated separator inserts to keep the wine bottles from shifting during transport, the f lexible cushioning insulation padding also contains a special antimicrobial that helps to prevent cross-contamination, and is programmed to expire after a desired length of time to trigger the biodegradation process. The new shippers are offered in a four-bottle design with one extra refrigerant cooling chamber; a six-bottle design with two cooling chambers; or in specified custom-fit configurations to suit just about any existing carton size, according to the company.
CANADIAN PACKAGING • MAY 2014
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The vital partner and catalyst for the packaging value chain
PAC K AG I N G CO N S O R T I U M
“PAC, the Packaging Association of Canada was founded in 1950. In 2010, to accomodate the needs of our members, the name changed to PAC, the Packaging Association. Today in our 65th year, the evolution continues to PAC, the Packaging Consortium which appropriately reflects our broader reach.”
“For our 2000+ membership, the core PAC tenets have not changed, including material and package neutrality, our ‘everyone’s invited’ community and over 40 annual networking events. We have refined our product offering into three core products, and added PAC FOOD WASTE into the PACsecure portfolio.”
Bruce Smith Director of Global Packaging for Molson Coors and Chairman of PAC
James D Downham President & CEO PAC Packaging Consortium
PACK AGING CONSORTIUM
PAC Core Products • PACsecure protects products at the start of life. The product portfolio includes: • IFS PACsecure, a GFSI approved program and one of the world’s leading food safety standards for primary and secondary packaging • PAC FOOD WASTE is A Catalyst for Food Waste Packaging Solutions and our goal is to maximize the reduction of food waste through packaging solutions. • PACed continues packaging education throughout life. The extensive education product portfolio includes in-class and on-line, specialized packaging and business training. • PAC NEXT takes packaging into its next life. Our vision is A World Without Packaging Waste, and our goal is to minimize recovery system costs, while maximizing revoery rates of dicarded packaging.
P R O D U C T’S F I R S T L I N E O F D E F E N S E
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Join the PAC – for more information contact Lisa Abraham at email@example.com CANADIAN PACKAGING • MAY 2014
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ECONOMIES OF SCALE
Automated weighing equipment helps put mushroom grower on path to future growth ANDREW JOSEPH, FEATURES EDITOR PHOTOS BY KAZUYOSHI EHARA
here is no shortage of wonderful surprises sprouting up at the Piccioni Bros. Mushroom Farm Ltd. facility in Dundas, Ont., about an hour’s drive west of Toronto. Perhaps none more so than the fact that the mushrooms there aren’t grown in a dark, smelly environment—vaguely reminiscent of the old hockey bag some of us keep down in the basement, wisely so. Instead, the mushrooms grown by the familyowned company currently celebrating its 50th anniversary are cultivated and harvested in a well-lit, temperature-controlled environment maintained at a comfortable ‘room’ temperature. The other urban legend tossed out the proverbial window is the smell. There is none, save the aromatic scent of mushrooms that disguises the pungent stench of compost used to grow the mushrooms. Growing quality mushrooms commercially since 1964, the Piccioni Bros. Mushroom Farm is nowadays operated by the dynamic brother-sister duo of Lorenzo and Anna Maria Piccioni. “We have never thought of changing the company name, firstly out of respect for our father and uncle and also for the fact that it is a well-known entity in the industry and has always been associated with quality product,” Lorenzo Piccioni told Canadian Packaging during a recent visit to the farm. “It was started by my uncle who had asked our dad to join him in this venture,” Piccioni recalls. “Our uncle Antonio had been a partner in Saltf leet Mushrooms but decided to go out with his brothers to start Piccioni Bros. Mushroom Farm in 1964.” As the years passed and the business became successful, it was eventually sold in 1985 to Leaver Mushrooms as the brothers thought of retirement. But with mushrooms so ingrained in their blood,
MAY 2014 • CANADIAN PACKAGING
they restarted a six-room “hobby farm” to grow oyster mushrooms to keep themselves busy. “When our uncle decided to retired in 1990, my sister and I became involved in the business, continuing with the oyster mushrooms until 1992, when we became the lead hands at the company,” says Piccioni. “We’ve been running the farm for about 20 years now, though we have made a few changes.” With an estimated 14,000 different types of mushroom, the so-called standard for the name ‘mushroom’ is usually reserved for reference to the white-button mushroom, which along with the brown cremini mushroom is what Piccioni Bros. produces en masse.
All told, these rooms help the farm produce some 85,000 to 90,000 pounds (38,400 to 40,800 kilograms) of mushrooms per week. According to Piccioni, that last expansion to construct the six growing rooms cost upwards of $2.5 million, a number that he says demonstrates
Hot Button The white-button mushroom is the most popular mushroom variety in Canada, explains Piccioni, and combined with the brown cremini mushrooms, account for 90 per cent of the commercial mushroom crop in Canada with shiitake, oyster, king oyster and enoki varieties encompassing the remaining 10 per cent. According to industry estimates, Canada produces about 85,000 tonnes of mushrooms annually with total farm gate value of about $300 million. “Mushroom farms in Ontario make up about 50 per cent of the Canadian mushroom industry,” says Piccioni, with British Colombia accounting for about one-third. When Piccioni Bros. decided to get back into cultivating the white-button mushrooms again in 1992, the popularity of the button mushrooms convinced him that there was still a larger demand for the product. So much so, that they had to add more growing rooms in 1995, and in 1997, and again in 2005. Today the company operates a total of 12 cultivation rooms measuring 300 square meters each, and six rooms built in 2011 at 400 square meters apiece.
Along with his sister Anna Maria, Lorenzo Piccioni co-owns the Dundas, Ont.-based Piccioni Bros. Mushroom Farm.
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Sliced mushrooms move up an incline infeed conveyor (left) and down into a 14-head PrimoCombi weigher outfitted with 2.5-liter buckets—both from WeighPack Systems.
just how much investment is needed to grow the mushrooms commercially. “Business is growing, so we’re now in the midst of adding another six of the large rooms to expand our production to meet customer demands,” Piccioni points out. The growing rooms are monitored by individual climate-controlled temperature systems from Fancom BV, which, along with Dofra BV water controls makes sure the entire growing process for the mushroom is carefully monitored to ensure optimum growth in a very safe environment to produce the high-quality mushrooms, Piccioni explains. “Regardless of the type of farm, ensuring the efficient supply of water and the precise amount of water is key,” admits Piccioni. “In mushroom farming, providing the exact application of water over the growing beds is crucial,” he states.
“Not only is the water we dole out regulated, but the pumps that distribute the water are pumps that limit energy consumption.” In 2006, Piccioni Bros. installed a new packaging area for themselves allowing them to continue getting their own self-named brand of mushrooms out to such grocery retailers, such as Fortinos in the Hamilton and Toronto area.
Local Growth In addition to the white-button and brown cremini mushrooms, Piccioni also supplies retail customers with the portabello variety, which Piccioni says is simply a larger, more mature version of the brown cremini with its gills exposed. According to Piccioni, roughly 75 per cent of the mushrooms grown, harvested and packaged at his 71,000-square-foot farm are of the white-button variety, with the brown cremini taking up 20 per
The easy-to-use Primo 360 interface designed by WeighPack Systems allows plant workers to program and store a plethora of package weights and product recipes.
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cent, and the portabello accounting for the five remaining percent. Describing the company as medium-sized relative to other Canadian mushroom farms, Piccioni says the 70-employee company runs the facility on a 24 hour a day, seven-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year schedule. Piccioni explains that the compost supplied to their farm is shipped from another facility that they are partners in. The compost incorporates three specific phases of operation before the material is ready to be delivered to the mushroom farm. Phase one is conducted outside in covered buildings called “bunkers”, involving the prepping of the raw materials such as straw, hay and nitrogen sources. Phase two involves the pasteurization and conditioning of the compost, a six-day process which is done within a dark tunnel measuring four by four by 40 meters long.
A Domino model A200+ inkjet coder applies best-before and lot-code data onto each tray of mushrooms packed at the Piccioni Bros. Mushroom Farm plant in Dundas.
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COVER STORY After air is forced up through the compost, it heats the material up to a temperature of 55° to 60°C, before being brought down to 48°C to condition the compost and to get the nutrients to their optimal capacity to promote the mushrooms growth. Phase three involves the adding of seed, called ‘spawn’, to this compost. The spawn is evenly spread through the compost and over a period of 14 to 16 days, the mycelium which was inoculated on the grain grows into the compost making sure it has been completely incubated. “It’s actually at this point when it becomes more of a personal operation for us, as we send our trucks there to pick up a whole trailer load of incubated compost that weighs between 28 and 37 metric tonnes,” says Piccioni. “We then place this load within one of our 18 growing rooms.” During the filling of the compost into the growing room, a peat moss-and-lime mixture is added to the top of the compost pile, providing the essential bacteria, to ‘encourage’ the mushrooms to grow. The peat moss is also essential for the fruiting pins to gain moisture by taking its nutrients from the compost. Kept in a temperature range of 24° to 27°C with high humidity, the mycelium thrives in an environment containing a high level of carbon dioxide, which is actually made by the fungus itself as it grows.
After being dispensed from the WeighPack PrimoCombi buckets, mushrooms are placed onto foam trays manufactured by CKF Inc. with 25-percent recycled content.
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Producing about 41,000 kgs of mushrooms every week, a Piccioni Bros. worker harvests white-button mushrooms in one of the farm’s 18 temperature-controlled growing rooms.
By day six, a vegetative growth of mycelium has grown into the casing soil, which is when Piccioni says they f lush the growing room. “This is where we manipulate the growing room by taking the warm and humid environment and dropping both down in order to cause mushroom fruiting,” says Piccioni, describing ‘fruiting’ as the term given to the formation of the mushroom head. “To ensure we get that perfect growth, we have
to take things to another level,” reveals Piccioni, “which means we need an optimum compost, casing layer and environment, in order to get it to produce mushrooms”. As the mushrooms begin to grow, the environment is carefully controlled through all its growing cycle until they are ready to be harvested by hand. As Piccioni explains, the whole process of commercially growing mushrooms is a lot more com-
plex than most people think. “The mushroom business is not one where you can sit back even for a day, less the entire crop fail,” he states. To ensure that there is a constant stream of mushrooms produced at the farm, the mushroom houses are filled on four different days of the week, he relates. Each room produces two f lushes in 30 days before they are pasteurized at 70°C for a minimum of 12 hours. The compost is then removed and sent to a garden center nearby, as its growing rooms are washed down and prepped to be filled again. Each one of the growing rooms contains six levels of shelves, so workers utilize hydraulic lorries, attached to the outer railings of the shelves, to harvest the mushrooms. With the harvester standing by the controls, they can maneuver the lorrie up and down and side to side to get at the mushrooms. “Instead of having my employees climb up and down a ladder holding onto a bucket and a knife as is still used on some older farms, they can do their harvesting atop the lorries,” Piccioni mentions. “It’s not only safer for them, but it actually speeds up the production,” he states. Immediately after harvesting, the crop is placed in a cooler that keeps them at maximum of 4°C. Piccioni explains that the mushrooms need to Each packed tray passes through an IQ³ metal detection system, manufactured by Loma Systems, to check for foreign particles and possible contaminants.
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COVER STORY stay in a cold environment after harvesting all the 14-head PrimoCombi multihead weigher, featuring way through the packaging process until they are 2.5-liter buckets, as well as a tray indexing condelivered to the grocery store shelves in order to veyor and an incline infeed conveyor to automaticmaintain shelf-life and quality. ally weigh and fill sliced mushrooms packed into If the mushrooms warm up, they lose their color retail trays. and soften up very quickly. Central Command Piccioni notes that mushroom cultivation is a According to WeighPack’s Conforti, the very labor-intensive process, requiring the use of PrimoCombi multihead weigher is the first openthe best equipment available in the market. frame CAN-Bus-wired combination scale that This requirement also extends to the packaging houses all its electronics within one central elecof the mushrooms. trical enclosure, thereby offering superior servicePiccioni explains that any new packaging equipability advantages. ment purchased must stand up to the exacting Featuring Windows PC controls, PrimoCombi rigors of hygiene and food safety standards, while users can work with Crystal Reports, Skype and accounting for the fact that the mushroom itself is LogMeIn.com to access free online support and other a very delicate product requiring gentle handling. technical assistance. While the expansion of Piccioni Bros. Mushroom For Piccioni Bros. it was important to have the Farm seems to have run at break-neck speed as of PrimoCombi work at a minimum rate of 40 trays per late, naturally Piccioni says he and his sister are very meticulous in their capital investment purchases. EXTRUSION | PRINTING | CONVERTING “Our most recent technologicallyadvanced piece of equipment is a weigher that was installed just this past February,” says Piccioni. While attending the 2011 PACKEX trade show, Piccioni says he was immediately impressed with the exhibit of WeighPack Systems, Inc. Although there wasn’t an immediate need for Piccioni to add more automation to the plant back in 2011, Piccioni was already planning ahead for just such an inevitability. WeighPack scheduled an in-house demonstration at their manufacturing facility, showcasing the company’s leading-edge PrimoCombi multihead weigher.
minute, but also to have the spare capacity to increase its speed up to 80-trays per minute. WeighPack service supervisor Paul Anderson also adds that the production speed was actually only one key feature that Piccioni demanded. “WeighPack designed, engineered and manufactured this PrimoCombi packaging system to operate at their requested parameters, but Piccioni was adamant that the line be designed with product safety in mind, including minimal drop points and softer transitions to help eliminate product bruising,” he relates. Anderson explains that generally food items of a more solid density are easily checkweighed by WeighPack equipment within the various buckets before being dropped down into a bagger for packaging. But with product bruising in the mushroom market a big turn-off, the system had to accommodate a softer
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An Omori flowrapper applies film over the sliced mushroom trays at Piccioni Bros. Mushroom Farm.
Headquartered in Montreal, the company is well-known as a single-source manufacturer of packaging solutions offering state-of-the-art technology at reasonable pricing, with models designed to suit almost every kind of application or production requirement. “When Lorenzo Piccioni visited our Montreal office, he brought a lot of mushrooms with him, so that we could run his product on one of our many packaging solutions in order to validate production rates and accuracy,” recalls Weighpack territory manager Mark Conforti. The demonstration left Piccioni highly impressed: “I got to see firsthand, before purchasing it, just how effective this packaging system could be for our production needs,” he recalls. In short order, Piccioni purchased a
VAREX II’s modular design provides flexibility for producing blown films from diverse resins. With the new ENERGY MONITORING module, you get real-time data, making it easier than ever to identify potential savings. And that’s just the FOR MORE INFORMATION CIRCLE 109 beginning ...
Windmoeller & hoelscher
23 New England Way · Lincoln, Rhode Island 02865-4252 Phone 800-854-8702 · firstname.lastname@example.org · www.whcorp.com
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With mushrooms being a delicate product, a gentle touch is required and supplied by the WeighPack Systems’ conveyors and the PrimoCombi weigher.
drop point and to meet higher sanitation expectations. To achieve that, WeighPack utilized an incline infeed conveyor that was specifically designed to provide easier access when cleaning. “To save time and effort when cleaning, we designed the conveyor so that the entire polyurethane infeed belt could be easily removed by the operator without the burden of tools,” says Anderson. “The design also includes easy access to both the side wall and infeed hopper—both of which can be removed without tools.” Anderson adds that providing customer support after sale is one of WeighPack’s core values. “Customer service support has always been our focus, offering our customers free online support through our leading-edge Windows PC operating system,” says Anderson. “This provides customers with quick and effect-
ive support,” he says, adding that in regards to the Piccioni project, everyone had a good vibe right from the onset. “I genuinely appreciated working with driven and passionate entrepreneurs like Lorenzo and the entire Piccioni family; it was a true partnership throughout each step,” says Conforti. Piccioni agrees: “The PrimoCombi has been working very well for us. “I have zero complaints with the machine and zero complaints with the folks at WeighPack,” he extols. “They have been very easy to work with in ensuring I have a machine that does exactly what I require it to do,” he states. After the sliced mushrooms pass through the PrimoCombi, the system deposits the proper weight of product onto the foam trays. Made of 25-per-cent recycled material, the trays are manufactured by CKF Inc., and are sold to the farm via GT French Paper Ltd. Founded in 1933, CKF is a Canadian familyowned company. The manufacturer specializes in quality molded pulp and foam products for consumer, foodservice and retailer markets across North America. “It was in 2003 that we became more automated in the way we ran our production and packaging departments, first purchasing an overwrap machine, then a mushroom slicer, and then a multi-lane slicer,” Piccioni recalls. “Once we started, and found that our company could grow as our production times went down, it was easy to continue purchasing better automated equipment.” Other key packaging line equipment used by Piccioni Bros. Mushroom Farm plant, includes: • new Omori North America STN-8500-WE tray-wrappers, added in 2010, that run at a speed of 120 packages per minute, more than double the previous wrapping system; • IQ³ metal detection system manufactured by Loma Systems, purchased in 2010; • three A Series Plus coders from Domino Printing Sciences PLC; • labeling equipment from Elmark Packaging, Inc. • labels supplied by Lintech Label & Print Solutions of Brantford, Ont.;
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Perched atop CHEP pallets, Piccioni Mushroom Farm utilizes corrugated cartons manufactured by Rock-Tenn to ship its product to a fast-growing customers base.
• film for the trays manufactured by AEP Film, supplied by GT French Paper. “The mushroom industry is a lot of work,” Piccioni asserts. “Not only do you have to be vigilant for keeping an eye out for disease, but it’s not really a high-end crop that brings you great riches,” Piccioni relates. “And yet, despite all of the hard work involved, I grew up in this environment and I love all that it entails.” Piccioni remarks that sustainability is quite high on the list of priorities for the farm, noting that it uses a lot of waste products to grow the mushrooms. “Even after we are finished growing the mushrooms, we still have the compost remaining that it was grown in,” notes Piccioni. “So we take it and sell it to landscapers and they can use it in their triple mix gardening soil,” he points out. “It is also a great soil conditioner, especially with clay-based soil.” Always looking to expand the business, Piccioni says that after the next six growing rooms are completed by August, he might be able to relax for a day or two. “Hopefully, but I doubt it,” he chuckles. “More likely I’ll have to start planning the next round of capital investments to make sure we continue growing upwards.”
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WeighPack Systems, Inc. Fancom BV Dofra BV CKF Inc. GT French Paper Ltd. Omori North America Inc. Loma Systems Canada Ltd. Domino Printing Sciences PLC Elmark Packaging, Inc. Lintech Label & Print Solutions AEP Film Omori Machinery Co. Ltd.
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Patrick Kerrigan, President, Alpha Poly Corporation
PRESSING TO IMPRESS Corporate rebranding and major capital investment projects help propel Canadian flexible packaging converter into the big leagues
ANDREW JOSEPH, FEATURES EDITOR PHOTOS BY COLE GARSIDE
n the contemporary business world, the term ‘family-owned’ often prompts people to conjure up an image of some sort of mom-andpop shop operation where business is done the old family way, with little ambition to compete against the industry’s big boys. While reaction is sometimes justified, it couldn’t be farther from the truth in the case of Alpha Poly Corporation. Better known as Alpha Poly Packaging Solutions, this Canadian family-owned manufacturer of f lexible packaging for the nutraceutical, confectionary, bakery, produce, and lawn and garden segments doesn’t mind if the competition takes it lightly, as long as it keeps growing its market share. Located in Brampton, Ont., Alpha Poly was originally formed in 1989 as a producer of PE (polyethylene) bags for the waste management industry, i.e. garbage bags, if you will. “Since our beginnings, we’ve diversified our company in an effort to grow our business, now producing printed f lexible packaging in a myriad format of film choices and additional features,” Alpha Poly president Patrick Kerrigan told Canadian Packaging during a recent visit to the company’s state-of-the-art 53,000-square-foot facility. As a leading Canadian manufacturer of f lexible
MAY 2014 • CANADIAN PACKAGING
Manufactured by Windmoeller & Hoelscher, Alpha Poly’s new state-of-the-art Miraflex AM eight-color flexographic press was supplied by its Canadian distributor Webconverter Ltd.
packaging, Alpha Poly offers f lexographic printing and in-house design capabilities, along with converting and laminating, to produce pre-printed laminated rollstock, MAP (modified atmosphere packaging), resealable bags, courier-style bags, high-barrier food packaging, various types of pouches, and lawn-and-garden bags.
The one thing the company does not do, however, is actually extrude its own film. Instead, according to Kerrigan, it purchases rolls of PE, PET and oriented propylene films from Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia producers, and then further process that into the company’s high-quality f lexible packaging products.
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The cost-effective Miraflex AM flexographic press from W&H can accommodate print widths of 32 to 57 inches at speeds up to 1,300 feet per minute.
“We sell our products to manufacturers who sell to processors or retailers, mostly in the retail and food industries, and we do a lot of private-label business,” Kerrigan reveals. While the company’s products are available coastto-coast across Canada, Kerrigan notes that it has only just begun to reach into the U.S. markets. “For us, Alpha Poly is still small enough for every customer to get that hands-on advice, but we are also keen on adding high-quality employees to our business,” says Kerrigan. “I’ve noticed throughout the years that often one company will lose an employee only to pick up someone else from the same pool of talent,” he says. “But we don’t necessarily want someone coming in with pre-set ways of doing their work,” adds Kerrigan. “We like having people who listen to what the customer wants and can offer solutions no one has ever thought of before. “We let creative people be creative, which is why we don’t have a lot of turnover here,” he explains, suggesting that this might have something to do with people wanting to work for Alpha Poly. Kerrigan says the company’s success is rooted in creating relationships, and then working to ensure they become long-term relationships. “For our clients, we ensure they have a dedicated Alpha Poly customer service representative, along with a client solutions representative, to assist with new or special projects,” says Kerrigan. “It’s important for us that the customer know who they can talk to about a project,” he explains. “Having a long-term partner for the customer to deal with is fair for our employees and for the customer.” “I can state unequivocally, that our entire team has a great sense of pride in the contribution to customer satisfaction,” he states. Kerrigan says that along with the technical expertise of his employees, the company’s reputation is backed up with a robust quality assurance program that helps ensure the customer receives an “exceptional product, each and every time.” It’s a strategy that has paid off in a big way, he relates. “Even though this is a huge market, I think it’s probably more correct to note that we are actually a small company, but our next goal is to soon
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become a medium-sized player,” says Kerrigan. Currently, the company’s 50 employees work three-shifts-a-day, five-day-a-week production to convert some five million feet of film every month, or an equivalent of about 25 million bags. “I think it’s feasible—and it is our goal—to triple those numbers within the next three to five years, which is where our current capacity sits,” says Kerrigan. If all goes according to plan, Alpha Poly may still need to increase its production capacity before then, Kerrigan notes “because a company should always have capacity, implying it always has room to grow.”
“It’s very important for our employees to have the best equipment in the industry,” says Kerrigan. “It’s always been our philosophy, with my dad who ran the business for years and years prior to my tenure.” According to Kerrigan, new capital investments are an annual occurrence at Alpha Poly, always looking for new technology and equipment to improve the manner in which it does business. “We continually reinvest in ourselves to ensure we can continue to provide a high-end product while still offering competitive pricing—two things we are known for,” says Kerrigan, noting that Alpha Poly offers many value-added services through its in-house graphic art department. “Having our own in-house art department, really does make the pre-press process as seamless and effective as possible,” he says.
Alpha Poly president Patrick Kerrigan (left) and graphic coordinator Glenn Correa review a print sample of the HD flexographic technology.
Kerrigan says that three years ago the company underwent a significant corporate transformation to create a better ref lection of its business diversification. “We were known as Alpha Poly Bag then, but even then it was quite obvious that it simply did not describe who we were or what we did, which was to provide customers with a complete packaging solution,” he says. Kerrigan says that while it is important to have experience, citing the more than 150 years of combined business experience at the company’s senior management level, “it is equally important to temper that experience with talent.” Kerrigan says that even with all that, having the proper equipment in place is a pre-requisite for moving forward.
Kerrigan reveals that his company currently has nine production lines at the facility, “consisting of nine bag machines, one slitter one laminator and two printing presses.” Just a year ago, Alpha Poly completed a $3.5-million expansion that included adding a 20,000-square-foot warehouse. “The idea behind that was to actually free up some much needed space in our main plant for a bit of office renovation, and a lot more room for the manufacturing area,” Kerrigan reveals. With more room in the manufacturing area planned, Kerrigan knew it was time to begin to add some new equipment to help expand the customer base while taking even better care of the existing customers.
As part of its most recent major capital expenditure upgrades, Alpha Poly purchased a brand new Nordmeccanica Super Simplex SL two-ply solventless adhesive laminating machine.
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FLEXIBLE PACKAGING With that in mind, Alpha Poly added a new twoply Super Simplex SL solventless laminator from Nordmeccanica SpA, using the latest quickcuring technology that allows it to use its brand new slitter from Deacro Industries Ltd. of Mississauga, ON. a mere three hours later. All-told, it allows pouch-making to begin after 24 hours with product fill available in 48 hours— giving Alpha Poly an incredibly short turnaround time for customer requests. This faster turnaround time is greatly aided by Flextra Fast, a solvent-free film laminating adhesive system for f lexible packaging, manufactured by adhesives specialists H.B. Fuller, boasting incredibly quick cure times, while still being food safe. The technology of this adhesive system allows Alpha Poly to meet the requirements of customers without holding inventory for long periods of time, while also not requiring a hot room. By using this fast-curing system, H.B. Fuller says it improves its service to customers, reduces WIP (work in progress), minimizes storage space and improves scheduling. Needing a new f lexographic press, Kerrigan turned to the expertise of the Toronto-based Webconvert Ltd., a well-established supplier of advanced converting machinery from the U.S. and Europe for the f lexible packaging industry.
A slitter manufactured by Deacro Industries is key to helping Alpha Poly achieve faster turnaround speeds for its customers.
Top Class The company represents some of the top suppliers to the packaging industry, including Enercon, Convertech, Montalvo and Schlumpf, and as of 2009 has become the exclusive sales representative in Canada for Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corporation (W&H). According to Webconvert president Dirk Kroll, his company and Alpha Poly first became partners back in 2004, when they wanted to get into printing business of plastic films, selling them their first six-color press. “Even with our previous relationship with Alpha Poly, I was impressed that Patrick Kerrigan hopped on a plane and traveled to Germany to personally see a W&H press and equipment from two other companies before making his decision that a W&H press was the best press for his company,” says Kroll. Through Webconvert, Alpha Poly ordered a Miraflex AM 52-inch, eight-color f lexographic press from the Lincoln, R.I.-based W&H. Delivered the day before last Christmas, the press was commissioned in January. Manufactured in Germany by parent company Windmöller & Hölscher KG, the Miraflex AM is a cost-optimized press that offers the same power and performance of other W&H presses, with the chief difference being speed. Designed for maximum production speeds up to 1,300 feet per minute, it is over three times faster than Alpha Poly’s other press, according to Kerrigan.
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A Schneider Electric motor (inset) embedded within the spider-like arms of the Mirafelx AM flexographic press.
Alpha Poly utilizes H.B. Fuller’s Flextra, a solvent-less adhesive to provide an extremely short turnaround time for its flexible packaging products.
Printing widths on the Miraflex AM provide a great deal of f lexibility to Alpha Poly, enabling them to print at 820-mm to 1,450mm, with a maximum repeat width of 800mm while printing on plastic film, paper and laminates.
“We really like the Miraf lex AM press,” states Kerrigan. “It has a robust design, and easy-to-use smart technology that gives us fantastic output at what we hope will be a short return-on-investment.” Kroll notes that the Miraf lex f lexographic presses from W&H are available in both eight- and 10-color versions, and have been the most successful range of presses ever sold by W&H, with over 300 machines installed worldwide since its launch in 2008. According to Kroll, the Miraflex benefits from a highly developed mechanical design for utmost sta-
Special SaleS agent RequiRed Canadian Packaging Magazine has an opening for a sales professional with 1 to 5 years of b2b sales experience. You are looking for an exciting new challenge in media sales. You will service and grow existing accounts. You will prospect the continent for new business and accounts. You will work with your accounts to plan exceptional multi-platform communications programs using the full array of print, digital, social media and event tools available from Canadian Packaging and our parent publishing company, Glacier Media. You will become a valued part of our clients’ marketing strategies. You are agile and you are versatile. You will be relentless in chasing prospects who do not yet realize how useful a multi-platform sales support program involving Canadian Packaging and EMBALLAGES magazines can be for them. You will focus on your southern Ontario territory, and you will travel the continent in search of new business at a variety of trade shows and conferences related to our market. You will have a License to Sell in the challenging and competitive world of media sales. You will be our Special Sales Agent. Please send your resume in confidence to: Stephen Dean, Senior Publisher Canadian Packaging, EMBALLAGES, Les Nouvelles 80 Valleybrook Drive, Toronto, ON M3B 2S9 email@example.com 416-510-5198 www.canadianpackaging.com
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FLEXIBLE PACKAGING bility required for quality printing at high speeds. The press’s high speed and quick changeovers are achieved with the Turboclean inking and washup system, along with productivity-enhancing features such as East Set HD for automatic impression setting and 3D plate topography and Easy Reg S for automatic register pre-setting. “This was a very important investment for Alpha Poly,” states Kerrigan. “The f lexible packaging market is the future of packaging.” With sustainability also being important to Alpha Poly, Kerrigan says the company joined PACNext, a PAC Packaging Consortium-led project aimed at helping the industry transition itself towards a world without packaging waste. “We joined to try and help provide insight on how to deal with laminates in landfill or sorting at the recycling facilities,” Kerrigan explains, adding that 95 per cent of the packaging Alpha Poly manufactures is end-user recyclable with existing municipal recycling programs. “Moreover, 95 percent of all the scrap that comes out of our production process is picked up by WasteCo. and sent for recycling into new useable plastic, which means less dependence on raw materials,” he adds. “We also collect plastic pallet wrap, empty plastic spools and corrugate cores for recycling.” The company also does its part with internal sustainability, with in-house recycling programs, and programmable thermostats to reduce energy consumption during non-business hours. To that end, Alpha Poly changed the facility lighting to more energy efficient lights—converting to T-8 lights to reduce energy consumption by 36 per cent, while increasing bulb life by 6,000 hours—and digitizing much of its manual process to reduce paper consumption by over 20 per cent. Another part of its sustainability initiative involves Alpha Poly promoting environmentally sustainable products like compostable, biodegradable bags made from recycled plastic. Alpha Poly’s OXO Biodegradeable bags feature special film that contains an additive that provides a time-specified breakdown of the polymer molecules into carbon when exposed to heat, light, air or even stress. “We also offer custom features that provide cus-
The eight-color Miraflex AM flexographic press has enabled Alpha Poly to increase its production speeds four-fold while presenting even higher quality graphics for customer products.
tomers and their consumers with re-use functions such as reclosable zippers, resealable tape and diecut handles,” notes Kerrigan. Kerrigan notes that Alpha Poly is also a member of IFS PACsecure, a PAC, Packaging Consortium and IFS Management jointly-developed food safety standard certification for primary and secondary packaging materials benchmarked to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) system. Gaining the IFS PACsecure standard means that customers can be sure that their products, such as Alpha Poly’s packaging, have been manufactured to meet the highest food safety standards possible. “We believe that IFS PACsecure is the golden, world-class standard for us and our customers,” Kerrigan states. “We are always looking at the next step and how we can move forward in the way we can do business. “We continually look at our processes and people and ask ourselves how we can get better,” he adds.
“With the recent capital expenditure on the new W&H Miraflex AM flexographic press and other great equipment, we have taken that next step to ensure that we can continue to improve the way we manufacture our products for our customers,” Kerrigan sums up. “Providing safe, quality products keeps the customer happy, and that keeps us happy.”
For More Information: Alpha Poly Corporation Nordmeccanica SpA Deacro Industries Ltd. Webconvert Ltd. Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corporation PAC Packaging Consortium IFS Management Global Food Safety Initiative H.B. Fuller Company
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PACKAGING FOR FRESHNESS
FOR BODY AND MIND
Ontario organic dairy processor celebrates 25 years in Canadian market with innovative products, standout packaging and the classy nod to the past
The Organic Meadow management team includes (from left): Michelle Schmidt, Marketing Manager, Don Rees, Chief Executive Officer, Mary Duden, Quality Assurance Manager and Ron Fitzpatrick, Plant Manager.
ANDREW JOSEPH, FEATURES EDITOR PHOTOS BY COLE GARSIDE
eing the only mammal to continue drinking milk long after infancy, human affinity for the stuff seemingly has no bounds, with cows, goats, yaks, horses, reindeer, camels, water buffalo and sheep, to name a few, used as a food source digested in the form of milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, ice-cream, cream cheese or sour cream, and many other dairy options. Milk really does a body good, providing humans with many important vitamins and nutrients, along with many side health benefits such as glowing skin, strong bones and teeth, and even improved muscle growth, thanks to the high protein content. Some even argue that milk may indeed be one of the single most important items in making human beings what they are today, which is why the safe production of milk is undertaken with a keen
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energy by nations all over the globe. Although it seems that dairy consumption is one of those things that human beings have been doing since before we learned to stand upright, the real story is quite different. Initially, human adults could not digest the lactose in milk—lacking the ability to process milk properly, more often than not giving the drinker a profound belly ache or worse.
Long Ago But thousands of years ago, our ancestors developed a lucky gene mutation that enabled adult humans to produce lactase, which in turn allowed us to consume milk well-beyond our infancy. This evolutionary stroke of good fortune gave humans the game-changing ability to use milk as a nutrition source when other food sources were dwindling or failing. It was around the Neolithic era, as early as 9000
BC in southeast Asia, that the domestication of animals and the consumption of milk became widespread, and herding becoming a normal sight across virtually every civilization on the planet. According to a 2012 study by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, dairy farms around the globe produced about 730 million tonnes of milk in 2011 from 260 million dairy cows. According to 2005-2006 figures, Canada’s annual consumption per-capita of dairy products is impressive: averaging 94.7 liters of milk, 12.2 kilograms of cheese and 3.3 kilograms of butter. The federally-run Canadian Dairy Information Center (CDIC) says that there are currently 12,219 commercial milk farms in Canada, producing 959,100 dairy cows and 446,200 dairy heifers as of the beginning of 2014. By province, Quebec boasts the largest number Continues on page 24
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PACKAGING FOR FRESHNESS
A flexible bagging machine from Hood Packaging places milk bags into four-liter overbags. FOR BODY AND MIND Continued from page 22
of dairy farms with 6,038 farms and 354,800 cows, while Ontario is a close second with fewer farms— 3,997—but with 318,800 cows. Alberta is a distant third with 571 dairy farms and 80,700 head of dairy cows, but the province has a much larger presence in the beef processing segment. The CDIC estimates the organic dairy market now accounts for 11 per cent of all organic sales in Canada,
A sampling of the organic dairy products offered by the Organic Meadow brand.
worth approximately $290 million. As in many other food sectors, the past few years have seen a growing consumer demand for organic dairy products in Canada. One of the leaders in this market segment is Organic Meadow, a well-established producer long recognized as Canada’s original organic dairy pioneer, as well as one of the few small- to medium-sized organic dairy facilities in Canada. As a farmer-owned co-operative, Organic Meadow has stayed true to its roots over the years—and through its involvement at the farm gate level, having carved out a unique spot within the highly competitive dairy segment. Started around a kitchen table in 1989 by six organic farmers, the co-operative has grown over the past 25 years to offer a complete line of organic dairy products.
Organic Meadow has brought back the iconic glass milk bottle, supplied by Stanpac, for six different varieties of organic milk.
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The company’s diverse product portfolio today includes milk, cream, egg nog, kéfir, yogurt, Greek yogurts, butter, ice cream, cheeses, cream cheese, cottage cheeses, lactose-free milk, eggs, and even frozen vegetables and non-organic milk. As its business grew, in 2010 the co-operative built eastern Canada’s first organic plant—its own 22,000-square-foot processing facility—headquartered in Guelph, Ont., about a 40-minute drive west of Toronto. Officially opened in August of 2010, the plant currently produces a healthy output of 10,800 liters of dairy product per hour. “For 25 years, we’ve done things the right way,” Organic Meadow chief executive officer Don
Rees told Canadian Packaging on a recent visit to the busy production facility. “It started with building the raw milk supply, then creating an iconic brand, and finally taking the leap into manufacturing by building our own plant,” Rees relates. The company’s quick success has attracted the attention of the major conventional dairy conglomerates such as Saputo, Agropur and Parmalat, all of them being fairly recent entrants into the organic dairy market. “Despite them able to bring enormous scale and retail clout, Organic Meadow is still small enough as a farmer-owned co-operative to have different values—and a strong position in the market,” Rees remarks. As a co-operative, owned by 100 small family farms: “When you support the Organic Meadow brand, you are supporting small local farms,” Rees states. “As such,” continues Rees, “the primary focus of our farm-gate based organization is to not only maximize shareholder value, but to grow the overall organic category in Canada and to make these products as accessible as possible to all consumers. “We don’t consider it to be a niche market,” Rees asserts. Rees says that Organic Meadow has a memberrelations team whose mandate is to recruit and grow the organic dairy pool by converting conventional dairy farmers to organic. “We will also provide on-farm education, testing and support to ensure that the incoming milk is the highest quality it can be, with internal standards that exceed industry requirements,” he notes.
CANADIAN PACKAGING • MAY 2014
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Organic Meadow plant manager Ron Fitzpatrick shows off the high-quality coding (inset) on a bag of milk generated by Domino model A300+ high-speed inkjet coder.
Rees says that today its farms supply over 80 per cent of all organic milk in Ontario, with its family farms producing over 20 million liters of milk in total every year. According to Rees, the uniqueness of organic dairy products is directly derived from the Canadian Organic Standards themselves, which provides transparency and traceability, two core factors governing food safety for the consumer. “The beauty of the standards, is that they support a holistic approach to sustainable agriculture from soil to store,” he explains. These standards include: • special attention to animal welfare, involving prescribed standards to ensure access to pasture and nutrition that essentially prioritizes a cow’s health over the milk yield; • being free of synthetic chemicals and ingredients. For a product to be considered organic, it must be produced without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, chemical- or artificial ingredients, or preservatives. • being GMO-free, meaning the use of any sort of genetically modified organisms to bio-engineer is prohibited. In addition to its own f lagship Organic Meadow brand, the co-operative also produces a line of
A bottom-to-top Evergreen Packaging carton filler is used by Organic Meadow to fill two liter cartons of milk at the dairy.
conventional milk, cream, and seasonal egg nog under the brand name Steen’s Dairy, a local producer that the co-operative acquired in 2009. The Guelph facility also produces a selection of organic and conventional private-label products for select Canadian retailers. Organic Meadow products are avialable at select Canadian retailers, including Longo’s, Whole Foods, Loblaws, Metro, Farm Boy and various other fine foods retailers and health-food stores. In the greater scheme of things, Rees laments the fact that product accessibility remains a critical element for the company’s loyal customers—particularly young families. According to Rees, Organic Meadows 3.8% milk in the four-liter bag remains one of the company’s top SKU’s (stock-keeping units), which is the entry point for young families into the organic category. According to plant manager Ron Fitzpatrick, other popular SKUs comprise 500-ml cartons, bags in one-liter, two-liter and four-liter formats, and 946-ml glass bottles that harken back to the days of the milkman and daily home delivery. “Despite the nod to our past with these glass bottle packs,” laughs Fitzpatrick, “we have no plans to revive the home milk delivery business.” The raw milk is brought in daily from across the farm collective, and is stored in large distribution silos with special piping to distribute it directly to each of the five distribution lines at the dairy. A key point of differentiation for the facility is that all milk is minimally-processed using a HTST (High Temperature Short Time) pasteurization process. The minimal processing heats the milk to a temperature of 74°C (165°F) to give the milk a shelflife of 22 to 24 days, depending on which particular machine at the facility is running the milk. Organic Meadow made a conscious decision not to use the alternative UHT (Ultra High Temperature) pasteurization process which increases the average shelf-life of milk to 40 days. “It is true that different technologies in other
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PACKAGING FOR FRESHNESS plants will allow for longer shelf-life—in some cases up to 45 or 60 days—but with the increase in longevity comes the over-cooking of the actual milk in the pasteurization process,” explains Fitzpatrick, adding that the milk could develop a cooked or tallow taste to it. “It’s a balancing act to have the cook temperature high enough to kill any harmful bacteria in milk that could hurt the consumer, while ensuring that the f lavor profile is optimal,” Fitzpatrick states. “You get the best of both worlds with our milk brands.” Organic Meadow achieved its HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) accreditation in March of 2014, with Rees relating that the program is based on the FSEP (Food Safety Establishment Program) model defined by the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency).
The HACCP accreditation, along with its organic, Kosher and Halal certifications, has Rees calling the operation a “well-oiled facility.” It has to be, with five individual production and packaging lines contained within a very tight footprint. As a proud recipient of the 2013 ODC (Ontario Dairy Council) worker safety award, Rees says that is no accident, with plant having been designed with its people in mind. “We typically operate three shifts, four-days-aweek, with an additional day devoted exclusively to maintenance and deep sanitation,” explains Rees. An average day of milk production at Organic Meadow consists of: • 9,700 liters of four one-liter milk bags per hour; • 1,800 liters of 20-liter bags per hour; • 2,000 liters per hour of one-liter, 500-ml, or 250-ml cartons; • 5,000 liters of two-liter cartons per hour; • 1,800 liters of 946-ml glass bottles per hour. According to Fitzpatrick, there are more than
Organic Meadow utilizes the high performance BEL252SS automatic case-sealer manufactured by Wexxar/BEL business of Pro Mach Industries.
100 unique SKUs produced at the Guelph facility, including Canada’s only organic 2% Lactose-Free milk in one- and two-liter sizes. “We have also just installed a new glass bottle carousel filling line that can fill up to a dozen 946ml bottles at a time,” relates Fitzpatrick, noting that the novelty niche package still means, for the time being, a moderate production run. After label application on the shipping container, a To produce the milk bottles, in January of 2014, Keyence photo recognition system visually inspects it Organic Meadow commissioned a new 12-head for positioning. glass bottle gravity filler line manufactured by Filler Specialties which also required a new botA Model 4300 labeler from Weber Marking Systems of tle washing system. Canada applies a label to a shipping carton. Organic Meadow chose the gravity bottle filling system because it is better suited for free-flowing, noncarbonated liquids, Rees explains, whereas pressure gravity filling systems are best for viscous products. “The consumer and customer reaction has remained strong since we first offered bottled milk in six varieties in 2009. “And in an effort to maintain greater control and f lexibility in meeting the needs of our customers and consumers, we made the decision to invest in glass bottling equipment and bring the production of this portfolio in-house,” he explains, complimenting the company’s supplier Stanpac Inc., for providing the glass bottles with all the pre-printed logos already on them. Headquartered in Smithville, Ont., Stanpac has been manufacturing packaging supplies for the dairy, food and beverage industries for over 60 years. Calling themselves dairy specialists, they use a Husky machine to injection-mold red plastic closures for the bottles. In addition, Stanpac employs a Heidelberg press to convert and print the ice-cream tubs used by Organic Meadow and other dairy producers. For milk bags, Organic Meadow uses the services of the flexible film and packaging specialists Hood Packaging, to produce Buckhorn offers an the plastic film overbag—the outer packunmatched selection aging containing the bags of milk—and of reusable packaging solutions designed the overbagger equipment of its GloPak to protect your liquid packaging division, which Fitzpatrick says handling products and increase your can run up to 122 pouches per minute. profitability. To seal the overbag, Organic Meadow utilizes a Kwik-Lok Corporation AL Buckhorn’s Caliber® Intermediate Bulk Containers are injection molded of FDA-approved materials and have Type 1011E combination unit, featursmooth surfaces to satisfy the strictest standards. They ing a bag closer and an automatic cold collapse flat when empty or stack up to five high with a load capacity of 3,300 lbs. per container. stamp imprinter that prints lot code and date information onto the Kwik-Lok bag Visit buckhorncanada.com to learn more about our full line of IBCs, and request a quote today! closures as the bag is being closed. To fill the primary standard milk bags, the dairy employs a 20-liter Scholle Packaging Auto Fill 900 Dairy bag US: 1.800.543.4454 filler and several DuPont Prepac IS7E Canada: 1.800.461.7579 falling film pouch fillers. www.buckhorncanada.com
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PACKAGING FOR FRESHNESS
A Domino coder applies best-before and lot-code data onto the side of a plastic bottle cap manufactured by Stanpac. Elopak supplies the cartons used by Organic Meadow. A conveyor line evenly powered by an SEWEurodrive motor gently moves milk bottles move past a Domino A300+ inkjet coder.
These bag fillers quickly form a plastic bag, sealing the bottom as the milk is dropped in, and heat-sealed shut forming a hygienic seal, with Liqui-box Corporation supplying the inner film used to bag the four-liter milk bags. For the carton production, Elopak supplies the cartons, as well as an SE60 filling unit that produces one-liter, 500-ml and 250-ml cartons of milk, while a bottom-to-top Evergreen Packaging carton filler, operated via a Rockwell Automation Allen-Bradley PanelView 1000 interface, takes care of the two-liter units. Other key packaging components and materials used by Organic Meadow for its f luid milk products include: • 1,200-liter plastic totes, manufactured by Arena Products, Inc., that are filled with milk and shipped to other dairies in bulk to manufacture ice-cream; • gabletop waxy paperboard milk cartons from Elopak; • bulk bags provided by Scholle; • corrugated shipping cartons manufactured by RockTenn. “For us, packaging is very important,” says Rees. “We expect it to play an increasingly important role for us moving forward as we continue to investigate ways to extend shelf-life, while maintaining our organic processing methods and fresh flavor profile, and providing more convenience based upon on-the-go offerings to meet growing out-of-home consumption needs.” After the corrugated cartons are formed by a Pearson Packaging Systems CE24 case-erector and moved up a conveyor system along to the end-of-theline, where each is filled with finished milk products via a Model AC-IV Dream Systems auto case-loader manufactured by Westfalia Technologies Inc. The cartons are then sealed by a Belcor 250SS taping system from Wexxar/ BEL, a Pro Mach Industries division. “For an organic and minimally-processed production facility, packaging has
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PACKAGING FOR FRESHNESS
A bag closing system manufactured by Kwik-Lok applies a plastic clip to a four-liter overbag.
a heightened level of importance for us,” explains Fitzpatrick, “especially since the product is more sensitive to time and the temperature variances of the HTST process. “Basically, the faster and colder we can keep the product, the better it is for everyone,” he states. “It’s why minimizing machine downtime and minimizing temperature variations is key to maintaining a consistent high-quality product.”
Right on Time For Rees, company and product success really comes down to being authentic and to do things right for the right reasons. “For us, as an organic dairy processor, each of our internal targets also includes maximizing machine efficiency and minimizing milk losses, while delivering consistent high-quality products that have minimal environmental impact,” sums up Rees. “Our organic milk farmers have helped us build A new 12-head gravity filler from Filler Specialties is used to bottle the glass bottle line at Organic Meadow.
With food safety critical to Organic Meadows, all employees are instructed on the necessity of proper hygiene standards, helped by the installation of a hygiene system from Diversey, a Division of Sealed Air.
our iconic Organic Meadow brand and our organic dairy processing plant—all stemming from an overall desire to grow the organic dairy category and to support sustainable agriculture in Ontario,” says Rees. “As a farmer-owned co-operative, we offer consumers and customers direct traceability, as the individuals who own our co-operative are the very individuals who are up at 5a.m. milking the cows that produce the milk. “We offer the consumer a face to the food they eat. Adds Rees: “And with our production process, the consumer can be assured of always having a quality product that is as farm-fresh as possible.” According to Rees, future plans for the Guelph facility include expanding beyond f luid milk to provide a robust production innovation pipeline, for consumers and customers alike. “Our co-operative has been on quite a journey over the past 25 years,” Rees sums up, “and we
For More Information:
The signature blue pallets from CHEP are used by Organic Meadow to transport cartons of product all across Canada.
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Stanpac Inc. 480 Filler Specialties, Inc. 481 Hood Packaging 482 Kwik-Lok Corporation 483 Scholle Packaging 484 DuPont485 Liqui-box Corporation 486 Evergreen Packaging 487 Rockwell Automation, Inc. 488 Arena Products, Inc. 489 Elopak490 Rock-Tenn Company 491 Westfalia Technologies Inc. 492 Wexxar/BEL, Pro Mach Industries 493 Domino Printing Solutions 494 Weber Marking Systems of Canada 495 CHEP496 Diversey, Div. of Sealed Air 497 Sealed Air 498 SEW-Eurodrive Co. of Canada 499 Pearson Packaging Systems 420 Keyence Canada Inc. 421
CANADIAN PACKAGING • MAY 2014
Photos courtesy of CCCA
THINKING INSIDE THE BOX Why corrugated shipping containers are the best bet for growers, retailers and the planet
BY DAVID ANDREWS
e often take it for granted that whenever we open up a box or a carton, its contents will be in perfect pristine condition. We seldom think of the technology and design efforts incorporated into that box to ensure protection of the goods inside from damage, but that does not mean that there’s much more to the humble box than meets the eye—especially when it comes to reliable food packaging. According to a recent study analyzing a shipment of strawberries, both growers and retailers ultimately lose out when relying on reusable plastic containers (RPCs) to transport their shipments instead of corrugated cases. The study, sponsored by the U.S.-based Corrugated Packaging Alliance, traced all the steps involved in the shipment of 144 million pounds of strawberries over a distance of some 3,900 kilometers. According to the study’s results, using corrugated containers cost 13 per cent less than shipping the same volume in RPCs—yielding annual savings of US$6.6 million. In large part, the higher costs incurred in using RPC systems are related to the required back-haul trip for the RPCs, which also involves washing costs and various handling fees.
costs to the suppliers, customers and, ultimately, the consumers. (Both case studies are available online at www.cccabox.org/news.php) Fruit and vegetable growers have a clear understanding of the value proposition of corrugated packaging versus RPCs, notes Mike Harwood, president and chief executive officer of the World Containerboard Organisation (WCO) in Brussels, Belgium. “Growers know the true cost of packaging because any cost directly impacts their bottom line, Harwood states. “The growers I speak with make it a point to look at all aspects of the cost equation and they choose corrugated over RPCs every time.” Not only is corrugated containerboard packaging a viable solution for retailers aiming to maximize efficiency and minimize costs, Harwood explains, it also offers inherent f lexibility because corrugated is entirely customizable to specific application needs.
Long Haul For their part, corrugated containers do not require back-hauling because they can be recovered for recycling right after their use at the retail locations—lowering the retailers’ environmental impact and waste disposal costs in the process. In fact, old corrugated containers (OCCs) are a valuable commodity for which Canadian retailers can fetch up to $100 per tonne from the recyclers. Naturally, these cost-savings are not limited to just strawberries. A similar case study, also published by the Corrugated Packaging Alliance, demonstrated a 25-percent annual cost-savings in shipping tomatoes in corrugated cases compared to the same volume of tomatoes shipped in RPCs, with detailed analysis revealing the RPCs to incur extra trucking and handling costs of US$7.5 million. Even when using a conservative estimate of US$0.10 per container, washing alone adds US$577,000 to the annual cost of using RPCs to transport tomatoes. The two studies confirm that while RPCs may initially seem like an efficient shipping option, all the extra steps and processes their usage incurs throughout the supply chain— back-hauling, washing, tracking, stacking, etc.—can add significant
MAY 2014 • CANADIAN PACKAGING
marketing tool. Nowadays there is a multitude of available printing alternatives—ranging from budget-conscious direct print f lexography to elaborate litho labeling and pre-print—to provide buyers with multiple graphic options. “Produce growers are very articulate about the value corrugated brings to their business in terms of packing and shipping, and they definitely appreciate the branding and advertising capabilities,” Harwood points out. By virtue of being made from a renewable resource—namely recovered corrugated boxes—corrugated containers also boast an immensely positive environmental profile, according to industry insiders. “Most of the corrugated boxes made in Canada are 100-percent recycled content,” states John Mullinder, executive director of the Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC) in Brampton, Ont.
Harwood explains that corrugated boxes can be die-cut and folded into an infinite variety of shapes and sizes to fit specific product protection, shelfspace and shipping density requirements. Moreover, moisture barriers and water repellency coatings can be added to protect contents when required, and there are many available choices of f lute size and board type that can be selected based on strength requirements of specific applications. More than just a transport vehicle, the corrugated package also serves as an effective billboard for brand identification, since corrugated material can be printed with high-impact graphic designs to maximize shelf appeal—making it a valuable
“Most corrugated packaging, about 85 per cent, is recovered from the back of supermarkets and factories, as well as from curbside Blue Box Systems,” Mullinder says. “Moreover, these recovered boxes are also suitable for composting and for use in the manufacturing of fire-logs.” For his part, Harwood points out that produce growers themselves are well aware of the importance and benefits of using renewable resources, like paper, in the packaging process. “Growers overwhelmingly appreciate the value and the relative scarcity of water resources—especially those in the drought-stricken ‘Farm Belt’ regions where any available water resources are also needed to grow the crops themselves,” Harwood says. “So using those limited water resources for repeated cleaning of dirty RPCs is by defintion a counterproductive activity for them.” As the aforementioned Corrugated Packaging Alliance studies illustrate, there is indeed far more to corrugated packaging than meets the eye. It is important for growers and retailers to consider cost factors throughout the entire supply chain, and the wide-ranging benefits of using paper-based packaging throughout that chain. For the highly competitive and cost-conscious corrugated containerboard industry, offering produce growers excellent value with versatile and economical transport packaging options is ultimately a win-win proposition not only for the businesses involved, but for the greater social good as well. David Andrews is executive director of the Canadian Corrugated and Containerboard Association (CCCA) in Brampton, Ont. For information on CCCA activities, please go to: www.cccabox.org
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Photos courtesy of CROWN Food Packaging
PACKAGING FOR SHELF-LIFE
FOOD SMARTS Understanding the nutritional value and other critical benefits of canned food products
BY HELENA GOURVEN
hen it comes to food, consumer tastes may vary, but the qualities they value do not. Freshness, high-quality ingredients, convenience and environmental responsibility invariably find their way to the top of consumer demands for their food products and packaging. Although they often find themselves f lying below the radar these days, metal cans offer both brand-owners and consumers a perfect vehicle for achieving all these objectives. Metal cans have been helping people keep food fresh for over 200 years—ever since Britain’s King George III granted Peter Durand a patent for his idea of preserving food in air-tight tin containers in 1810. By the end of 20th Century, canned fruits, vegetables, meats and meals had become a standard part of our culinary culture—found on almost every household’s kitchen shelves. And while we continue to value canned foods for
MAY 2014 • CANADIAN PACKAGING
the convenience they offer to this day, we often tend to forget the other key benefits that drove people like Durand to package foods in metal—namely their health and nutritional advantages. The rising rates of obesity in the North America and elsewhere in the developed world have created an important dialogue on the importance of a nutritious diet.
Healthy Choice Maintaining a healthy diet is a basic human need, and as our scientific understanding of the nutritional value of foods continues to grow, finding and maintaining a proper balance of the right proteins, vitamins and minerals to repair and sustain our bodies—everything from our muscles to our nervous systems—is a paramount priority. It comes as no surprise that many Americans do not consume the recommended servings of an array of nutritious foods, despite the best efforts of USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) to encourage Americans to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables.
While some of these consumers may harbor the notion that canned foods are less nutritious than their fresh or frozen counterparts, nothing could be further from the truth. Not only are canned foods nutritionally on par with fresh and frozen products in general, in many cases they are actually more nutritious. According to a 2012 study by Michigan State University, the retort process employed during canning tomatoes actually improves their Vitamin B, Vitamin E and carotenoid content, while at same time making their fiber become more soluble— and hence more useful to the human body. This is a natural byproduct of the canning process itself, whereby foods are picked at the peak of freshness and immediately transported to the canning facilities, which are usually located strategically near the farmlands to ensure that the fruits and vegetables are canned within hours of being picked. The food is then cooked inside the can to destroy bacteria—leaving a low-oxygen environment that inhibits degradation of the food and its nutrients during the can’s shelf-life. As a result, food is able to remain stable in a can without the need for any chemical preservatives—an important distinction between canned and fresh foods. It is a fact that fruits and vegetables begin to lose nutritional value from the very first moment they are picked, which is why canning and freezing facilities are typically located near farms in the first place. Because it can sometimes take weeks for fresh produce to reach the store-shelves—losing many valuable nutrients along the way—freshly-harvested food is typically treated with preservatives right after picking.
Spoiler Alert While this may prevent the food from spoiling, it also exposes consumers to unnecessary chemicals. As for frozen foods relying on f lash-freezing to lock in the freshness, the high energy costs of maintaining vegetables in frozen state during storage and transportations is an important cost factor for all brand-owners to keep in mind. Other studies also show that canning increases the presence of certain antioxidants in some popular fruits and vegetables. Canned beans, for one, are typically low in saturated fat and calories, while their high fiber content can help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. For its part, canned pumpkin contains higher concentration of beta carotene than fresh pumpkin, while the absorption in corn of lutein, an antioxidant linked to a reduction in the risks of cataracts and muscular degeneration, is also enhanced by heat from the canning process. The high temperatures of retort cooking effectively sterilize the food products inside cans, which is critical to maintaining the safety of their contents. With an estimated 128,000 Americans hospitalized each year with food-borne illnesses, according to the Center for Disease Control, the ability of the canning process to form a superior barrier to microbiological contamination makes cans a very attractive option in terms of food safety. This attribute is of particular importance to the canned meat and vegetable industries, where quality and freshness are naturally top priorities. Because metal packaging transfers heat during the retort process to the food more rapidly than alternative materials—allowing the heat to completely penetrate to the center of the product—the food ends up completely cooked and preserved, with little chance of spoiling in storage.
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Find your next great packaging idea ... At the Top 50 packaging Ideas Table Top Trade Show Who Should aTTeNd: Food, beverage, pharmaceutical, personal care and household product professionals. Who Will exhiBiT: top innovators in packaging materials, containers, equipment and automated devices. Where: Mississauga convention centre , 75 derry Rd. W, Mississauga, On. FRee Attendance â€˘ FRee Parking WheN: June 5th, 2014 9 am- 3pm.
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PACKAGING FOR SHELF-LIFE
This is essentially the same process used in home canning—albeit on a far larger scale—whereby the food, water, and any salt or spices for taste are canned, heated and left to cool. With the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations estimating that about onethird of the food produced for human consumption is discarded globally—and consumers in North America and Europe wasting around 209 to 253 pounds of food annually per person—the appeal of canned fruits and vegetables as a smart, shelf-stable option for families on a tight budget practically speaks for itself. Given that foods typically degrade through extended exposure to air or sunlight, the fact that metal is the only container material that completely prevents both light and oxygen from infiltrating the package is a testament to its excellent barrier properties, and extended shelf-life, for products ranging from condensed milk to pet foods.
and helps convey a premium image, these can are paired with CROWN’s award-winning Easylift easy-open ends and PeelSeam peelable ends for quick and easy removal. In addition to being easy to open, both ends offer the same unrivaled barrier against light, oxygen and water ingress that the cans themselves do — maintaining the f lavor and sterility of the foods inside without extra preparation.
Ready to Go From vegetables to fruits and meats: Once opened, canned foods are ready to eat. This provides consumers with a fast and easy process compared to preparing fresh produce, which must invariably be cleaned, chopped or cut to size, prepared, and then cooked from a raw state. And unlike frozen foods, which must be thawed out
before anything else can be done with them, canned foods are ready for immediate consumption. Despite numerous misconceptions in the marketplace, foods packaged in metal cans offer consumers a nutritious, healthy, safe and convenient food choice that more often than not surpass anything offered by their frozen, or even fresh, counterparts. Understanding how to leverage the inherent benefits of metal packaging to provide nutritional foods for today’s health-conscious consumers is of key importance for companies seeking to provide healthy options for their food brands. Hella Gourven is marketing manager with leading metal packaging products manufacturer CROWN Food Packaging North America, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Philadelphia, Pa.-headquartered group Crown Holdings, Inc.
On emotional level too, metal cans speak strongly The new PeelSeam metal lidding (top) and Easyto consumers’ preferences for environmentallyLift ends (below) from friendly choices in every aspect of their lives. CROWN Food Packaging Being 100-percent recyclable and continuously provide effective singleFor More Information: reusable with absolutely no degradation performserving convenience and ance or quality, it is not surprising that metal cans CROWN Food Packaging North America 495 portion control. are currently the most recycled food packages in the world—with 66.8 per cent of all steel cans in the U.S. being recycled. Beyond remaining the perfect ‘go to’ As a next step to supporting their continued sales growth, food staple to stock up on and have on Domino North America has appointed Michael Bouchard to the hand on year-round basis, canned foods can also be beneficial in promoting a position of Vice President of Sales, North America. healthier lifestyle among consumers by Domino Amjet, headquartered in Gurnee, IL, is pleased to announce the promotion of limiting portion sizes in a well-measured Michael Bouchard as Vice President of Sales. Michael will be driving all strategic activities way that enables people to consume the for Domino’s direct sales channel, including supporting the National Account Team. recommended daily amounts and varieties of fruits, vegetables, meats, beans et In his most recent position at Domino, Michael was the Regional Manager for the Eastern al in proper amounts. sales region for the past 6 years, helping to forge a strong team and driving year-overSingle-serve cans, for example, allow year continued sales growth. Michael has also been instrumental in securing several of consumers to enjoy portion-controlled Domino’s largest orders to date. meals and healthy snacks straight from Mr. Bouchard is a seasoned veteran with over 20 years sales experience in the coding and marking industry. the package, while sparing them the time “Mike brings a deep functional knowledge of the coding and marking market, as well as what our customers demand of this and effort associated with preparing a continually evolving market,” said Domino North America’s President, Frank Eickenberg. “What makes him uniquely qualified for separate dish and cleaning up. the Vice President role is his comprehensive understanding our customer’s needs and how we can add value through Domino’s To accommodate this growing trend, portfolio, as well as his strategic approach in sales consultancy vs the typical “box shifting” we see in our market today. We CROWN Food Packaging North welcome Mike into this role and know he will harness the focus we need to continue on the path to success.” America has developed a range of sinThis new position will focus on the ever changing needs of the industries we serve and how we can improve our solutions for our gle-serve, bowl-shaped cans making it clients. Domino North America is thrilled to welcome such a talented executive to the Domino Senior team and look forward to the easy to consume healthy packaged foods. positive impact he will have with our products and services. Boasting a sleek, modern shape that FOR MORE INFORMATION CIRCLE 119 attracts attention on the store-shelves
www.domino-na.com MAY 2014
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ANNOUNCEMENTS Leading beverage production, processing and packaging equipment manufacturer Krones AG has awarded the company’s internally-developed IMS (Integrated Management System) certification to its Krones Machinery Co. Ltd. subsidiary in Taicang, China, as part of a global corporate initiative to extend the IMS accreditation—launched across its German production plants in 2009—to all of its foreign-based manufacturing operations. Covering a diverse range of quality management standards from energy efficiency and product quality to environmental protection and occupational safety, the program is aimed at ensuring a uniform level of corporate excellence at all of the company’s operations worldwide, according to the Freising, Germany-headquartered Krones AG. “The trend towards certification of management and product
TRIANGLE PACKAGE MACHINERY APPOINTS MOUNTPAC AS WESTERN CANADA SALES REP Triangle Package Machinery Company has appointed Mountain Pacific Machinery as its exclusive sales representative in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. “Mountpac has represented Triangle Jon Paepke in the northwestern United Sates for 18 years and we are very excited to add Western Canada to our area of responsibility,“ stated Dean Smith, president, MountPac. MountPac has also expanded its sales force with the addition of Jon Paepke to its team. As Sales Engineer, Jon will handle outside machinery sales for parts of British Columbia, as well as central and western Washington. Jon is based in the Seattle area, which will be central to his territory. He has previously worked for Conveyor Engineering, a Pape’ Company, and has a background in direct sales, conveyor engineering, territory and project management.
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PEOPLE Pro Mach, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohioheadquartered packaging equipment manufacturing conglomerate, has appointed Alan Shipman as president of the company’s Identification & Tracking Group business unit.
From Left: Senior management taking part in celebration of IMS certification award to the Krones Machinery plant in Taicang, China, include Christian Striegl, vice-president of international sales for auditing firm TÜV SÜD; Klaus Gerlach, managing director of Krones Taicang; Volker Kronseder, chief executive officer of Krones AG; Wolfgang Hock, chief financial officer for TÜV SÜD; Markus Tischer, Krones executive board member.
requirements will continue to gain momentum,” explains Krones IMS officer Albert Bauer, adding that each IMS-certified plant also conducts an annual audit inspection to verify the certification’s validity. Krones says it expects its U.S. subsidiary Krones Inc. of Franklin, Wis., to complete an audit for its initial IMF certification by the end of 2014. Engage Technologies Corporation, Brooklyn Park, Minn.-headquartered parent company of Squid Ink Manufacturing, Eastey Enterprises and Cogent Technologies, Inc., has completed the acquisition of Corona, Ca.-based NAFM, manufacturer and supplier of shrinksleeve and labeling solutions—including heat-shrink tunnels, shrinksleeve labelers, full-body labels and tamper-evident seals—for the food-andbeverage, pharmaceutical, building products and other manufacturing industries. Under the sales agreement, NAFM will continue to operate out of its Corona facility as a whollyowned subsidiary of Engage Technologies. “This is a win-win for our customers,” says NAFM director of operations John Yamasaki. “As part of Engage, we will have the financial and organizational backing to expand our capabilities, increase the promotion of the NAFM brand, and build on our tradition of providing quality packaging solutions.”
NEW EQUIPMENT RELEASE OBX Works Inc. is proud to announce that we are the first distributor in Canada for Graco’s Tank Free Melter System, InvisiPac.
Wilsonville, Ore.-based food processing equipment manufacturer FOODesign Machinery & Systems has appointed Neil Anderson as sales manager. Harper
OBX Works Inc. is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. Alex Wong has 20 years in the adhesive and equipment dispensing industry including 17 years as an application engineer at Nordson. John McLeod brings a diverse 25 years of experience in film extrusion, coating and laminating. At Escalator Handrail Company he developed ADRail, an innovative new advertising media.
Pharma Tech Industries (PTI), Athens, Ga.headquartered contract manufacturer and copacker of pharmaceutical powder products, has appointed Bryan Cox as director of technology transfer.
Glue Usage & Control Systems to measure the average amount of adhesive applied to each part. It’s great for enhanced quality control and the data can be used for closed loop process control to keep your product on target. 10 minute start-up
Cynthia Poon balances the team with IT, web design and business management. At S.A. Armstrong and Johnson Controls she led and implemented new software development programs.
Villadsen Key Te c h n o l o g y, Inc., Walla Walla, Wash.-based manufacturer of process automation systems and equipment for the food industry, has appointed Peter Wood as process systems product manager.
Glue Monitoring Systems to ensure your adhesive is present. You can promise your customer 100% inspection of delivered product.
Tank Free = Nozzle Clog Free
Corporation of Anderson America, Charlotte, N.C.-headquartered manufacturer of anilox rolls for f lexographic package printing and converting applications, has appointed Brian Ellis as sales representative for the U.S. West Coast region.
Robotic systems integrator Adept Technology, Inc. of Pleasanton, Ca., has appointed John Villadsen as vice-president of global operations.
Arrange a FREE in-plant test and see for yourself the InvisiPac advantage. It’s performance is so outstanding that we are now offering 2 years free parts and service warranty on orders received by July 31, 2014. OBX Works Inc. was founded in response to a growing need for custom adhesive dispensing equipment and expertise. We combine robust automation and creative packaging solutions with the best equipment and a strong understanding of glue/ adhesive technology. OBX can provide the knowledge and experience to link it all together. We can help you develop new concepts, connect you with other industry experts, fabricate custom parts, install your equipment and train your staff.
Labeling and packaging materials supplier Avery Dennison of Glendale, Ca., has appointed Jeroen Diderich as vice-president of global marketing for the company’s Materials Group business, to be based in Leiden, The Netherlands.
ASG Amaray, the plastic injectionmolding division of specialty packaging manufacturer ASG—an investment portfolio group of Stamford, Conn.headquartered venture capital firm Atlas Holdings LLC—has appointed Jim Sykes as president and chief Sykes executive officer. Louisville, Ky.-headquartered Contract Packaging Association (CPA) has appointed John Mazelin as the group’s executive director, and Nikki Johnson as its member communications director.
289-469-5111 www.obxworks.com FOR MORE INFORMATION CIRCLE 121
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EVENTS June 3-6
Munich, Germany: Automatica 2014, international trade fair for automation and mechatronics by Messe München International. Concurrently with the Maintain trade fair for industrial maintenance. Both at the New Munich Trade Fair Center. To register, go to: www.automatica-munich.com
Rosemont, Ill.: LabelExpo Americas 2014, international labeling technologies exhibition by Tarsus Group. At Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. To register, please go to: www.labelexpo-americas.com
New York City: MakeUp in New York, beauty products exhibition. At Center548. To register, go to: www.makeup-in-newyork.com
Nairobi, Kenya: East Afripack 2014, processing, packaging and converting technologies exhibition by Ipack-Ima S.p.A. At Kenyatta International Conference Center. Contact Ipack-Ima via email email@example.com
Mississauga, Ont.: Top 50 Packaging Ideas Expo, second annual tabletop exhibition by the Canadian Packaging magazine. At the Mississauga Convention Centre. Contact Stephen Dean at (416) 510-5198, or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sept. 28 - Oct. 1 Chicago: CPP EXPO 2014, converting & package printing expo by H.A. Bruno LLC. Concurrently with Graph Expo. Both at McCormick Place. To register, go to: www.cppexpo.com
Sept. 30 - Oct. 2
Toronto: A Day in the Life Symposium, sustainable packaging conference by PAC, Packaging Sept. 18-21 Consortium. At Steam Whistle Brewery (Sept. June 10-13 Istanbul, Turkey: Eurasia Packaging Fair 2014, inter30 and Oct. 1) and Real Sports Bar & Grill (Oct. Chicago: FMI Connect 2014, food retail trade national exhibition and conference by Reed Tüyap. 2). Please contact PAC, Packaging Consortium at show and conference by Food Marketing Institute At Tüyap Fair Convention and Congress Center. To (416) 490-7860; via email email@example.com, or go (FMI). At McCormick Place. To register, go to: register, go to: www.packagingfair.com to: www.pac.ca Are you looking to influence Consumer Packaged Goods leaders like Serge Bohec? Call Canadian Packaging today to www.fmiconnect.net learn how an integrated marketing plan aimed at Canada’s packaging buying influences can help increase your market presence and success.
June 11-12 Stein am Rhein, Switzerland: Simulation in Packaging, symposium by International Packaging Institute. At Hotel Chlosterhof. To register, go to: www.ipi.eu
June 15-18 Orlando, Fla.: EskoWorld 2014, digital priting & converting technologies end-users conference by Esko. At Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin resort. To register, go to: www.esko.com/en/eskoworld
June 16 Gormley, Ont.: Annual Golf Tournament of the Canadian Corrugated and Containerboard Association (CCCA) and the Association of Independent Corrugated Converters Canada (AICC). At Station Creek Golf Club. To register, go to: www.cccabox.org or www.aiccbox.ca
June 17-20 Mexico City, Mexico: EXPO PACK México 2014, packaging technologies exhibition by PMMI-The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. To register, go to: www.packexpo.com
June 24-25 Chicago: Multilayer Packaging Films 2014, conference by Applied Market Information. At the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. To register, go to: www.amiconferences-na.com
June 24-26 Rosemont, Ill.: Sensors Expo & Conference, by Questex Media Group LLC. At Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. To register, go to: www.sensorsexpo.com
“I find what I’m looking for in Canadian Packaging magazine.” Serge Bohec President & CEO, La Petite Bretonne Bakery
“I often like to get involved in the technology and new packaging we use at La Petite Bretonne,” says company president Serge Bohec. “The in-plant feature articles are vey informative, and I like to see what other companies are doing. I store my issues of Canadian Packaging and refer to them regularly. I get information from Canadian Packaging that I can’t get elsewhere in magazines or on line. Canadian Packaging helps me make the right buying decisions.”
ARE YOU LOOKING TO INFLUENCE CONSUMER PACKAGED GOODS LEADERS LIKE SERGE BOHEC? Call Canadian Packaging today to learn how an integrated marketing plan aimed at Canada’s packaging buying influences can help increase your market presence and success.
July 16-17 Chicago: New Packaging for High-Speed Customers, conference by TricorBraun. At Chicago Hyatt Regency. Contact TricorBraun at 1 (800) 325-7782.
FOR MORE DETAILS, CONTACT:
Stephen Dean at 416-510-5198 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
14-05-08 11:09 AM
NATURAL CHOICES EASIER THAN WE MAY THINK
s one of Canada’s bestknown intellectuals of the 20th Century, Marshall McLuhan was in many ways ahead of his time with far-sighted observations that “the medium is the message” and that the modern society is really a “global village” in the works, among other memorable insights. While it seems a stretch, both of these notions quickly sprang to mind on my recent walkabout along Toronto’s famed, multiculturallydiverse Danforth Avenue strip in the city’s east end, where intriguing imports from many parts of the globe are as commonplace as everyday consumer staples. Imported from Ghana, the Mother Africa Naturally Grown Pure Shea Butter brand makes a telling statement about the many wonders offered us on routine basis by Mother Nature herself by playing up the virtues of using sustainable, no-frills packaging to get those gifts out into the mainstream. Nowadays used as an active ingredient in a growing number of hand-soaps and body-washes, shea butter and is a powerful natural moisturizer that offers many benefits to skin and hair, which includes reducing stretch marks on women, or so I’m told. Extracted from nuts produced by the African Shea tree, this brand ingeniously uses a large grapefruit-sized bowl—made by splitting the hard, round shell of the calabash gourd—as the primary packaging container, which is then covered with a layer of plastic shrinkwrap film and fitted with twine, so that it can conveniently hang from metal or wooden racks inside the store. Resembling some kind of hard extruded plastic, the uniformly thin and surprisingly tough calabash bowls have been used in tropical climes for centuries for bathing and serving food, with the gourds themselves cultivated primarily for those two purposes.
Keeping things real is no doubt part of the natural appeal of the Real Salt packages distributed by Redmond Trading Company. Like so many products these days, regular salt is often far less than just itself in its pure state, with many varieties found to contain anti-caking agents and even dextrose, for goodness sake, while others have been heat-processed to such an extent as to have been literally stripped of their natural trace elements. Unrefined and containing natural minerals and true original f lavor, the Real Salt is suitably packaged in sturdy, stand-up plastic pouches made from recyclable #4 LDPE (low-density polyethylene) plastic and topped off with a reclosable pouring spout and cap—constructed from equally recyclable #5 PP (polypropylene)—cut at an angle across the left corner. As long as the two plastic components are separated before entering the recycling stream, this is real ‘salt of the earth’ win-win packaging any way you look at it.
Aptly named Carrot Common, this trendy Danforth foodie shop has recently began carrying a line of 100-percent organic soy-wax Sweet Tooth Scented Candles, packaged in highly decorative reusable metal cans boasting an inspired bohemian look and feel to complement just about any decor. Although paraffin is still the most common raw ingredient for candles, the consumers’ awareness of renewability issues must have played a part in recent emergence of soy waxes as a more ecosensitive alternative. And instead of braided cotton, these candles employ wooden wicks to reinforce the renewability message, while add-
For more information on Classified Advertising please contact: 416-510-5198
36 • WWW.CANADIANPACKAGING.COM
R.S. No. 113
ADVERTISERS’ INDEX ABB Robotics
103 116 107 119 115
Atlantic Packaging Products Ltd 2 Buckhorn Inc. 26 CHEP 13 Domino Printing Solutions 33 Flexlink 25
Graco Harlund Industries Ltd.
Harpak-ULMA Packaging Hostmann-Steinberg/ IFC, a Division of Huber Group Motion Industries, Inc. PMMI Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute Robert Reiser & Co. Inc.
111 106 104
19 9 5
117 Samuel Strapping Systems 27 112,122 SEW-Eurodrive Co. 20,37 of Canada 114 Stanpac 23 120 Triangle Package Machinery Co. 34 123 Unisource Canada Inc. 38 102 VideoJet Technologies Canada 1 105 Weighpack Systems 7 109 Windmoeller & Hoelscher 15 Corporation
ing a touch of romance by making a crackling, fireplace-like sound when they are lit up.
Photos by Jaan Koel
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Wine pumps are not anything new, but the unique packaging for the Entertaining Stuff Vintners Wine Pump Set really has me pumped up about the virtues of thoughtful package design. Comprising a wine pump and two reusable rubber stoppers for removing excess air from an opened wine bottle, this handy kit comes packaged in a fancy paperboard box made to look and feel like a hardcover book, with its clever closure featuring a magnetized flap on the right-hand edge to make it easy to get inside and to snap shut when done. Perfectly at home either on the book-shelf next to your James Joyce tomes or on the kitchen counter, the product oozes with spirited package design class and elegance.
Marketed by the trend-setting, New York City-based kitchenware manufacturer OXO, the SteeL Soap Dispensing Palm Brush looks remarkably like an oversized man’s shaving accessory at first glance, until a closer examination of its stiff bristles reveals the product’s true noble intent of being a terrific, easy-to-use dishwashing utensil that can be refilled endlessly with dish-soap to help keep dishes and cutlery clean with very little scrubbing effort. Commendably, the handy SteeL brush comes with just minimal required packaging baggage— a simple two-tone plastic card panel and a sturdy polymer twist-tie to keep the brush firmly in place as it hangs from the point-of-sale display hook rack. Jaan Koel is a Toronto-based freelance writer.
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