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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.


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.

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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.

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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.

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