Faerch Plast adds northern plant

International food packaging company, Faerch Plast (FP), opened a new factory in County Durham, England, on 21 June to add to its sites in Denmark and the Czech Republic.

There are currently 36 members of staff employed on the site, using six thermoforming machines, which operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In the next three or four years, the Dutch company hopes to recruit another 100-150 permanent members of staff as well as deploying another 14 machines.

As a major supplier to the ready-made meal and fresh meat industries, the factory is expected to produce around 300m CPET trays a year when the factory is at full capacity about 80% of Faerch Plast's UK sales are CPET trays.

FP managing director Joe Iannidinardo spoke of the company's ambition to make more environmentally friendly products for the meat industry. He said: "Over the years we have introduced a lot of products into the market, such as clear plastic meat trays, which was quite an idea as you can see the food from all sides and there is no hiding the fatty bits."

Also for use in the meat industry, FP will be producing "mono amorphous polyethylene terephthalate (MAPET) trays", said Iannidinardo, which will ensure polythene liners are done away with and replaced with an adhesive that goes around the rim of the tray. "It's being used for meat packing, as polythene normally becomes contaminated in the waste stream as it doesn't get recycled individually, rather as a mixed plastic," he explained.

The new UK facility is based in the north east of England and was opened by the County Council councillor, Simon Henig, alongside shareholders and the Faerch family. Henig welcomed the new business and praised the Faerch family for choosing Durham, saying he was "pleased that an innovative company was adding to the Durham economy".

Iannidinardo added: "This factory is another step in the development of the company and it gives us the opportunity to develop our services in the country and introduce new products to the market and the meat industry as well as other parts of the industry."

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