Your Future is Our Future...
29 Nov 2017
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Your Agricultural Business Needs Eco-Friendly Farm Ideas

Modern farming accepts great responsibility in meeting the global food challenge. The growing population, expected to reach 9.7 billion people by 2050, places a heavy burden on growers and the limited land available for crops. Creative and wise resource use enables farms to rise to the challenge.

eco-friendly farmHowever, the need to minimize the environmental footprint at the same time adds pressure. Fortunately, modern innovations and plant science bring options to all areas of the farm. Eco-friendliness proves more achievable than ever, and the impact of damaging farm practices is reduced.

Why Does Eco-Friendliness Matter?

In its origins, farming cultivated the land and contributed to its beauty. Unfortunately, industrialization and the growing demand to feed a growing population wreaked environmental damage as well. Technology comes at a high environmental cost, but without it, food stores fail to feed the masses.

Eco-friendly practices and products take farming back to its roots. The practices chosen by growers impact issues such as climate change and deforestation. By using eco-friendly alternatives, farms conserve water, reduce pollutants, preserve soil and cut down on waste. Adopting such methods and materials protects the farm and profits.

What Eco-Friendly Farming Ideas Can You Adopt?

Sustainable agriculture protects the environment, profits farmers and promotes social and economic equity. Every link in the food system chain plays a role in ensuring sustainability. In other words, everyone from growers to grocers finds solutions in the present which do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

So, what is the role of growers in sustainability? Check out these eco-friendly farming ideas.

Land Reuse

The growth of the global population dictates the need for more land to plant crops to nourish it. Producing more food on existing farms protects this natural resource. Biotech crops guard against expansion by millions of hectares.

In other words, crop protection products and biotech seeds make good use of existing land rather than expanding farm commodities. This protects nonagricultural ecosystems, habitats and water supplies.

Energy Renewability

Alternative energy sources offer sustainability and eco-friendly options to growers. Electrical fencing, pumps, heaters, even machines run on these power sources. Examples of renewable energy sources include:

– Solar panels and power

– Hydro or wind power

– Geothermal heat pumps

– Hydroelectric power

Earth Protection

Soil health dictates the ability of the soil to “function as a vital living ecosystem”. Protecting the soil proves vital to farming profits and environmental friendliness. Ways of maintaining soil integrity from the Solution Center for Nutrient Management include:

– Crop rotation and biodiversity to enhance soil nutrients and decrease soilborne pathogens

– No-till or decreased tiling options to avoid disturbing soil which increases healthy organic material and decreases erosion

– Year-round cover and off-season crops to increase soil carbon and reduce water contamination

– Cover crops or crop residues to reduce evaporation, increase water retention and prevent wind and water erosion

Water Conservation

Growers play a significant role in addressing global water shortages through efficient water use and innovative plantings. Water retention and on-farm demand represent two areas where farms maintain this impact. Specifically, farms address water shortages when:

– Well-planned, efficient irrigation systems function through irrigation scheduling, water return systems and improved pump efficiencies

– Organic materials added as soil amendments are used to help retain soil moisture

– Drought tolerant plantings or local crops adapted to the area are used to conserve water

Pollution Control

The fresh air of the country runs the risk of compromise when farm practices fail to protect it. Farm machinery, herbicides, fertilizers and pesticides pollute the local air and contribute to global air quality issues. Pollution control at the hands of growers looks like this:

– No till methods reduce the use of farm equipment.

– Herbicide tolerant crops and crop protection products cut greenhouse gas emissions.

– Targeted fertilizer applications during peak crop demands limit excess chemicals in the soil and nitrous oxide emissions into the air.

Packaging Considerations

Storing and transporting products require eco-friendly consideration as well. Innovative, reusable products made of recycled or sustainable materials extend an environmentally conscious message to consumers. Nearly every packaging product offers an eco-friendly version. Look for land-conscious features in:

Bulk and BOPP bags

– Woven poly bags

– Paper bags

– Stretch film

– Strapping

– Even, tape

What About Your Farmhouse?

Eco-friendly farming goes beyond planting methods and biotech seeds. Renewable energy sources and sustainable materials extend to farm buildings as well. Green building practices, recycled and reclaimed materials, solar or alternate energy, rainwater collection systems, composting and more build the farmhouse and outbuildings with eco-friendliness.

What Eco-Friendly Option Will You Choose?

But there’s more. Eco-friendly practices also preserve habitats, contribute to public health, encourage vibrant communities, and protect wildlife and livestock. Human, animal and plant life benefit from innovative, modern farming practices. Which ones will you adopt today?

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


16 Nov 2017
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Choosing Agricultural Packaging: Balancing Quality and Cost

Delivering a fresh product in attractive packaging speaks boldly about your brand. Allowing packing materials to be an afterthought to producing a quality product negatively impacts your bottom line. But how do you strike the perfect balance between quality and cost?

agricultural packagingUnderspending on packaging puts you at risk for delivering unattractive, spoiled or damaged goods. Overspending keeps your precious dollar from other important investments while impacting your profit. Both result in waste. Let’s look at the factors in choosing agricultural packaging for both quality and cost.

Considering Quality

Building integrity with your customers means delivering fresh, appealing products. Quality packaging does just that. Superior materials keep foods fresh through transport and storage. They also move your goods to the store free from damage and without unnecessary delays.

When choosing agricultural packaging, quality dictates that you consider product freshness, shelf appeal and the message you desire to send. The choice is personal to your product and your brand. What works for the farm in the next county may not work for you.

Considering Cost

Unfortunately, expense proves a significant factor in choosing agricultural packaging as well. Budgets fail to stretch to include all limits. If you desire woven polypropylene bags but your budget only allows for multi-wall paper bags, you need to make adjustments elsewhere or opt for paper.

The most expensive option is not always the best. If you are paying for more material features than you need, the extra dollars are wasted. The least expensive option adds to your cost if it proves inappropriate for your application. Damaged, spilled or spoiled product impacts your spending.

Tips for Melding Quality and Cost

So, how do you combine factors of quality with cost to make wise agricultural packaging choices? If it’s not all about quality, and value alone fails to dictate the answer, what strikes the ideal balance? Check out the following tips.

Stamp Your Brand

The packaging you choose represents your product and your brand. Going with an inexpensive outer package when you produce a premium product does not say “high-quality” to consumers. On the other hand, expensive, non-environmentally-friendly bags fail to represent your organic products well. These mistakes cost you in the spread of your message and customers.

Whether BOPP or paper bags, wood or plastic pallets, the materials you choose to deliver your goods tell your story. Be sure to communicate your market position, purpose and values well.

– What message does your packaging send?

– Does your brand stand out consistently?

– Do premium or economical materials best represent your brand?

– Do your material choices tell consumers you care about the environment?

– Is your labeling high-quality and damage resistant?

– Is all printing clear and attractive?

Study Your Buyer

Saving money on packaging misses the mark if it does not speak to consumers. Studying your target market allows you to choose options which get their attention. The functionality and visual appeal of packaging choices are worth considering, both in the store and the home pantry.

Your buyer is drawn to how the packages appear on the shelf and the look of the product when opened at home. Succeeding at both brings return customers.

– Is your product too bulky or does it fit comfortably on the store shelf?

– Does your packaging hog shelf space?

– Is your product the right or wrong shape?

– Does the packaging choice appeal to your target buyers in quality?

– Is the packaging easy to open and use?

– Does your product look good coming out of the package?

Ensure Durability Over the Long Haul

Damaged, spilled or spoiled products cost you money. In fact, the hit to your bottom line is greater when replacing damaged goods than investing in quality packing materials from the start. To maintain product integrity, consider the journey of your product from farm to table, transport, delivery, and storage.

– Do your shipping materials protect your product from contaminants or pests?

– Are your shipping materials keeping your products sealed and fresh?

– Does your choice of bags resist tearing or other shipping risks?

– Is moisture a threat and does your packaging address it?

– Are there any specific shipping or storage conditions to consider?

Avoid Driving Transport Costs

Using packaging which fits transport vehicles, storage facilities and delivery keeps transport costs low. Opting for standard sizes is one way to make this happen. This choice offers flexibility on pallets and in warehouses. Plus, standard pallets more readily fit transport vehicles. Packaging which does not fit equipment risks costly damage or return.

Furthermore, bulky, heavier packaging costs more to transport. Lightweight and compact packaged products decrease transport costs as well as storage requirements.

– Does your packaging material meet industry specifications?

– Is your packaging bulky or heavy?

– Can you minimize packaging while maintaining product value and appeal?

Answer the above questions to focus your thoughts on the agricultural packaging. Time and money to pre-determine your best choices in both cost and quality are wise investments.

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


30 Oct 2017
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Wholesale Bulk Packaging and Great First Impressions

Did you know that a first impression forms within seven seconds? Even more intriguing, 55 percent of that initial impression is visual. Initial judgments are not primarily about the words spoken or the tone in which you say them. They are made about your look, posture, eye contact, and a handshake.

wholesale bulk packagingIn fact, people decide all kinds of things about you in the time it takes to introduce yourself. Believe it or not, they size up your trustworthiness, status, intelligence, power, success and more. That’s a lot of judgments made in such a short time.

But, how does this apply to bulk packaging?

The packaging and shipping of your products make an impression as well. From the delivery personnel to the customer receiving your bulk goods, the look of your package speaks volumes about who you are and what you value. Check it out.

What Your Packaging Says About You

A first impression includes the way your product looks as well as the customer experience. Within a few seconds of interacting with your bulk shipments, delivery personnel and consumers believe that they know you. It might be unfair, but it is what it is.

While these beliefs can be wrong, they tend to stick. This truth is what makes it essential to evaluate and upgrade your first impression. Consider the following questions that could be answered by a glance or brief interaction with your bulk packaging.

Do You Care About Quality?

Torn or crushed packaging means damaged goods to consumers. The strength of the shipping materials you choose for your product indicates your concern with quality. For example, straps or stretch film can keep pallets of products contained for a favorable impression. Furthermore, using the appropriate liners or materials to ensure freshness is critical as well.

Packaging factors to consider:

Do the shipping containers you choose ensure the best protection of your product?

Are the bags and boxes you use made of durable materials that can handle the shipping journey?

Do your products arrive intact and sealed for freshness?

Are You Considerate?

As you choose shipping materials, consider the equipment and storage issues along the transport route and how they impact your first impression. Pallets, bags, and boxes that are difficult to maneuver or store do not give your brand a favorable name. Improving the customer experience with easy-carry, non-tearing bags plays a role as well.

Packaging factors to consider:

Do your shipments stack well for storage and freshness?

Do your pallets, bags and other shipping products meet equipment specifications?

Do you take extra steps to improve the shipping process and customer experience?

Do You Value the Environment?

Today’s consumers look for products that reduce waste and environmental impact. This fact has led to the development of eco-friendly packaging options that fit most applications. Seeing pallets, bags, and boxes reused as well as products made from recycled materials such as BOPP bags impresses consumers.

Packaging factors to consider:

Are your pallets, shipping bags or boxes reusable?

Are your shipping products made of sustainable or recycled materials?

Do you reduce your carbon footprint in the materials and processes you choose?

Are You Trustworthy?

Research reveals that trustworthiness assessed in the first few seconds does not typically change. Your packaging solutions regarding the above questions give consumers an impression of whether you are trustworthy. Furthermore, the appearance of your brand and labeling plays a role as well. Well-printed, bold logos and information versus faded or scratched labeling provides a better first impression.

Packaging factors to consider:

Do your bags or boxes ensure freshness?

Do your shipments arrive on time and in good condition?

Is labeling clear and helpful?

Why First Impressions Matter With Packaging

As the saying goes, “You get one shot to make a first impression.” If your packaging tells customers that you are trustworthy and value the consumer (and the Earth) while producing a quality product, well done. Those buyers are likely to come back for more as long as their experience continues to match their first impression.

However, if your packaging does not leave a favorable impression, changes need to be made. Why? You will lose business. Like it or not, initial feelings about a product will impact if it gets bought. Plus, the power of word of mouth works against you when poor impressions are shared.

First impressions are difficult to undo so do not lose heart. Strategic and intentional changes draw consumers back to your brand. A new look which addresses customer concerns tells consumers that you are serious about fulfilling their needs.

Here’s your next step. 

Walk into your storeroom. What does your packaging say about you? Is this the image you want to give customers? If you are not sure, be brave, and ask others to provide you with feedback. A few simple changes could put you on the road to making a better first impression.

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


18 Oct 2017
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What Benefits Do BOPP Plastic Bags Offer Your Bottom Line?

Getting your product from the farm to the table requires countless decisions. Perhaps the one with the greatest impact is product packaging. Without durable, protective, sustainable, low-cost, customizable options, issues of product and dollar waste arise.

BOPP plastic bagsBiaxially Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP) bags offer a viable solution to the packaging problem. In fact, polypropylene bags are the first choice for bulk packaging of agricultural products worldwide. And for a good reason.

If you are unfamiliar with the benefits of using BOPP plastic bags in packaging, storing and transporting your agricultural goods, you’ll want to keep reading. Below, we sing six praises of this worthy product (you may find a few extras hidden in the text as well).

Strength

The process of creating BOPP extrudes and stretches the material in two directions: longitudinally and laterally. This stretching creates a more durable, fatigue-resistant product. Bags made from BOPP handle the loads placed on them while maintaining stability.

Plus, BOPP bags hold up to the wear and tear of packaging, loading, and transport. The abuses of machines used to move products are no match for this material. Strength also means your product becomes resistant to contamination, microbes and airborne pollution when stored in a BOPP bag. Nothing gets in. Nothing gets out.

Finally, in the hands of a consumer, bag strength matters. While a buyer may not notice how rugged a bag is, he or she notes when one breaks, sags or gets soggy due to the weather. The woven, fabric-like makeup of BOPP bags makes them durable and weather resistant which ends consumer frustration and protects your reputation.

UV Light Resistance

The composition of BOPP bags makes them resistant to UV light. The sun’s rays prove beneficial in growing agricultural products. Also, new research indicates that exposing fresh produce to sunlight increases the health benefits.

But, outside controlled conditions, UV light causes potential damage to agricultural products. In other words, sunshine is no longer beneficial once the item is packaged. Storing, transporting and purchasing take environmental controls out of your hands. BOPP bags protect your inventory when you cannot.

Improved Storage

Also as a result of the way BOPP is created, it becomes incredibly transparent. This feature makes sheets of BOPP ideal for creating clear bags. In packaging, clarity allows you to see the product and check its integrity. The transparency of BOPP also has printing benefits described below.

In most bulk bag applications, a clear BOPP overlay gives them a high gloss finish. This feature adds to the attractive look of the bag. Also, BOPP bags are easy to keep clean and offer excellent stability when stored and stacked on shelf space. Plus, BOPP extends the shelf life of your product, thereby delivering freshness and safety to the consumer.

Environmentally Friendly

Cutting waste and recycling efforts boost revenues and decrease your company’s carbon footprint. Made with polypropylene, BOPP bags are recyclable (although not biodegradable). With the quantity required in the agricultural community, this fact saves landfills. But they are also reusable which adds an environmental and cost bonus.

Furthermore, the Environmental Working Group rates polypropylene as a low to moderate hazard. The dope-dyed method of printing bags requires no water and thus requires no wastewater disposal. A win for the environment and you.

Cost-Effective

Bags which refuse to break lower overall expenses. Product integrity is maintained, and product loss is minimized due to the strength of BOPP bags. Seepage and contamination score low, while moisture prevention scores high, which further guards your product and investment.

Also, using fewer layers than paper bags, BOPP options weigh less which saves on weight and shipping costs. UV protection properties ensure product integrity which delivers items fresher. And recyclability saves on disposal costs as well as your overall investment.

Finally, BOPP woven sacks are found in abundance and prove easy to obtain at a low cost (particularly compared to jute or paper). In short, BOPP boosts your bottom line.

Customizable

BOPP bags respond well to printing and lamination. A film of BOPP is applied over woven polypropylene bags. This feature makes it easy to achieve the look needed for your packaging. Clear, vivid customization on both sides of the bag (and the gussets) is the result.

Polypropylene also proves to be colorfast. As a result, the printing stays put. It does not run and cannot be rubbed or scratched off. When your product travels across the community, state or country, it is crucial that your brand remains intact.

Maintaining your company image through packaging, storage, transport, and purchase is a powerful marketing tool. Every set of hands that move your product become familiar with your name. And with the ability to print as vivid as a photo on BOPP bags, your message comes across crystal clear. In short, BOPP gets the job done.

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


28 Sep 2017
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Agricultural Branding Raises the Value of Your Farm

For a farmer, branding may conjure up images of fire-heated marks left on a steer. This tagging method identified which farm the livestock belonged to. But an impression about the farm supported that mark as well. Similarly, branding your farm identifies products coming from your efforts.

agricultural brandingFurthermore, branding is your stamp on the world, how others recognize you. Think of some of the major names in the agricultural industry. These names are widely known in supermarkets simply by the familiarity of their looks and the consumer impression behind them.

Whether you want to develop into a national company or remain a regional entity, branding helps you meet your goal. Why is this marketing strategy, seemingly foreign to the natural landscape of the farm, so important? Check it out.

What is Agricultural Branding?

Branding goes beyond the fields of wheat or rows of corn logo and carefully chosen fonts. While these items represent your brand, the concept delves much deeper. In short, branding encapsulates who you are and portrays that image to the consumer, if done well.

Effective branding includes every aspect of farm life and production. Your mission and vision for the work you do, the way you maintain your farm and production facilities, and your involvement in local and charitable affairs all impact consumer attitudes. This is your brand.

What Does Branding Do for Your Farm?

While you may understand the need for the branding of products and services, using this strategy on the farm may seem a bit far-fetched. After all, should and could a commodity be branded? In reality, you may not survive the market without it. Your farm’s brand accomplishes the following.

Becomes Your Image to Consumers

Again, a brand takes the sum of who you are and feeds it to consumers – your look regarding name, words, symbols, and design in combination with the associated attributes. Through continued contact with your branding, people get to know you and your products. You are instantly recognized. And consumers gravitate toward the familiar.

For instance, if the central focus of your mission is to offer organic products and invest in sustainability, your brand makes this message public. If you want consumers to know that you provide hormone-free meat products from a trusted source, you build a brand to say just that.

Boosts Your Competitive Edge

A key to any business is standing out among the competition. Branding tells consumers how you are different and why they should choose your products over those from the hundreds of acres next door.

This differentiation enables you to avoid price wars and competition on volume versus cost alone. Your value becomes tied to consumer preference, not function. By creating this type of value in the eyes of the consumer, your competitive edge sharpens and becomes sustainable.

Breeds Customer Loyalty

Consider your loyalty to brands. What company manufactures your tractors? Which feed company do you continually choose to feed your livestock? Where do you purchase feed bags and packaging materials from? Yes, farmers are loyal to their brands.

And consumers prove to be the same. Achieving and maintaining customer loyalty through your brand requires sustained effort. But, the payoff comes in repeat business. Customers loyal to specific brands invest three to four times as much money on food as those purchasing based on price.

What Does Branding Do for the Industry?

And there’s more. Branding goes beyond the gates of your farm and the products you ship. This vital strategy also works to shape consumer perceptions of the industry. Just imagine the impact that poor treatment of livestock in general (as believed by the consumer) has on local beef farmers.

Furthermore, a sense of pride comes to individuals and farms associated with branded, recognizable entities. Whether involved in the hands-on production, promotion or sale and distribution of these products, individuals feel good about what the produce. This positive morale reaps efficiency and better products on farms and bolsters the industry as a whole.

Are You Ready to Brand Your Farm?

Branding puts the mission and actions of your efforts into words and symbols to speak boldly to the consumer of the value and unique offerings you bring to the marketplace. In fact, consumers believe branded items hold greater value, prove more reliable and are of higher quality than non-branded products.

Grab the bull by the horns, and get a jump on your branding efforts today. We promise you will be pleased with the results. Start by using customized bulk bags to promote your farm brand everywhere your product is stored and transported. Imagine how many people will see your company name and logo.

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


15 Sep 2017
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How to Use Farm Technology to Boost Productivity

The bounty of harvest in agricultural production rests on all kinds of variables. There is no precision to predicting a crop’s yield or ending waste from the field to the table. However, advances in technology offer promising solutions to the agricultural industry’s issues.

farm technologyAgricultural technology or ag tech helps growers at all points along the food production process. First, by alerting farmers as to growing conditions. Then by monitoring crops and production processes. And by decreasing the time a product requires to get from picking to plate. Hope exists for fresher products with less waste.

A Brief on Ag Tech

Weather proves extreme and unpredictable. Reduced immigration drives farm labor costs upward. Shortages of produce hurt the consumer and boost prices. According to CBInsights, these factors indicate a greater need to look at ag tech options. According to IBM, artificial intelligence (AI) breeds solutions which:

– Maximize overall farming potential

– Increase farm efficiency and safety while reducing human error

– Supplement the diminishing rural labor force

– Provide data to maximize return on crops

– Offer real-time assistance to farmers through chatbots

Agricultural technology is changing the landscape of the traditional farm. From planning the first till of dirt to putting food on the global kitchen table, technological advances pave the way to greater farm efficiency and better, fresher food sources.

Ag Tech at Work

The result? Increasing farm efficiency benefits both the grower and the consumer, and everyone in between. Software, drones, robotics and more support agricultural production in the field, at the farm and on the table.

In the Field

Likely the greatest area of variability in agriculture lies in the field. Weather, soil conditions, seed quality and more impact farm productivity from first thought. While getting around this requires lab-like conditions, ag tech sustains the traditional farm field as a viable and productive food source. A few ag tech examples in the field include the following:

– Sensors provide detailed data on soil quality, wind conditions, water availability, fertilizer needs and pest problems.

– GPS devices direct tractors, combines, and trucks for optimal usage.

– Drones scan fields and notify farmers of problems and crop ripeness.

– Technology even tracks nutrients and growth rates of individual plants.

– Ag tech options relieve the numbers required regarding human labor.

At the Farm

Once harvested, crops need care and packaging at the farm (and at times, outside it) to distribute food products to the consumer. Agricultural technology makes these processes quicker more efficient. With less waste and increased food integrity and freshness, a better product is delivered. A few ag tech examples at the farm include the following:

– Analytics move products through production more quickly to avoid spoilage.

– Data gathering software provides field maps by analyzing the best crops to plant given both sustainability and profitability.

– Autonomous truck delivery continues to whisper of promise.

On the Table

Changing dietary habits impact the foods on consumer plates and their expectations of food quality and nutrition. The landscape of culinary preferences leads to an increased need for agricultural technology solutions. After all, producers need to meet the demand to profit and succeed. A few ag tech examples on the table include the following:

– Traceability systems offer insight on products moving from the farm to the table and beyond.

– Sensors in packaging alert for spoilage.

– Software gives consumers recipes based on pantry items.

– Mini scanners provide access to ingredients and nutrient content of plated food.

The Changing Agricultural Scene

As technology advances, the farm looks less and less like it did in the days of dirty overalls and rough, callused hands. While a modern-day farmer may still enjoy digging his hands in the dirt, fully automated farms are on the rise.

With this trend, CBInsights suggests the future skill set of farmers may lean toward agronomy (the study of soil and crop production) and technology. Yes, the agricultural scene is changing dramatically with the need to feed more people globally with greater efficiency.

Furthermore, gene-edited crops and even indoor farming, including lab-grown food sources, magnify the need for ag tech products. These alternatives to traditional farms offer optimized farming through “lower water usage, higher crop yields, improved crop flavor and shorter supply chains.”

Keeping Up With the Changing Scene

Whether you are a local farm looking to boost your productivity or a large scale operation striving to continue your success, agricultural technology offers options for your farm. Starting with simple in field or production techniques moves you in the direction of your goals.

Timeless Solutions Still Matter

While technology is changing many procedures, timeless solutions continue to play a significant role in the agricultural industry. Bulk bags are one of the most efficient ways to transport hundreds and thousands of pound of dry goods. For generations, bulk bags are cost-effective, easily customized, and can be imprinted with your farm’s logo and product.

Capitalizing on ag tech solutions reduces waste and increases efficiency. And, both of these benefits boost your overall productivity.  You might just be surprised how it helps you do what you love even better. Learning to harness the power of farm technology can make a notable difference in your daily operations.

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


11 Sep 2017
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Basics About Quality Bulk Food Packaging and Food Security

The safety and the general level of security of food on our planet, in general, is something that we need to take into heavy consideration. In many countries, quality food can be scarce and hard to come by, and different countries don’t always have the ability to grow, raise, or access the foods that they need. In this country, we have to be sure that the food that we are getting has been shipped properly and kept in a clean, safe, adequate, environment to eliminate the deterioration of the food, and the spreading of germs and bacteria that could destroy our health.

bulk food packagingWhen speaking about different households around the United States, every home, and every family has varying levels of food security and food insecurity. In this sense, we are defining food security as keeping food in safe transportation and packaging during transport and warehousing.

Food Security and General Food Safety

Many consumers go to the grocery store or the market several times per week, but do they know how it got there? People in the agricultural industry recognize the elements of safely packing and transporting food around the country and the world. As you may know, different foods have various requirements in terms of:

– Shipping conditions

– Shipping temperatures and climate controlling

– The proper packaging to protect food from pests, germs, and bacteria

To make sure that our food is in the best possible condition when it arrives to us or the market, there are certain steps that must be taken to make sure that foods are packaged and transported correctly.

Packaging and Transportation

Primary packaging for food and groceries is the packaging comes into direct contact with the product. All foods have different packaging and transportation needs, and the processing of any food will be a failure if the proper packaging methods aren’t used with the right foods. Whether that be through a sterile canning process or closing foods in hermetically sealed bags, the means and quality of the packaging that our foods are stored in, in processing, is going to protect consumers from disease and bacteria.

Food safety or food security can often be thought of as the amount of food that is available to a given community. We have to extend that definition to also include the adequacy or quality of the food. The proper packaging of foods gives us the ability to:

– Capture and retain the quality nutrients that are available in foods;

– Extend the viable shelf life of foods so that they can stay fresher for longer; and

– Allow them to be transported all over the country and the world, while still retaining the integrity, quality, and health of the food.

Potential Threats Without Food Safety

When food safety is in question, you have to be aware of the consequences that come with the improper packaging and transportation of agricultural products. Without the proper packaging and transportation, what we are risking with our foods are:

– Foods that have the potential of becoming chemically contaminated, because they don’t have protective, sealed packaging;

– Physical abuse to the food itself, which shows the neglect and wear and tear on food products that can be due to careless packaging and handling; and

– Microbiological hazards, which can potentially cause illness or disease to consumers.

The good news is that all of these things can are preventable through the proper packaging, handling, and transportation of our food.

Expanding Food Security

Currently, there is a limited population on the globe that has access to safe and secure food. One way that we can work on making sure that secure food is more available to remote countries and other areas is working on expanding the production of appropriate technologies for protection and packaging of our foods. With the proper packaging and equipment, we can help others extend the viable life of their foods, protect them from harmful bacteria and disease, and make sure that safe, intact foods are available to a greater number of people around the globe.

What Is Quality Bulk Packaging?

Quality bulk packaging is describing the process of bulk packaging food, often in bags, as a method of supply food to households, companies, and other organizations. We design our bags of only the highest grade materials for our customers so that we can make sure that our farmers and customers are given a product that best suits their needs for foods storage, shipping, and warehousing.

What Are Woven Polypropylene Bulk Bags?

At Western Packaging, we pride ourselves on a quality bulk packaging product, which is why we use 100% virgin woven polypropylene bags. The materials that we use for constructing our bulk bags are the industry standard as the safest and most durable components, so you are always getting a quality bulk bag. Our goal is to provide quality food resources to farmers and households around the country.

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


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.