World demand for converted flexible packaging is forecast to grow by about seven per cent to $53.5bn (€44.3bn) this year according to a forecast by Freedonia, a market research group.
Roberts Mart said yesterday it will begin production for food companies at a new lamination department set to open in August. RobertsMart, a family-run firm, also produces packaging for the household, textile, retail and healthcare sectors.
William Roberts, a director at the company, sees the highly demanding food and drink sectors as key for the company's future growth. He told FoodProductionDaily.com the company invested €11.7m ina new plant so as to receive accreditation for its food packaging business.
The company was unable to provide details of how much capacity the new plant will add to the laminated flexible food packing market in the UK.
The firm moved into the 10,000m factory in Leeds last autumn and received accreditation from the British Retail Consortium/Institute of Packaging in October. The company also hired a groupoperations director in February this year to drive growth in the sector.
The Leeds factory will produce food grade flexible packaging for the confectionery, speciality food, biscuit and beverage markets, the company stated in an announcement.
The company, which specialises in bag making, will use a £2m (€2.9m) ten-colour flexo laminating press from Fischer & Krecke for the flexible packaging. The company says the investment willenhance its product range and attract more business from the food sector.
"The printing press is quite revolutionary in terms of its capability and size," group operations manager Simon Plomer-Roberts said: "I intend to use this new printtechnology to target large corporations in the food and drink sector, as well as supplying existing customers with a higher quality service."
With a length of 27 metres, Roberts Mart believes the machine is the longest flexo press installed in the UK. It can print in widths up to 1,300mm and reels up to 1,000mm diameter. It can handle material from 10-120 micron films, foils and papers.
Laminates are designed to enhance pack presentation and increase product shelf life.