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US-based Bemis to open Northern Ireland Business Services Centre

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By Jenny Eagle+

Last updated on 25-Jan-2017 at 15:34 GMT2017-01-25T15:34:34Z

Marty Scaminaci, Bemis, (left) with Alastair Hamilton, CEO, Invest NI. Pic: Bemis
Marty Scaminaci, Bemis, (left) with Alastair Hamilton, CEO, Invest NI. Pic: Bemis

Bemis, headquartered in Wisconsin, US, will open a Business Services Centre in Northern Ireland, creating 95 jobs to support its European operations.

Marty Scaminaci, VP, Global Business Services, Bemis, said recruitment has begun at the packaging manufacturer's Irish office and will continue over the next couple of years.

Invest NI funding

Establishing our European Business Services Centre in Londonderry is a strategic investment to drive efficiencies and standardize our processes,” he said.

We have successfully operated a manufacturing facility in Northern Ireland since 1996, and it is a great location to do business.

The availability of skilled graduates in the area, engagement of local council representatives, and the support offered from Invest NI were all critical factors in our decision to locate this center in Northern Ireland.

Invest NI offered £695,000 of government support towards the recruitment of jobs and a pre-employment training program at North West Regional College which will provide Bemis with a pool of business ready candidates including roles in finance and IT.

Bill Austen, CEO, Bemis told shareholders at the company’s Q2 2016 financial results part of the firm’s asset recapitalization program will be focusing on fresh and organic products, tapping into the ‘Afresh’ trend.

Asset recapitalization allows us to attack that piece of the market, the afresh trend if you will," he said at the time. "Because it's usually shorter runs, quicker changeovers are required, better service to customers, and these newer assets clearly help us do that, which the older legacy facilities just couldn't handle.”

The firm is looking to close four legacy plants in Latin America.

Austen said Bemis is "taking out less efficient, smaller, older legacy facilities" it acquired with Emplal and consolidating and moving that volume to newer facilities for a more efficient operation.

Innovation Centre

The company has also launched products developed through its Innovation Center, such as a flexible stand-up pouch for salad dressings that are single-served, and on-the-go convenience-type of products.

According to Austen, a number of CPGs (Consumer Packaged Goods) companies are moving from bottles and rigid plastic materials to flexible pouches for condiments, such as mayonnaise, mustard or salad dressings.

Among products developed at the center has been packaging for foods tapping the protein trend, including snacks based on cheese, processed meat, nuts and dried fruits.

Bemis already has a healthcare packaging facility in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, and contributes to its Life Sciences industry.

Alastair Hamilton, CEO, Invest NI, added: “Bemis Company makes a valuable contribution to Northern Ireland’s vibrant Life Sciences industry, employing over 200 staff at its manufacturing facility. This investment to establish its European Business Services Centre here is a significant."

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