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Australian Packaging increases its slice of the pie

Privately owned, flexible packaging specialist, Australian Packaging (AP), has become the leading contracted supplier to the national pie and sausage roll industry.

Established in 1981, the company has grown rapidly, while constantly meeting growing market demands. During the 80s and 90s the focus of the company’s strength was primarily geared toward the snack and fresh food industry, and while these sectors still represents a large portion of turnover, investment in specific machinery has seen the Australian bakery industry efficiently serviced by this Caringbah-based company.

AP supplies the majority of the nations pie manufacturers with perforated and strip-perforated, heat-sealable polyester that is either plain or up to eight-colour printed. Investment in a state of the art, computer controlled Bielloni 8 Colour Flexo Press plus a bank of high speed perforators and slitters has seen the plant’s efficiency levels soar.

AP director, Ray Cranfield, has explained that these technical upgrades, coupled with ongoing support from raw material suppliers, have secured AP’s current status in the market. “We purchase a vast tonnage of film annually for the baking industry. This enables us to pass on substantial cost savings to our customers, without compromise to quality, service or lead times”.

AP expertise is not limited to pies and sausage roll wrapping. According to Operations Manager Vivienne Tasker, the past three years have shown remarkable growth for the company within the baking industry in general. “While some of our customers maintain a focus on pies and sausage rolls, others have incorporated cakes, muffins, donuts, baguettes and biscuits. A variety of our specialised, printed films are supplied to this market via our customer base to Coles, Woolworths, Aldi, Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Blue as well as a rapidly expanding export market to the Asia Pacific region.”

AP has forged a successful path through what is perceived to be a highly competitive arena. When asked to explain this achievement in recent years, Company Director Dianne Anderson, upheld several reasons: “We implemented a management re-structure in February, 2007 and since then have increased our turnover by nearly 10%. Close to 8% of this increase has come from the bakery industry.

“Our production facility, under the management of Peter Barnes, has been purposely geared, both in terms of personnel and machinery, toward supplying this market. Secondly, we have stayed ‘under the radar’ of the majors. We rarely advertise and the majority of our work, from all sectors of baked goods, has been generated by word of mouth. Our equipment is geared to efficiently handle from 100 kilogram to 10 tonne runs.”

Although the company has broadened its import division during the past five years, 90% of the printed and perforated films supplied to the baking industry nationwide are produced on site.

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