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06 Sep 2017
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Farm Safety Tips: National Farm Safety and Health Week 2017

In 1944, due to a high incidence of agriculturally related injuries, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed that the third week of September would, henceforth, be known as National Farm Safety and Health Week. Members of the nation’s vast agricultural industry will gather at the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety, also known as NECAS, in Peosta, IA from Sept. 17-23 to commemorate National Farm Safety and Health Week 2017. This year’s theme is: Putting Farm Safety Into Practice and will feature industry experts and programs designed to promote safety on the nation’s farms and rural roadways.

farm safety tipsThough it might not be known by the populace at large, agriculture is one of the most hazardous industries in the nation according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. One of the primary motivations for the proclamation in 1944 was that injuries and deaths attributed to agricultural accidents are largely preventable through education.

Safety on the Farm

No matter how large or small, the modern farm utilizes equipment and facilities designed to make the demands of planting, maintaining and harvesting fields of crops, and the handling and transportation of herds of livestock efficiently and profitably. But the very tools designed to aid the farmer can also present potential hazards both to health and from bodily injury. Here are a few of the potential hazards and how they can be minimized and even prevented through proper education.

Grain Bin Entry

As grain is extracted from a bin, any attempt to enter it creates a potential entrapment hazard. This situation is typically the result of grain that clumps due to being out of condition causing problems with the flow of the grain. Persons entering the bin are also subject to being pulled under a stream of flowing grain. Both situations can result in suffocation. To optimize safety for entering grain bins, it is recommended to:

  • Turn off and lock-out machinery being worked on, and tag-out equipment, so others are aware of your presence in the bin.
  • Use a lifeline and harness and make sure another worker is present to monitor the worker in the bin.
  • Always stay clear of an active auger.

Handling Livestock

No matter what breed of animal is herded, being gentle with them, along with sound practical livestock habits, go a long way in preventing injuries. Yelling at or hitting animals is unproductive. They can be moved with a gentle nudge or word. Follow these tips:

  • Be aware of how animals see the world around them. Familiarize yourself with their blind spots as well as what visual stimulation might spook them.
  • Animals maintain comfort based on the amount of personal space they are allowed to keep. Anyone handling herds of animals should be aware of this as they position themselves to manage the herd.
  • Always be extra cautious when handling bulls, and do not fail to have a well thought out escape plan if you are alone with one in a pen.

Safety Concerns for Children

Children living on a farm have a large area full of objects in which to play. This might tempt them into seeking fun in potentially dangerous areas. To avoid the risk of injury to children, follow these guidelines:

  • Keep children off of all equipment that is not in use.
  • Riding in or on farm vehicles should be discouraged.
  • Make sure all bins and silos are locked.
  • All ponds and manure pits should be fenced off.
  • Abandoned wells should be capped.
  • Prevent access for children to all farm buildings.
  • Make sure large tires are lying flat on the ground.

Protect Against Equipment Rollovers

Farms that still use older farm equipment that has never been retrofitted with rollover protection are a leading cause of accidents on the farm. With all the safety advances in modern farm equipment, there is no excuse to not protect against rollovers. Reluctance to do so mostly centers on the cost of retrofitting.

  • Retrofitting an older piece of farm equipment with a roll bar and seat belt can be costly, often even more so than the actual value of the equipment itself.
  • Even small tractors which may not require a roll bar could still enhance safety greatly by installing a seat belt.

Chemical and Pesticide Handling

The use of chemicals and pesticides is such an ingrained aspect of the modern farm the proper handling of them is often minimized. This can lead to serious injury. Follow these basics to ensure the safety of all those who handle chemicals and pesticides.

  • Always wear protective clothing such as gloves, and protect your eyes with safety glasses. Some chemicals and pesticides might require the use of a respirator.
  • Make sure to store all chemicals and pesticides in a locked room or storage bin away from animals and out of the reach of children.
  • Proper training in the use of all chemicals and pesticides is imperative. This includes familiarizing one’s self with material safety data sheets.
  • Be sure and wash chemicals and pesticides from your hands and any other body part that comes into contact with them. The same goes for your clothing.

Here at Western Packaging, we share in the concern for farm safety with all of those in the agricultural industry. We are a leading supplier of agricultural packaging and have developed close working relationships with many of the nation’s farms throughout the years. We salute the upcoming National Farm Safety and Health Week 2017 and encourage all workers in the agricultural industry to educate themselves in all aspects of farm safety and health concerns.

Thank you for reading our blog! How can we help you? Contact us today.


06 Aug 2017
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How to Successfully Market Your Agricultural Business

You may be having a hard time successfully marketing your agricultural business, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Creating a farm logo, making your farm stand out, launching a website, attending farm-related events, advertising, joining farm associations and evaluating your success is a great way to successfully market your agricultural business.

How to Successfully Market Your Agricultural Business

Create a Farm Logo

The first thing you should do to successfully market your agricultural business is to create a farm logo immediately. Your farm logo can be as simple as the name of your business or as complex as a farm picture with the name of your business. Your farm logo should be a business image based on your goals and objectives for your brand as well as a general feeling.

While you can create a farm logo on your computer without any help, you may want to hire a professional graphic designer to make your farm logo stand out from the rest of agricultural businesses. This is especially true if you plan on expanding your marketing efforts to packaging and professional printed materials and signage. It’s difficult to achieve the quality you and your customers are looking for with home or small-business software. A graphic designer will achieve a high-quality logo with specific file formats that you’ll need later on.

If you decide to hire a professional graphic designer, you’ll need to be selective. It’s important that they know and understand the business you’re in. You’ll need to make sure that they have a style that’s appealing to you.

A professional graphic designer should provide you with a variety of versions of your logo. These versions should be a high-resolution image for print, a low-resolution file for web use and a vector file format for embroidery.

Make Your Farm Stand Out

It’s important that you establish a unique selling proposition for your business. You’ll need to ask yourself why someone should do business with you instead of someone else and what unique benefits your farm offers. You’ll need to offer fresh, high-quality produce to set yourself apart from other farms. You’ll also need to provide good customer service.

You’ll want to spend some time planning your unique selling proposition. Your unique selling proposition should be in a place that you’ll see daily to remind you of your farm’s purpose and direction.

Launch a Website

One of the most successful ways to market your agricultural business is to launch a website. An effective marketing plan should include launching a website. Launching a website is inexpensive, and it’ll reach your target customers. A website is a great marketing investment without spending much money.

Launching a website will ensure that you have many customers with a high demand in your business. You may want to come up with a breeding plan so that you’ll be able to sell more animals and earn more money.

There are many free online website platforms available for use. You can use WordPress to launch a website that’s high-quality and professional. If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can always hire a website designer to help you. With a website designer, you’re about guaranteed to have a high-quality, professional website.

Be sure that your website is appealing to you and your target customers. Your website will need to have images, text, your logo and tagline to create a website that stands out from your competition.

Attend Farm-Related Events

Attending festivals, farmers’ markets, demonstrations, seminars or farm open houses is another great way to successfully market your agricultural business. Some customers will want to do business with you after meeting you.

Begin Advertising

Advertising on the radio, magazines, classified ads, televisions and billboards are a great way for your target customers to find your business. You should always choose something that’s in your budget and something that you can afford. You’ll want to include a catchy headline, your farm name, your phone number and your website address in any advertisement you decide to do.

Join Farm Associations

A farm association membership is a great, inexpensive way to market your farm and your products. Membership fees usually include newsletter subscriptions and a printed or web-based listing in the association’s membership directory.

Evaluate Your Success

After you’ve given some time for your marketing plan to work, you’ll need to evaluate your success. It may take you six to 12 months before you start seeing good results. If your sales aren’t as good as you thought they would be, be sure that you add a few things to your marketing plan.  

Final Words

Successfully marketing your agricultural business is one of the most important steps you can take to have a successful, profitable business. Be sure to have a well-designed website, communicate on social media and provide outstanding products and services. Branding through the use of customized bulk bags is another way to successfully market your agricultural business. It’s an affordable solution to build your brand recognition.

Thank you for reading our blog! How can we help you? Contact us today.


21 Jun 2017
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Top Ways to Perfect Agricultural Packaging For Optimum Efficiency

While field to table is the ideal way to enjoy farm-fresh products, reality dictates the need to transport agricultural goods far from the dirt they are grown in. Many backyards are foreign to the concept of a garden and too small to house a field. Farms near and far fill in the gap. Plus, the ability to transport and sell (or vice versa) homegrown products brings income to those tending the soil. Therefore, identifying the best practices for agricultural packaging, storing and shipping produce and other goods helps these hard-working growers make the most of their efforts.

agricultural packagingProper packaging and processes keep agricultural goods remain fresh along the journey to another table. Plus, wisely investing in these factors lowers overhead for growers through more efficient shipping and less waste due to spoilage or damage. What are the top ways to improve agricultural packaging and processes? Come, sit a spell on the porch, and let’s get the conversation started.

Customized Packaging

The time and dollar investment to customize packaging to meet the needs of specific products proves wise and saves money. Boxes, bags and shipping containers offer varieties in size, strength, and breathability to handle differing products.The biggest and strongest option is not always the best answer. In fact, choosing without knowing the properties of the product or the specifications of the packaging may add up to unnecessary expenses. Paying for overkill wastes cash. And, problems along the shipping route cost as well.

Know the Product

Knowing the specific product to be shipped and stored and its properties help determine the best packaging for keeping the shipment fresh and safe during transport and storage. Furthermore, specific shipping regulations may come into play which saves time and money when needed. A few product properties to keep in mind include:

— Size.

— Weight.

— Moisture resistance.

— UN or HazMat Certifications.

— Food Grade Production and BRC Certification.

Consider Packing Factors

The method of packing boxes, bags, and shipping containers also must be considered when choosing packaging types. Loading machine requirements, hand-packing options, and other factors impact the strength, size and type of material needed. Think about possible customizations and their benefits:

— Fill spouts of bags fit to specific filling machinery decrease spillage.

— Lift loops for easy forklift transport save time and damaged containers.

— Bag bottom style choices address storage or discharge specifications.

— Moisture liners are sewn to stay put during emptying offer time-saving convenience.

— Stretch film varieties from easy to cut hand wrap to heavy duty machine grade film keep shipments in check.

Take Stock of Storage Practices

Furthermore, transport around the warehouse or storing practices themselves affect the type of packaging chosen. Some transport companies set specific regulations to ensure products fit the machinery which moves and stores the loads. Honoring these requirements saves time and money. Considerations for customized packaging in terms of storage include:

— Seam or joint strength for the length of transport and storage, or if dropped.

— Wall thickness or compression strength when stacked.

— Tear strength against potential snagging or tearing.

— Closeness of weave when contents shift and vibrate.

— Added fiberboard, paper liners or venting for protection and moisture control.

Printed Packaging

Logos and company colors printed on bags, boxes and even strapping products look professional and impressive. And, while many budget-cutting entrepreneurs may choose to forgo this added expense, the point of upgrading to labeled packaging products goes beyond aesthetics. Products such as bulk bags come in a choice of colors which enables companies to personalize their packaging. Plus, adding graphics and text to just about any packing material raises the customization options. And, these investments offer benefits.

Increase Brand Awareness

Printing a logo or consistent graphic and text across packaging makes a product stand out. Amid a sea of brown paper or white polypropylene bags, each person from pickup to store shelf notices the brand printed on the packaging. And, visuals stick in the mind. In fact, human nature gravitates toward the familiar. In this case, consumers are likely to purchase products with recognizable logos whether they experience the product or not. In fact, Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP) bags offer a surface premade for vivid color. With the ability to print on both sides of the bag as well as the gussets, BOPP bags get a company’s name out from all angles.

Ease Transport and Storage

With warehouses filled with products from a variety of companies, printed packaging gets attention. But, it also makes for ease of retrieval. The frustration of searching for products among similar, commonplace bags or boxes leaves a negative image with warehouse workers, retailers, and consumers. Also, printing enables products to move swiftly along the journey from field to table (or yard). Plus, logos and labels inform wholesalers and retailers how to best care for the products within the packaging. Furthermore, minimal labeling is required under FDA regulations.

Improving packaging through customization and printing smooths the way for easy transport and offers a host of other benefits.

Thank you for reading our blog! How can we help you? Contact us today.


31 May 2017
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How to Improve Agricultural Bulk Packaging and Processing

Agricultural packaging and processing is just one step in the supply chain for agricultural goods. Once your company moves the product from the farm to the factory, modern technology takes over to lower your costs and improve efficiency. Massive facilities turn bulk packaging and processing into a science filled with conveyor belts, washers, and scanners. Automated machines represent one of the several ways to improve your bulk agricultural business.

bulk packagingWays to Increase Your Revenue

Modern packaging and processing create several ways to increase revenue. Farming is a $190 billion industry, so firms that serve as a link from farms to grocery stores stand to gain a huge influx of cash from the need to feed America’s population. To that end, processing agricultural goods remains a vital portion of this industry. Here’s how to increase your revenue as an automated processing facility.

Eliminate Waste

Automated processes eliminate waste and increase the number of viable goods that go into a shipment. Sifters get rid of dirt and debris while scanners pick out misshapen or rotten products that don’t belong in the batch. This means you deliver more high-quality product worth more money to your customers. You also earn a share of those profits when you sell more bulk items at wholesale prices.

Reduce Risk

Automated handling reduces human contact with the agricultural products. This reduces the possibilities of accidents within the workforce, and that saves your processing company money. The less contact humans have with the product while it’s in your facility, the less chance you have slips, falls, repetitive motion injuries and muscle strains. Let machines and technology do all of the hard work for you.

Increase Flexibility

One production line can handle several different types of agricultural products with a few minor adjustments. That means instead of shutting down a line for hours as you transition from sunflower seeds to apples, your downtime remains minimal. Just switch out a few machines, change some conveyor speeds and you’re ready to go with another batch of whatever came into the plant that day.

Create Efficiency

Machines work to move a lot of product without a lot of effort from human staffers. This increases efficiency while decreasing time to market. Keeping your processors running at peak efficiency makes your operation run more smoothly. The faster you move products from your facility to the store, the sooner your company earns more profits.

Using Bulk Packaging and Bulk Bags

Bulk packaging, formally know as flexible intermediate bulk containers forms one of the key components towards the end of the bulk processing. Once everything passes your inspection, the agricultural products have to go into a large container before heading off to another location. This means putting the products into bulk bags, stacking them together on pallets, wrapping them with stretch film and affixing the correct labels to them. After that, the products more to the truck for transport.

Why Bulk Bags?

Bulk bags improve your processing efficiency for several reasons. All of these factors contribute to a better overall profit margin for your company.

Labels

Bulk bags and bulk containers have labels already on them. Rather than printing labels on your own at the end of the production line, simply get bags ready that have clear labels printed on them. Labels can say the type of product, the name of the company, any expiration dates or even shipping destinations.

Flexible Way to Ship

Bulk bags offer flexibility when it comes to shipping. You don’t waste space because your facility can fill bags part of the way or all of the way. Rather than rigid containers that take up more space, bulk bags conform to your space and warehouse needs.

Reducing Contamination

Woven polypropylene bulk bags keep the products in the bags while keeping contamination out thanks to a layer of protection. Polypropylene forms a barrier that reduces moisture, keeps out dust and dirt, and keeps the products fresher as they await shipping or further processing.

Standardizing Shipping

Bulk bags make every product easier to ship thanks to standardized ways to handle the bags. Some bags need loaders to move, while others require overhead hook conveyors. When you know what size bags leave your facility, you can alert the destination what kind of equipment to have on hand when the products arrive

Ordering bulk bags saves you money in several ways. These bags last a long time, and they are recyclable. Buying them by the thousands saves you more money over the long run, especially if you have a steady supply of agricultural products. Let Western Packaging show you how we save your company money. We specialize in bulk bags, so you know you’re getting a high-quality product every time.

Thank you for reading our blog! How can we help you? Contact us today.


28 May 2017
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Why Agriculture is Choosing Woven Polypropylene Bulk Bags

Science and agriculture have been partners in feeding the human race for centuries. As agriculture around the world continues to scale-up production of food, the industry is focusing on making the business of producing food greener, more cost-effective and more efficient. For many agricultural producers this has meant choosing woven polypropylene bulk bags, also called polyweave bags, to pack, store, and transport their goods.

woven polypropylene bulk bagsBasics About Woven Polypropylene Bags

Polyweave bags are the superior choice when compared to less effective traditional alternatives such as paper, PVC, or PE plastics. Thanks to innovations and research, the many benefits of woven polypropylene bags have made it possible to store and transport food further and longer while reducing spoilage. Here are some reasons many agricultural organizations are already switching to polyweave bags over more traditional plastic packaging.

The Benefits of Polyweave Bags

There are numerous benefits to choosing polyweave bags over other plastics when it comes to packing, storing, and shipping produce, but the benefits that reduce losses for your business are the ones that matter most.

Cost/Value

Polypropylene outperforms every other packaging, plastic in nearly every category. It can hold more weight and lasts longer than other packaging, plastics for numerous reasons. Replacing packaging and losing product to spoilage or breakage results in unexpected and preventable costs. Making the change to polyweave bags and packaging will reduce that waste and make your business more sustainable in the long term.

Packaging Versatility

Polyweave bags can easily be laminated to allow for printing anything from product contents and information to a company logo right on the bag. This means that storing and transport, identification is simplified, and businesses can promote their brand on the package itself.

Biodegradability

Several studies show polypropylene to have significantly better biodegradability than traditional packaging plastics.This means that when packaging is eventually discarded, it breaks down more quickly with less harmful effects to the environment. Not only does this keep toxins out of the water table, but it also keeps them out of the food chain as well.

Durability

In terms of plastic durability, polypropylene is the clear winner. With a melting point of between 130C and 170C, it can withstand higher temperatures and maintain its shape more effectively than traditional polyethylene and polybutene plastics. This resistance to change in temperature makes it ideal for both storage and transportation of foodstuffs, and for reuse over time. Lamination and printing do not compromise the strength of the bag, and allows businesses to create a more visually appealing product with minimal additional effort or cost.

Pest Resistance

The design and composition of polyweave bags make them highly resistant to pests, insects, and vermin that can infest stored foodstuffs and create a great deal of preventable loss. Fewer losses to pests means higher profit margins and a stronger business.

Permeability

Polypropylene has a much lower gas-permeability than other plastic packaging materials such as cellophane or polyethylene. Low permeability means better moisture control for products stored in polyweave bags, and a significantly lower chance of mold or rot developing during storage. It also means that when a variety of foods are stored in proximity to one another, odors do not pass between storage containers or bags.

Chemical/Electrical/Stress Resistance

In addition to being heat, pest, and odor resistant, polypropylene also demonstrate resistance to more extreme stressors such as chemicals, electricity, and physical stress from twisting or impact.Polyweave bags are resistant to permeation by chemicals, and they have a high electrical resistance, even when they are heated to high temperatures. Polypropylene is also highly resistant to physical stresses and can be treated for additional durability even when woven or molded to a specific shape. Polyweave holds more weight without breaking while being lifted, and it resists tearing from abrasion or stretching. Best of all, it retains its toughness without compromising flexibility, thus retaining its value as an agriculture packaging material.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, when you examine the research, polypropylene and polyweave bags and containers are the best choice for packaging, storing, and delivering the agricultural products. They endure harsh conditions, they are tough to break, and they store well in all kinds of extreme storage conditions. Polyweave containers and bags are also ideal for large-scale harvests, as well as transporting those harvests to storage and eventually to market. Pests and vermin have a hard time breaking into them, and they keep the wet and the weather out while keeping odors inside the container.

All of these products offer your business superior performance while saving you money and reducing preventable losses. Look into polypropylene and polyweave products further on your own. Contact a supplier to test some for yourself. Help ensure the longevity of your business and good agricultural practice and make the switch to polyweave bags and containers.

Thank you for reading our blog! How can we help you? Contact us today.


30 Apr 2017
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Inventory Management Techniques Include Customized Bulk Bags

Bulk bags have become the industry standard in the transport of agricultural goods. They provide an almost unlimited number of benefits in transportation from reduced to cost to easier storage. One benefit that many people do not take into account is the tremendous impact they have on inventory management. Consider how inventory management techniques include the use of customized bulk bags for agricultural businesses.

Inventory Management TechniquesHidden Advantages

Bulk bags may appear to b large, unidentifiable objects that are impossible to tell one from the other. While uniformity is an important aspect of consistency, printed bulk bags can create a more organized and streamlined inventory management system. Printed bags are also one of the most efficient methods of storing agricultural goods of all types. And they can significantly reduce typical costs associated with storage.

Use Every Advantage

If you have already used bulk bags for your storage and transportation purposes, you are probably very aware of many of these benefits. However, it is important to use every possible advantage when it comes to efficiency and cost-reduction techniques. You may have overlooked some of the advantages that can be a natural part of the inventory management process when using bulk bags.

Consider Storage and Transport

Depending upon the products for which you plan to use the bags, there can be many additional benefits that come from an inventory management process. Consider inventory management techniques based on storage and transportation with bulk bags. The best manufacturers of bulk bags offer them in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, materials and textures. Once you identify the type and amount of the product you wish to store, it is important to make an informed decision about what type of packaging is right for you. Consider the reasons why bulk bags are the best option for transport and storage. And learn how to determine the right types of bags for your product as well as how to make your inventory management process more efficient.

Printed Bulk Bags

The most standard bulk bags are traditionally white, unlabelled containers. These are most useful in the storage and transport of multiple containers of the same product. However, when storing multiple products in the same facility, it can be difficult to stay organized without some identification method to differentiate one item from another. That is where printed bulk bags provide an additional benefit to the traditional bags.

Using Identifiers for Inventory Management

Even if you use all of the bags and storage space for the same products, it may still be important to separate them. Organize the bags according to dates, sources, and other differentiating information. Get the information custom printed onto your bags. Labels can make the management process much more streamlined while making it easier to stay organized. In addition to creating better inventory management, printed bulk bags can be a great way to brand your products and set yourself apart. You also create your unique impression in the minds of your buyers.

Transportation

Printed bulk bags are beneficial in the storage aspect of agricultural inventory management. They are just as useful, perhaps even more so, in the transportation of your goods. When each product or bag is individually labeled, it can create a much simpler way of preparing the products that need to go out.  Referring to the print keeps the bulk bags organized through every step of the transportation process. Label the bulk bags according to their intended destinations. Accurate labeling creates an even simpler method of transportation.

Affordable and Flexible for Transporting Goods

Even if you do not need printed bags for identification, bulk bags are one of the most efficient methods of transporting agricultural goods. They are durable enough to carry a significant amount of just about any product. And they are flexible enough to allow for easy storage during transport. Bulk bags are also very affordable, making them a cost-effective method of storage and transport in every facet of your business.

Choosing the Right Bulk Bags

Selecting the correct type and size of bulk bags is one of the most important aspects of the process.

Factors to Consider

Choosing the right bulk bags for your business reduces the cost of shipping and storage. It also reduces the costs associated with potential losses during transport. Much of choosing the right bulk bags will depend on your needs, but there are some key things to consider including:

  • Your product
  • The amount of the product
  • Your storage space
  • Whether it needs to be sealed
  • Coated bulk bags for optimum protection
  • Whether you require lift loops

Consult with an industry professional who can assist agricultural businesses in finding the right bulk bags. Flexible intermediate bulk containers can be customized to meet your specific requirements. Printed bulk bags are an effective way to manage inventory and brand your business during the transportation process.

Thank you for reading our blog! How can we help you? Contact us today.


21 Apr 2017
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Five Agricultural Packaging Products From Wholesale to Retail

Agricultural packaging has taken on a new level of importance considering that 54% of wasted food is lost during the production process, after-harvest treatment, and storage transportation. Discover more about five important agricultural packaging products from wholesale to retail.

Agricultural packaging productsWhy is agricultural packaging important?

It’s really important to understand the importance of agricultural packaging for your business for the short and long term. Packaging within the agricultural industry will help preserve and protect food. It will also save you money on shipping costs and will aid in product branding. Plus, utilizing the right agricultural packaging is essential in delivering the freshest, best-looking products to your customers.

1. Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers

Bulk bags are known as flexible intermediate bulk containers in the packaging world. They can be used to store and transport thousands of pounds of dry goods. Bulk bags made from woven polypropylene are also weather-resistant.

Benefits of Super Sacks

Reasons to use flexible intermediate bulk containers may include:

  • Increased shelf life for products
  • Easy printing options for branding and food labeling
  • Temperature control within packaging
  • Low cost

Bulk bags are suitable for regional and international transport. They have become an industry standard for over a century. These flexible containers are affordable, durable, and reliable. As a result, products arrive in the best possible condition with minimal losses. They are the first type of packaging used for farm products in warehouses before they are distributed in smaller quantities and packages.

2. Fiberboard

Once products are delivered in quantities of hundreds or thousands of pounds, they are repackaged for consumer distribution and use. Fiberboard is very versatile, has great stacking strength, and is low in the cost of production. Most vegetable packing materials are corrugated fiberboard, but they can also be made of wood, plastic, or Styrofoam, depending on any specific shipping and packaging needs. Corrugated fiberboard is recyclable with great strength when wet.

Add Plastic Strapping

The corrugated fiberboard has the possibility of being printed on, therefore, it’s also considered retail-ready.  Corrugated fiberboard should usually be assembled just before use. Some packages might have to be assembled by a machine, but some can be assembled by hand–it’s really up to you and your preferences. Either way, this packaging method is very easy and can be done quickly. Plastic strapping can be used to hold corrugated boxes together.

3. Clamshell packaging

Clamshell packaging is very important for fruit. They provide ventilation through their perforation. Overall, there are three types of fruit packaging that provide superior ventilation:

Closed packaging, without holes— this is made from a very thin film. Through a disintegration process, it allowed gasses to slowly pass through it.

Micro-perforated packaging–this is packed with holes, and it allows carbon dioxide, water vapors, and oxygen to pass through it.

Macro-perforated packing–this is packed with large holes specifically for ventilation.

It’s really important to choose the right kind of flexible fruit packaging materials in order to ensure that the fruit remains fresh. The same goes for vegetable packaging. If you want your fresh products to remain fresh and ready for your consumers to eat, then you’re going to need to choose the right package.

4. What about dairy?

Dairy products are just as important as the produce. Most dairy packages have to meet standards, though, and there is a requirement to make sure that the products remain safe during transport and while on the shelves.

Temperature and Moisture

Dairy cartons have to be able to withstand certain temperatures and levels of moisture. It also needs to be able to block out UV rays and look good sitting on the shelves of your local grocery store. For some farmers, it also might be important that dairy cartons are BPA-free or that they are made from some kind of sustainable material. Regardless of what they’re made of, dairy cartons must be durable and resistant to freezing cold.

5. Stretch Film

Overwrap film remains one of the most popular packaging options out there because it’s easy to use and cheap. It is typically used to wrap things or to cover things, like cling wrap.

Large Scale Use

This packaging option costs very little and will allow customers to see inside the package before they buy it, which can encourage them to make the purchase. On a larger scale,  stretch film is used to keep bulk packages on pallets together. Plus, this high-performance stretch film can stand up to a range of atmospheric conditions. Plastic strapping might also be added to pallet shipments for added security. These products can help to keep foods fresh and minimize losses during the shipment and storage processes.

From bulk shipments to retail packaging at grocery stores, the agricultural packaging being used is a major consideration for farm businesses. Choosing the proper packaging for your products can reduce losses, keep foods fresh, and make them more appealing to consumers.

Thank you for reading our blog! How can we help you? Contact us today.


26 Mar 2017
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What Can the EBS Handjet Printer Do for You?

Your old hand coder has finally done it last job. After all the problems you had with that antique hand coder (labor intensive, expensive, and poor ink management), you are looking for a more up-to-date method for marking the items. It might be a good time to consider the latest in lightweight, wireless, compact coding: The HandJet series of EBS handheld printers. The EBS series are the latest in the line of handheld coders. Newer features and greater functionality are built in to make your coding tasks even faster to accomplish. Here are a few of the ways that the HandJet EBS series can help to make your coding go faster and with fewer snags.

handjet printerImproved Printing Capabilities

Of course, the main use of your handheld printer is for labeling. EBS handheld printers feature a number of printing improvements compared to that old hand coder.

Increased Print Height

With EBS printers, the letter and symbol sizes are available, to 32 dots @ up to 2.2”. They are capable of providing up to four lines of code. Printed letters and symbols become sharper and less likely to be misread.

Larger Ink Cartridge

The capacity of the ink cartridge has been increased and is capable of printing up to 200,000 characters (doubled from 100,000 characters) over a 7×5 matrix. No more frequent stopping to refill your handheld printer.

A Wide Variety of Message Sizes

The print image height is expanded and can now print messages from .276” to 2.2”, and can print those sizes as a single line or multi-line message. Now you’re able to print clear, legible messages in any size, and print those messages on the smallest or largest of items.

Print Messages on Many Different Surfaces

Messages can be printed on porous and non-porous surfaces including corrugated steel, paper, film, foil, glass, metal, lumber, and concrete. EBS handheld printers are able to print needed symbols or messages on just about any surface you can imagine.

More Control Over Your Printing Task

Not only are your printing choices expanded with EBS handheld printers, so is your ability to preview and control what you print. No more guessing what the message will end up looking like, or where it will end up on your item.

Touchscreen Precision

EBS series handheld printers are equipped with an on-board, touch screen controller, which is fully colorized. When a quick adjustment is needed, you won’t have to do anything more than enter needed changes (color, font, size, expiration dates, counters) using the touch screen, and you’re back in business.

A Wide Variety of Graphics Packages, Fonts, and Symbols

No longer will you be limited to only a few, pre-installed font types or symbols. The EBS series comes loaded with a wide variety of national characters, graphics, and variable fields. The 2-gigabyte memory has more than enough room for downloading of special fonts (TrueType, Google). You can even access a Firefox browser through your unit.

Large, easily readable screen

Now you can view your exact printing task through the onboard, hardened, 3.5” (diagonal measure) viewer. Not only can you view the message being printed, but you have all the necessary printing options available at your fingertips. Simply touch the required change on the screen, and you’re back to your printing with nary an interruption.

Laser-guided positioning

EBS printers are equipped with a built-in laser guidance system to ensure precise message positioning. With an easy-to-follow laser targeting system to guide your message positioning, you’ll never have to search for symbols or messages again.

Almost Limitless Ink Options

Regardless of the types of materials your printing will adorn, the EBS series can handle it. Whether your ink is of a quick-drying variety, or if your packaging requires its own specific type of ink (ethanol, acetone, MEK based, UV legible, or food-grade) the HandJet can handle it. Even better, the unit comes with an easily installed cleaning cartridge that will flush the system when it’s time to change the ink.

Print From Any Angle

In addition to these options, EBS series handheld printers will print your symbol or letter message from any angle. The latest generation of HandJet EBS handheld printers is built with the user’s comfort in mind. They are designed for long-term use. The unit weighs just over 3 ½ lbs and is ergonomically designed for balance and comfort. The power supply can either be an external (24V), or internal. A fully-charged battery can provide up to 16 hours of continuous operation under normal conditions. The EBS series has communication capability built in. You can connect to WiFi, Bluetooth, or USS.

Proper marking of your shippable items is an important and critical part of your business. With the newer generation of HandJet EBS series handheld printers, your labeling tasks will become more precise, and easier to accomplish.

Thank you for reading our blog! How can we help you? Contact us today.


08 Mar 2017
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Top Bulk Bag Terms Agricultural Buyers Should Know

Any industry you work in is going to have a certain language and words specific to that line of work. It’s important to make sure you understand what some of those words and terms may mean, as it could be critical to you completing your job. The following are some of the most common bulk bag terms that agricultural buyers should know.

bulk bagBaffle

A baffle is when pieces of fabric or a different material are sewn across the corner of a tubular or four-panel bag. This helps improve the squareness of the bag and also helps to improve the stability of the load and be more efficient with storage space.

Volume

Volume is the size or the amount of a particular material that a container is capable of holding. Typically, you’ll see volume given in terms of cubic feet.

Bottom Spout

The bottom spout is also sometimes referred to as the discharge spout. Essentially, this is used as an outlet to help you empty the contents of a container.

Coated Fabric/Bags

Fabric or bags that are coated on the inside with polypropylene, help reduce the moisture present inside of the bag and also helps reduce contents from shifting. It prevents moisture from getting on the inside and it can also be referred to as a non-breathable or laminated fabric/bags.

Polyester

Polyester is a type of polymer that is typically used to help produce a wide variety of yarns and threads. However, it is typically not easy to recycle along with a polypropylene container because the polymers are virtually incompatible when together.

UV Stabilized

This is a particular feature that uses technology to help protect against the UV rays given off by the sun if it happens to make direct contact with the container. It is typically an additive blended with resin prior to removing the yarns that help provide the UV protection on containers.

Hemming

Hemming is a sewing technique that helps prevent cut fabric from fraying. Additionally, it helps add strength throughout the entire bag. Typically, hemming is done by folding and sewing the material, but it can also be done using glue. Hemming will help provide a clean finish to the container and can be done towards the inside or outside of the bag, whichever you prefer. Lastly, hemming can help you achieve the desired size you’re looking to get.

Belt Patch

The belt patch is a piece of fabric that gets sewn between the main fabric on the bag and the lift belt. This helps improve the shift resistance and also the safe working load because it provides you with a stronger and more durable lift.

Cord Lock

Cord locks are a device that helps hold rope or cord in place in a bag so that it can stay closed at all times. For the most part, these come in a wide variety of sizes and they help reduce the need for hand tied knots.

Approval Drawing

As the name would suggest, an approval drawing is a drawing given to the customer for their review. The customer is able to look it over prior to production and give feedback. This is to ensure that everything is up to the customers’ needs and expectations before production begins.

Production Drawings

Production drawings are documents that detail all of the specific information you need to make the bulk bags, such as dimensions, features, components and special instructions. These details are always approved by the customer first.

Sanitary Flap

The sanitary flap is on the bottom of the container and helps protect the entire bottom surface for cleanliness and wear. Sanitary flaps can also be referred to as protective bottoms in some situations.

Seam

The seam on a bag or container is the sew line that is made by attaching or assembling two components together. Most times, the seam is clearly visible on the product, therefore making it easy to identify.

Document Pouch

Document pouches are typically made of either polyethylene or polypropylene and it’s where all shipping and identifying documents are placed. Typically this will be on the outside of a box and can commonly be referred to as a pocket or envelope.

Cone Top

Similar to an inlet, a cone top is where the top is a pyramid shape to allow for overfilling of the bag. This is also referred to as a conical top at times.

Amazingly enough, these are only just a few words on the long list of terms that you could benefit from knowing when it comes to bulk bag terms. There are a lot of different terms that didn’t get discussed in this post, but this post does detail some of the more important and prominent terms you’re probably going to hear.

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11 Feb 2017
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Polypropylene and Bulk Bags Are the Perfect Match

You may have seen large bulk bags in other places of business that you visit during your personal or professional life, but may not have considered the thoughtful design involved to make them. If you already use super sacks, you probably take for granted the woven polypropylene bulk bags you see every day in your business to store all of your products. It helps to learn about the wonderful match made between polypropylene and bulk bags when it comes to deciding which products are right for your warehouse operation.

bulk bagsWhat Is Polypropylene

Polypropylene is a durable plastic used in a huge number of applications because of its incredible versatility. It has a high melting point but is lightweight. It can easily be dyed without impacting the strength and durability of the substance. It is highly flexible while retaining all the qualities that make it one of the best plastics. This combination of qualities makes it ideal for integrating into bulk bags used to store and transport agricultural dry goods.

Keep Goods Safe and Dry

Like most plastics, polypropylene resists water so it keeps cargo safe and dry. In addition to not absorbing water, it also does not mold. This means that its integrity cannot be compromised due to mold or damp environments. Another benefit of polypropylene is that this material can take a great deal of damage before breaking. It is not a likely candidate for breakage or splitting during shipment. All of these traits add up to an optimal solution as to what material to use for huge storage bags that keeps the cargo safe and secure during transport and storage.

How It Is Made

Polypropylene itself was made by two chemists, Karl Rehn and Giulio Natta, back in 1954 when they polymerized it from petroleum. Three years later, this chemical breakthrough became a staple in commercial production such as wholesale bulk bags.

Woven to Perfection to Create the Ideal Barrier

Manufacturers weave strands of polypropylene together to create the bulk bags similar to the way that threads are woven together to make clothing. These bags can be made into a standard woven bag, a laminated woven bag to provide an even better barrier for water and contaminants, UV sandbags that can be used for natural disasters and paper laminated bags that offer the convenience of paper with all of the benefits of polypropylene. Plus, these big bags can be customized for any type of business use, including branding and promotion.

Benefits of Polypropylene Bulk Bags

All of the factors that make polypropylene special help to make woven polypropylene bulk bags perfect for everyday use. They’re lightweight and heavy duty, which are the best traits to have in materials that you use for shipping and storing. This means they will not add unnecessary weight to a product that is already heavy when it comes to shipping costs. Yet you do not want to get a light material that will not hold up to the wear and tear of the constant movement associated with dry goods.

Fantastically Flexible

Polypropylene is flexible without splitting, which means it holds up under pressure no matter the shape of the container. Finally, the properties of plastic that keep these bags from absorbing water, contaminants, and mold are all excellent when it comes to storing agricultural products. Maintaining the integrity of dry goods means fewer losses and greater profits over the long haul.

Impact of Polypropylene Bulk Bags for Agricultural Uses

The impact that polypropylene bulk bags have had on the agricultural industry is remarkable because these bags have revolutionized the way that products are stored and transported. These bags make it much easier to move agricultural products from farm to factory. Farmers and other agricultural businesses always look for ways to save money because every penny counts. The fact that these bags provide a lighter way to transport items saves on shipping costs.

Efficiency Matters

In addition, these bags don’t require pallets because of the way that they have been designed for lifting, moving and storing. Food-grade packaging is more efficient thanks to polypropylene, and efficiency saves money while adding to your profits. Polypropylene bulk storage bags make dollars and sense for your agricultural business.

Any agricultural business can benefit from moving from smaller paper bags and other packing options to polypropylene woven bulk bags. You will appreciate the different benefits that come from using this wonderful plastic creation, including easy packaging, better storage while waiting for orders, and easier transport from your place to your customers. And your customers will notice the ease that comes with processing your shipment in their own facilities. Our team of professionals can help you develop customized bulk bags to suit any type of application your agricultural business needs.

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