Jul 05, 2013
Strong demand for agricultural packagingBack
Agriculture|Energy|Mpact|Packaging|Projects|Safety|Institute Of Packaging South Africa|Creative Agricultural Packaging Solutions|Creative Packaging Solutions|Energy|Packaging|Transport|Environmental|Bruce Strong|South Africa
© Reuse this
Rather, a strong demand for creative agricultural packaging solutions contributed to paper and plastic packaging company Mpact’s solid performance in the 2012 financial year. The com- pany’s underlying operating profits increased by 11.6% and revenue was up by 10.9%, says Mpact CEO Bruce Strong.
“Suppliers to the local and international markets depend heavily on the durability of their chosen packaging to protect their produce on the journey from field to shelf. Amid existing sociopolitical challenges, unpredictable weather and volatile exchange rates, this is one decision within the market’s control that could be the difference between success and failure,” he points out.
Mpact believes that creative design and the science behind packaging can yield significant benefits in terms of cost savings, efficiency, brand equity and recognition for the agricultural industry.
Strength and light weight are the essential elements in package design. One can produce an award-winning design, only for it to be impractical because it cannot balance aesthetics with strength and weight considerations, the company points out.
“High-quality packaging is one input cost that cannot be reduced, even during times of crisis. Far- mers depend on purpose- built, robust, lightweight packaging to protect their produce,” states Strong.
The company points out that creative packaging solutions are the result of several important considerations with regard to durability, weight, size and the type of materials used. Packaging, whether corrugated or plastic, must be robust enough to protect the produce on its way to the retailer and, ultimately, to the consumer to ensure that farmers get the best price for their goods.
“Durability is particularly important for corrugated packaging, which is exposed to climate-controlled environments. Corrugated packaging must be able to withstand up to six weeks of refrigeration for the export market without compromising its strength,” explains Strong.
Further, the package designer has to remain aware of the fact that it is, ultimately, the consumer who decides whether a pack design will be successful.
“The wine bottle received the award for the best overall product, with the product’s environmental benefits, significant cost savings and practical functionality. We also received a Gold Pack Award for our Preform and Closure Light weightings for 500 mℓ , one-litre and two-litre carbonated soft drinks products, among others. Projects of this nature are executed in close collaboration with customers and suppliers of raw materials and equipment,” highlights Mpact.
Strong points out that packaging also needs to have vertical strength when stacked so that the bottom layer can withstand up to 1 500 kg of pressure. In this context, scientific expertise become critical, as the packaging needs to be robust enough for stacking and light enough to remain economical.
Also, transport is an expensive cost element for the agriculture sector and, through innovation in lightweight packaging, Mpact says it can achieve cost reductions for its customers.
In Mpact’s Plastics division, the use of plastic jumbo bins instead of traditional wooden bins has resulted in significant financial benefits for the agricultural industry.
A study conducted for a fruit farm in the Grabouw-Elgin area, in the Western Cape, indicated total cost savings of R138.69 a bin each year when switching from traditional wooden bins to Mpact’s Jumbo Bins, with a payback period of three years.“
Plastic bins are 45% lighter than wooden bins. This enables quicker and safer handling and stacking and the bins can be vertically stacked up to eight units high because of a positive interlocking mechanism. As a result, safety is improved and more produce can be transported,” Strong points out.
Further, the in-built ventilation reduces cooling time and saves energy, and a clean, nonporous surface provides a hygienic, bacteria-free environment. Ultimately, this means that the produce arrives at its destination in a better condition, compared with the condition it would have been in, had wooden bins been used.
Edited by: Tracy Hancock© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Agriculture News
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...