Article published in Business and Industry Today – January 2020.
Established in 1969 by Basil Smith, B Smith Packaging is a third generation family business, offering bespoke and sustainable packaging solutions to a wide range of sectors and SMEs. It has recently changed its management structure to an employee owned partnership model to empower employees to have a voice in the way the company is being run.
“Our solutions include everything from food packaging, to luxury bags, to sustainable boxes and bags for the e-commerce sector,” explained Andrew Smith, Managing Director. “We have our own storage facilities that are BRCA* accredited, and our own distribution network of liveried vans that means we can deliver to individual bakeries in a chain or to individual high street stores.”
As well as this, B Smith Packaging has its own technical department that looks at the specification of the products and how they will fit in the store, as well as testing the tensile strength of boxes going through the online system and being thrown around in the back of a van, ensuring the product reaches its recipient in optimum condition. Furthermore, the company’s in-house artwork and origination department can work independently or in conjunction with the clients’ artwork team.
Certainly, at the company’s heart is its desire to protect the planet, and B Smith Packaging is committed to finding ways to reduce its impact on the environment. “The whole world needs to go through a change of mind-set. Our current lifestyle isn’t sustainable – everything needs to firstly be recyclable, and secondly actually be recycled. We have been working to find alternatives to plastics, while promoting various recycled options. All of our paper is FSC certified, and we only source from mills with re-afforestation programmes. If it’s not recyclable, then we promote reusable multi-use products.
“Wherever possible, we use water-based adhesives and varnishes, and plant or vegetable-based inks. We also have a range of products that are made from potato and corn starch. These are home compostable and offer an environmentally friendly alternative. Our latest product is our paper bag made using wood fibres from controlled and sustainably managed forests, utilising technology which reduces waste and energy consumption. It is biodegradable and can also be recycled.
B Smith Packaging has always stayed abreast of the latest developments and ensures it is evolving to meet its clients’ ever-changing needs. “We offer a wide range of substrates including fabric bags made of jute, cotton and juco. We understand the problem plastic is causing and some of this is a re-education issue. We are actively phasing out single use plastic and have seen an uplift in our sales of RPET bags. Our plastic bags are recycled from drinking bottles and we are directly addressing the problem by re-extruding the plastic pile that is already in existence.”
“We are all about bespoke, sustainable packaging. We have spent a great deal of time and effort working with our clients and their customers to drive a sustainable offering. We are here to work in partnership with them to source and fulfil their packaging requirements to help promote their brand and find a solution that fits their client We think of ourselves as a consultant, not just a supplier; we’re here to offer advice and educate people on the facts and the dangers of some of the packaging options around today.”
As well as this, Andrew has led the company into an employee owned business model, with each employee getting shares. “I’m very passionate about the staff being at the forefront of everything B Smith Packaging is about. I wanted to give something back to the employees who are the heartbeat of everything we do and reward their ongoing loyalty,” he explained.
Looking to the future, B Smith Packaging will no doubt be continuing its admirable drive towards a sustainable future. “We are proactively engaging with clients to encourage them away from single use plastic. We want to get involved with new businesses in the SME sector across all disciplines and take the hassle of designing and sourcing their packaging away from them as we have 50 years’ experience in this sector and we are experts in our field,” Andrew concluded.
Contact us for more information.