Landpak BBM IBB YouFam
The International
Group of Companies
A Market Leader in Plastic Textiles

Packaging Suppliers in South Africa

The Importance of Packaging Suppliers in South Africa

The shopping experience today is a very different one from that of earlier generations. Rice and flour were often shovelled from a tub into a paper bag and then weighed and the customer would then pay for the precise amount. At the butcher, a joint of beef or pork chop would be cut to suit the individual’s need, weighed and then wrapped in white paper while potatoes and onions were simply taken by hand from a sack, weighed and often poured directly into a shopping bag. Contrast today’s experience. Without the packaging from various suppliers that we rely on in South Africa today, most shoppers would express serious concerns regarding possible quality and health issues.

The hygienic benefits of more sanitary handling, particularly with regard to the manner in which perishable goods are presented both for wholesale and retail purposes, are clear enough. Even in the absence of any serious health hazard, the risk of spoiling and product deterioration is drastically reduced by the use of the correct materials both during the transit of fresh produce and at the time that the produce is presented for sale.

Today, however, these are not the only issues important to producers and consumers. Increased demand on the former and less spare time for the latter has meant that convenience has become an equally important reason in the food and fresh produce handling industries. At fast food outlets, the china used for cups, saucers and plates have been replaced by polystyrene foam which, because it is disposable eliminates the need to wash crockery for re-use and prevents any risk that the washing process may be less than perfect.

This is just one more area in which we have come to depend upon specialised packaging and why suppliers everywhere, including those in South Africa, have needed to be both more productive and more innovative. The demand begins with the raw materials and, for fresh produce such as fruit and vegetables, this means on the farms and smallholdings.  Here items such as gem squash, carrots, onions and potatoes must be prepared for transit to the wholesalers and, from there, distributed to the retail outlets. This will often mean initially providing bulk quantities that are subsequently divided up and forwarded in smaller, more saleable amounts, for the supermarket to offer its consumers.

The ubiquitous plastic bags are totally unsuitable since, having no pores, the resulting lack of circulating air leads to condensation that will soon cause the contents to rot. Instead, the modern solution comes in the form of a range of woven and knitted products normally made from polypropylene or polyethylene. Firstly, the pockets and bags manufactured in this manner are porous and thus eliminate the risk of condensation and rotting. Furthermore, because these materials are very elastic in nature, the pockets do not cause undue pressure on their contents that might otherwise lead to bruising, spoiling the appearance of vegetables and, again, increasing the risk of rot.

The International Group of Companies, made up of Landpak, BBM and IBB, is one of the acknowledged local leaders in this field and has been operating for more than 60 years. Today it is a perfect example of a successful black-owned company with a staff of over 1000 and a product portfolio designed to meet the needs of a wide range of industries among which horticulture and the various branches of the food industry feature prominently.

In addition to the range of woven and knitted plastic pockets and bags, the Group has extended its use of these materials to the manufacture of shade cloth, vital to growers as protection against extremes of temperature. Though no longer limited to packaging alone, this supplier continues to deliver high quality products, on time and at extremely competitive prices. In doing so it easily justifies its position of an industry leader in South Africa.