Media releases

Packaging leader maintains strong presence in Western Cape

29 July 2014

As one of the leading paper and plastics packaging businesses in southern Africa, Mpact sees the Western Cape as an important region where it maintains a substantial manufacturing presence that enables it to work closely with local customers ranging from independent farmers to regional representatives of multinationals.

This is the view of Mpact CEO Bruce Strong, who says that being close to customers is essential as Mpact is better able to understand their needs and expectations and deliver on these quickly, innovatively and expertly. This focus on customers is central to the Group's strategy.

In the Western Cape, fruit farmers, particularly of citrus and grapes, are major users of Mpact's corrugated products. œSouth Africa's fruit exports, especially to Europe, have to meet strict criteria that include packaging standards which Mpact meets in all respects, says Strong.

Mpact's Corrugated division has a strong presence with operations in Epping and Kuils River. It manufactures a comprehensive range of printed and unprinted converted products, including boards, which are used to manufacture corrugated packaging, corrugated boxes, die-cut cases, folded glued cases, trays and point of sale displays.

The MD of the Corrugated Division, Ralph von Veh, explains that Mpact provides fruit farmers in the Western Cape with lighter, stronger and more effective packaging which is not only better for handling purposes and enabling efficiencies for the farmer, but also contains costs.

œGood quality corrugated boxes are of utmost importance to fruit exporters. For example, some fruit gives off moisture which affects the properties of the packaging. This is critical when fruit is to be transported over long distances in containers, says von Veh.

Not only is turnaround time important, but fruit can vary in size by up to 20% and farmers can also have up several export ranges that require different carton sizes and brands.

Mpact's Plastics division also has a substantial footprint in the Western Cape and serves a diverse customer base from multinationals to regional manufacturers in the FMCG sector (such as carbonated soft drink makers, juice producers and producers of personal care, homecare, pharmaceuticals and food products), fast food producers, agricultural producers and retail chains.

There are two production facilities in Atlantis, one focusing on the FMCG market including polyethylene terephthalate (PET) wine bottles and the other being Mpact Plastic Containers, which caters for the agricultural, automotive, logistics, pharmaceutical, retail, and waste collection sectors.

The use of plastic jumbo bins produced by Mpact Plastic Containers instead of traditional wooden bins has shown significant financial benefits. A study conducted by Mpact for a fruit farm in the Grabouw-Elgin area revealed total cost savings of R138,69 per bin per year by switching from traditional wooden bins to Mpact's jumbo bins.

According to Loutjie De Jongh, MD of Mpact Plastic Containers, the business also offers one of the largest ranges of Returnable Transit Packaging (RTP) systems in South Africa. These robust containers are light and reusable many times over, providing significant cost benefits to users.

De Jongh says Mpact Plastic Containers is also a major manufacturer of wheelie bins, one of the most widely used and easily recognised containers in the country. œAt our plant we ensure that wheelie bins are made with a consistent quality and the toughness required to sustain rough handling.

Mpact's presence in the Western Cape further extends within the Paarl area where Mpact Versapak is located. Mpact Versapak services the fresh food, fast food and agricultural sectors with styrene and PET trays, expanded polystyrene packaging and PVC cling film.

Mpact's integrated approach to the packaging value chain is rounded out by its Mpact Recycling division, which each year collects more than 450 000 of waste paper and board. The company processes this material which is then used as raw input material by plants manufacturing new packaging.

Mpact Recycling's Western Cape operation is based in Parow, collecting paper from waste collection businesses, street collectors, schools, churches and offices. Mpact Recycling also has collection points at various locations in the province.

Concludes Strong: œOur vision is to be a leading business, delivering exceptional value for our customers. We will continue to meet and exceed customers' requirements for product and service quality, innovation as well as cost competitiveness by operating in strategic markets such as the Western Cape.

Issued by FTI Consulting Strategic Communications

Kgomotso Moalusi +27 (0) 11 214 2413 / +27 (0)76 941 2902

On behalf of Mpact Limited

Deborah Chapman Communications Manager, Mpact +27 (0) 11 994 5500 / +27 (0)76 650 4155

About Mpact

Mpact Limited is one of the largest paper and plastics packaging businesses in southern Africa. It is listed on the JSE's main board in the Industrial: Paper and Packaging sector. The Group has the leading market position in southern Africa in recovered paper collection, corrugated packaging, recycled-based cartonboard and containerboard, PET preforms, styrene trays, and plastic jumbo bins. These leading market positions allow Mpact to meet the increasing requirements of its customers, achieve economies of scale and cost effectiveness at the various operations.

Mpact has 32 operating sites, 22 of which are manufacturing operations, based in South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe and employs 3,998 people.

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Source: MPACT