Trade finisher ACA Print Finishing & Packaging Solutions has received BRC certification for a specialist food carton conversion unit at its plant near Glasgow airport.
The new sterile room is a 4,600m2 unit alongside the existing plant and the £500,000 investment takes the total spend to more than £1 million since a £6.5 million management takeover in 2015. The expansion gives the company 3,700m2 of production space in all.
Managing director Joe Keenan, says: “This is a major achievement for ACA. BRC accreditation will not only secure work from our existing customer base but will open the door to further opportunities within the marketplace. We expect to spend a further £200k on a new foil blocking machine which will further enhance our productive capacity.”
The company began constructing the new plant, with separate entrance, staff facilities and canteen, in the spring. The company received the official notification that it had achieved the accreditation five weeks ago.
It recognises that ACA is able to meet the requirements for food safe foil blocking of food cartons, trays, sleeves and inserts for secondary food packaging. This is a global standard and makes ACA one of the few in the UK with accreditation across different processes.
The next hurdle is achievement of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 and purchase of the new the foiling machine. As well as spending on the new building, the company has spent £500,000 since the takeover on maintaining and upgrading existing equipment and on computer systems.
The 2015 deal was funded by serial entrepreneur Dara Changizi. Earlier this year he explained that prior to making the investment he had investigated the print and packaging sector, discovering that the the UK has the fifth largest print industry the world and, that after pharmaceuticals, its 48% gross added value is the second largest adder of value in the UK.
“And, according to the Scottish Government’s figures released in August of this year, GVA per employee has been increasing steadily from £36,809 in 2008 to £43,646 in 2015, an increase of 18.6% over the eight-year period. The packaging industry, too, boasts a compound annual growth rate of 4.07%. I have invested in a number of different industries over the years, and I would be hard pressed to find one that adds such value, and continues to add value at that rate.
“Equally, the global packaging industry is set to reach $975 billion by next year, and we are eager to develop further the growing packaging side of our business, and to help Scotland’s flagship industries, not least whisky, display their wares at their very best.
“ACA presently has an annual turnover of £4.7 million, and our 83 employees supply expert finishing to over 200 printing businesses in Scotland and Northern Ireland. But, we know that we have the capacity to grow turnover to £8m. We are the largest finishing company in Scotland and handle overspill for a significant section of Scotland’s 400-600 printers.”
ACA has built an extension to its Glasgow premises to house a clean room alongside its main factory. The unit has achieved BRC certification to allow ACA to offer foiling under the food safe conditions to existing and new customers.