WE Believe Partnerships to be Powerful
For more than 10 years, Waddington® Europe has been in partnership with Produce Packaging, specialists in the distribution of packaging materials for the fresh food and produce industry.
We were a small but ambitious player in the fruit market. Produce Packaging were equally ambitious, looking to increase their UK coverage and grow from the 9 million units supplied to the UK soft fruit industry.
In 2013 they opened their first Scottish depot, having identified opportunities in the region. After working with other suppliers, their needs were not fully met. So they called on us.
Today, Produce Packaging distribute in excess of 100 million Waddington containers a year across the UK, with 45% of that business currently in Scotland. With approximately 500 million punnets in the UK market, Produce Packaging enjoy 20% overall market share.
"Waddington Europe’s punnets are the best in the market. They have reduced the plastic in the punnets, but not compromised on quality. They’re a critical partner in our supply chain, one that we value, respect, trust and enjoy working with every day."
Lee Cooper, Sales Manager at Produce Packaging
How we approached… working in partnership
From the start, our approach to working with Produce Packaging was different. Offering much more than great quality punnets, we quickly became an invaluable partner by adding value in the following ways:
By extruding our own materials
This not only let us control the packaging product quality, but also increase production as and when required. During the months of May to September, Produce Packaging see a 70% increase in demand for punnets. We can meet this demand when called on.
By having an exceptional design team in-house
This meant we could proactively provide new designs at speed and quickly fix problems or issues that arose.
By reducing plastic while maintaining the highest quality standards
Our products are known throughout the industry for the responsible way they’re created to reduce environmental impact. Successfully reducing the amount of plastic in our punnets without compromising on quality helped Produce Packaging both retain existing customers and win new business.
By taking a personal approach
Our dedicated Key Account Managers attend Produce Packaging meetings with their customers on-site, something which is far from typical within the industry. This approach is highly effective not only from a customer service point of view, but also commercially, as problems can be fixed quickly with little or no disruptions to the production line. Produce Packaging really value this personal approach and trust that we understand the bigger picture where others don’t.
By being problem solvers with manufacturing and production expertise
Our team is always available, whatever the problem. Produce Packaging had a customer with an issue – a tool that wasn’t sealing the film to the punnet correctly. Despite it being a competitor’s product, we sent an engineer to look at and solve the problem, which enabled Produce Packaging to retain their customer using our products.
Results that speak for themselves
Working in partnership has helped us deliver some great results. Here are a few highlights that we’re rightly proud of.
"Produce Packaging and Waddington Europe’s relationship has helped to grow the Scottish depot network. They understand our customer needs, they’re proactive and reactive to anything that we throw at them. They’re a true partner and one that we enjoy working with."
Mark Tierney, Managing Director at Produce Packaging
Our engineering team helped Produce Packaging redesign the punnets and scrolls for one customer. This led to massive time and production efficiencies, with a head count reduction on the line and increased productivity from 75 punnets per minute to 200 punnets per minute. That’s a production increase of 166%.
By supporting the growth of Produce Packaging in Scotland, they now hold 70% market share.
A Produce Packaging customer received an unannounced audit which is carried out by the retailers (Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda, Iceland etc). They demand that farmers provide traceability of paperwork within four hours or face a heavy fine. We were able to carry out a trace within 10 minutes for this customer who supplies approximately 50 million punnets per year to retailers.