Meat and poultry packaging firm experiences best-ever month

Northern Paper Board, a packaging firm that supplies to the meat and poultry sector, has experienced its strongest ever month in its 37-year history.

“We wrapped up both record production and turnover levels for the month and are bang on target to maintain our rock-solid year-on-year growth,” said sales director Paul Curran.

“The second quarter of our financial year has just finished and our turnover is up around 16%, coupled with a substantial increase in production output. Our annual turnover will increase in excess of £1.5 million during the current financial year.

“We confidently expect to achieve a further 20% year-on-year growth and remain firmly on course to break through £30m turnover barrier over the next seven years.”

This comes after the supplier of solid board boxes nears the first year anniversary of the completion of its £1.3m expansion project at its six-acre site in Skipton, North Yorkshire.

The firm completed the expansion of the new 22,000 square foot three-bay stock warehouse last October. This development has allowed the business’ premises to double in size – providing much needed additional storage space. In addition, Northern Paper Board has been able to benefit from the freeing up of its existing factory to boost manufacturing capabilities and capacity, primarily for bespoke printed boxes. These packaging initiatives are primarily designed for the meat and poultry sector, which makes up 60% of the company’s total turnover.

Additionally, the expansion has allowed the company to focus on growing other target areas in existing and new UK markets, including boxes for the fish and horticultural sectors.

The firm has heavily invested in the business over the past ten years, with £5m going into the company over the decade. This includes a standalone post-expansion spend of £500,000 over the last eight months in new technology and equipment.

A high-speed folder gluer has been installed alongside an auto packer, two robot feeders and stackers, and an additional high-speed pallet wrapper capable of handling up to 80 pallets an hour. In 2017, the business is scheduled to install a new die cutter.

“We now have the capacity to produce up to 250,000 boxes a day, as we continue to operate a two-shift work system on the production side,” added managing director John Curran.

“Our ongoing investment is continuing to pay dividends. We are making rapid progress and are ideally placed to take advantage of the future opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.”

Another development that the company has recently undergone is a £100,000 installation into solar panels. “We are keenly aware of reducing both our environmental impact and overheads. We hope to produce 25% of our own energy,” said John Curran.

Northern Paper Board has been able to create new jobs across all of its departments due to the expansion, boosting the workforce from 17 to 25 members of staff.

The new extension was built by local company, Sutcliffe Construction in Hellifield, which has previously worked with the company. John added: “It was completed both on time and on budget. In fact, Sutcliffe Construction pulled out all the tops to ensure the actual building work was completed and on schedule.”

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