Jul 05, 2013
Strong demand for agricultural packagingBack
Agriculture|Expertise|Gold|Africa|Design|Environment|Mpact|Packaging|Projects|Safety|Africa|Institute Of Packaging South Africa|Creative Agricultural Packaging Solutions|Creative Packaging Solutions|Energy|Equipment|Packaging|Product|Products|Solutions|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 (150 word limit)
Other Agriculture News
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
JSE-listed real estate investment trust (REIT) Rebosis Property Fund achieved a distribution growth of 8.1% to 99.45c per linked unit in the financial year ended August 31, despite volatile market conditions.
A low-cost, inflatable incubator won this year’s international James Dyson design award, which aims to encourage and inspire the next generation of design engineers.
The World Bank released its ‘Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency’ report last month and ranked South Africa 43 out of 189 global economies for its ease of doing business, with Singapore topping the rankings.
Air Products South Africa officially launched its R300-million Eastern Cape air- separation unit (ASU), at its new manufacturing facility in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), earlier this month. It is the second facility that Air Products launched in South...
BMW South Africa (SA) has signed a power purchasing agreement with energy company Bio2Watt. The offtake partnership will bring renewable energy to the carmaker’s Rosslyn plant, north of Pretoria.