Access Free Support for Employees Through The Printing Charity

As coronavirus continues to impact every area of our lives, there has never been a more important time for business owners to support their employees’ health and wellbeing.

At Glossop Cartons we are extremely lucky to be able to access a fantastic organisation called The Printing Charity.

About The Printing Charity

The only dedicated charity for people in the printing sector, it offers free practical and emotional support to people who work in (or have previously worked in) the printing sector, helping them find their way through life’s challenges.

    • Practical support: Citizen’s Advice Bureau style advice across a broad range of topics from separation and debt management through to funeral planning and home repairs.
    • Emotional support: provided by British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) accredited therapists via phone 24/7/365. Further consultations may be offered face-to-face either remotely or at an appropriate social distance.

The Printing Charity’s Helpline

Individuals working in the print industry can access this free confidential helpline, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.  Access to the helpline is provided at a business level. To find out more, visit www.theprintingcharity.org.uk/our-helpline and complete the form or connect with Nicola Peacock on LinkedIn.

Our experience

We first partnered with The Printing Charity in early 2019 and have been impressed by their approachable and organised style. As a business owner I’m pleased and reassured to be able to offer their services to my team as I know that coronavirus is creating many new problems and anxieties. Totally independent from us, The Printing Charity gives our employees somewhere to go when they’re in need and require specialist, impartial advice and support.

Several members of our team have used the service already as they cope with a range of personal crises and their feedback about their experience has been excellent.

Accessing the support your employees need

I am proud to be an ambassador for The Printing Charity and wholeheartedly recommend other employers in the sector to get involved.

You can follow The Printing Charity on LinkedIn.


Protecting Sustainable Packaging

Before COVID-19, the packaging world was already undergoing a process of transformation. Consumer and regulatory pressure had forced manufacturers and retailers to reduce their carbon footprints and adopt more sustainable packaging.

However, with the move to prioritise safety and hygiene during the coronavirus pandemic, a shift towards plastics for their cleaning properties has sidelined more sustainable packaging solutions.

We interview our Joint Managing Director, Jacky Sidebottom-Every, to find out more about the changing attitudes towards the use of plastics and paper-based materials in packaging.

Q: Prior to Covid-19, what was the packaging industry’s main priority?

JS-E: Improving sustainability has been high on our agenda for a number of years and is a hugely important issue across the entire industry. We are also led by consumer opinion, and paper-based packaging is generally viewed as being better for the environment. Consequently, most major UK supermarkets have committed to reducing plastic packaging, including Sainsbury’s, for example, who last year unveiled plans to halve the supermarket’s usage by 2025.

Q: When did you first notice that Covid-19 was impacting the packaging industry?

JS-E: Almost as soon as the pandemic took hold in the UK, Glossop Cartons saw an unprecedented increase in demand for our cartons, especially from the pharmaceutical and food sectors, as a direct result of changes in consumer behaviour. This included the stockpiling of basic household items including toilet rolls, pasta and sanitiser.

Q: How did this impact the selection of materials used in packaging?

JS-E: We’ve seen signs that sustainability is being side-lined in the name of product safety, making plastic more desirable to consumers. However, this is an area where the science is often inconclusive.  Yes, plastic is wipeable, but the World Health Organisation advises that coronavirus lasts three times as long on plastic as it does on cardboard.

Q: So are the materials used in packaging directly linked to the spread of coronavirus?

JS-E: Neither the European nor US food agencies have confirmed any link between food packaging and the transmission of coronavirus. It’s a confusing and frequently changing landscape.

Q: How does this affect packaging manufacturers?

JS-E: COVID-19 has made us think hard about the kind of world we want to live in and how we should be using its finite resources in the long term. The way businesses treat their customers and how responsibly they utilise the natural environment will last long in the collective memory. So, whether that’s staying true to commitments to use recycled plastic or transitioning from plastic to cardboard, the long term impact of decisions made now could be significant.

Q: What about the UK government’s plan to introduce a plastic tax in April 2022?

JS-E: The plastic tax is expected to increase the use of recycled plastic in packaging by 40%, which we welcome. At Glossop Cartons, our primary raw material, carton board, is sourced from accredited, managed, sustainable forests with a 3 to 1 re-planting programme. As a result, much of it is FSC certified. The cartons we manufacture are recyclable and compostable and we’re always looking for ways to behave more environmentally friendly as a business.

Q: What other qualities make cardboard your material of choice?

JS-E: Cardboard has many advantages for product manufacturers and retailers which makes it an ideal packaging material. It’s very durable, it can be adapted to products of all shapes and sizes, it has high recycling rates, above 80% in the UK, it’s fully biodegradable, lightweight to transport, and requires comparatively less energy to manufacture than most other packaging alternatives.

Q: What are the next steps for Glossop Cartons?

JS-E: The only thing that seems certain at the moment is that the business environment is changing on an almost daily basis. As we move through to the next phase of the global pandemic, Glossop Cartons is ready to help our customers deal with whatever challenges and opportunities it brings.

To find out more about Glossop Cartons product range click here


A Winning Way to End the Month for Glossop Cartons

Glossop Cartons had a big reason to celebrate at the end of June after being awarded the People’s Choice Award (North & Northern Ireland) at the Family Business of the Year!

After ‘attending’ the awards event on YouTube rather than in person, we were delighted to receive the award.

The Family Business of the Year Awards are organised annually by Family Business United, the family business champions, and seek to recognise and celebrate the contribution that family firms make to the UK economy.  As Paul Andrews, Founder and CEO of Family Business United explains, “With over 5 million family businesses across the UK they really are the heart of the nation and the engine room of the UK economy.  Family businesses deserve recognition for the income they generate, jobs they provide and the wealth they create, not to mention the great work they do in the communities in which they are based.

“The People’s Choice Awards are a little bit special as they are voted for by the public and to win demonstrates the role that the business plays and the respect and support it has in the broader community too.  2020 has not been an easy year for many so it was pleasing to see a record number of votes cast in the awards this year.  Over 14,000 votes were cast and the competition was tough but winners emerged and deserve their moment in the spotlight.  All of our People’s Choice winners are great ambassadors for a sector that does so much.”

As one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of carton board packaging products, Glossop Cartons began as a humble start-up in 1982, started by Joint Managing Director, Jacky Sidebottom-Every’s father.

Now a thriving industry leader holding a strong customer base of leading household names, Jacky works alongside her husband and two sisters and has helped establish the company as a thriving industry leader holding a strong customer base of leading household names.

Says Jacky, “We were thrilled to have won. After what has been a very challenging time for the economy – and everyone as a whole – it was a very welcome piece of good news for the whole team.”


Running a Packaging Company Through a Global Pandemic – An Insight From the MD

Jacky Sidebottom-Every, Joint Managing Director at Glossop Cartons, explores the challenges currently facing global industries in light of the COVID-19. 

This time last year I talked about the challenges Brexit was having on the packaging industry and how it would continue to do so in the future. I don’t think any of us could have foreseen that just one year on, we’d be in the middle of a global pandemic, facing even more difficult challenges. Not just in business, but for everyone personally.

As the Government starts to lift some of the lockdown restrictions, I’ve been reflecting about the last few months and how we’ve coped at Glossop Cartons through tremendous challenges, and look to what the future holds. It would be good to hear from others in the industry for their stories and how they have managed.

2020 started very positively for us here at Glossop Cartons. We’d continued the investment in the company with a property expansion, in last half of last year. By acquiring the 2,300m2 industrial building next door to our existing 4,143m2 Stockport production units this meant we could accommodate new machinery, streamline our production process and increase the size of our onsite storage facilities. We welcomed Simon Boden to our management team, as Business Improvement Manager as we continued to look at operational efficiency, increasing production capacity and reducing customer lead times, whilst maintaining quality.

This investment and continuous improvement in the business stood us in good stead for what was to come in March with the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent UK lockdown.

Glossop Cartons has continued to operate throughout the pandemic as we, like many more in our sector, are key workers, producing packaging for pharmaceuticals, personal care, food and household products. Although some of our clients saw demand fall flat for any luxury or none essential products, whilst our food, pharmaceuticals and personal care customers experienced a huge increase in demand, due to consumer spending.

The Glossop Cartons team has been magnificent, rising to the challenge of an unprecedented carton demand, often with large numbers being ordered in very short timescales. The increase in food packaging, in particular, has been very high, but the team has really met this challenge head-on and I am very proud of everyone.

The management team had to manage this high demand with changes to our operations to keep staff safe, introducing social distancing measures and more stringent cleaning regimes. Having a lot more space made this easier, but it was still a challenge to change the way we work when demand was so high.

We also had to cope with many members of staff off work either due to illness or shielding because they were in a high-risk group. This has fluctuated throughout the lockdown but it has put pressure on the working team having to cover and do many extra hours. Maybe this will become the new normal for the rest of the year as we continue to battle this virus. Other businesses will have similar challenges as they now start to return to work.

It has been very strange bringing onboard new starters throughout the pandemic, trying to manage the induction process with systems and equipment whilst still maintaining distance. It’s been a challenging time for everyone and something we could never have envisaged or planned for. But the fact that we have coped and have delivered our commitments to our customers is testament to the whole team effort and also the strength of our business processes. I think when there is a crisis businesses soon learn more about their strengths and weaknesses, as there’s nowhere to hide, giving us a learning opportunity to boot as well

Of course, many businesses have seen their marketplace decimated and the Guardian reported on the 29th May that UK manufacturers are planning tens of thousands of redundancies with slumps in orders from the on-going pandemic. So it is good to hear that some of the restrictions are now being lifted so that the country can get going again and companies can get back to work.

I think Glossop Cartons has fared well through this unprecedented situation as I know many businesses that have had to deal with a lot worse. I am hugely proud of the whole team, stepping up to the many challenges that we faced to continue to deliver the high-quality products our customers expect when they needed them most. I also know it’s not over yet, we’ve still got a lot of work to do and many more challenges to face, including Brexit, but we can do it.

I would love to hear your experiences and we can compare notes.

 


Glossop Cartons Make it Through to the Final Round of the Family Business of the Year Awards

In a magnificent start to 2020, Glossop Cartons have made it through to the final round of the Family Business of the Year Awards.

Glossop Cartons were nominated in the North & Northern Ireland Family Business of the Year Region, with past winners including JW Lees Brewery, Potter Logistics and HMG Paints.

Having been shortlisted in January, it was an even greater honour to have made it through to the final round, which culminates in a glittering awards ceremony held in London in June 2020.

Jacky Sidebottom-Every, Joint Managing Director at Glossop Cartons said, “We are honoured to have made it this far, especially as it’s a public vote, so we would like to thank everyone who has voted for us so far as it means a great deal.”

Says Sue Howorth from the Family Business Network, “It is a real added value benefit of entering the regional awards to gain access to the national finals and in the past we have seen a number of our regional winners go on to take a national title in London.  The gala evening is an important date in the family business calendar and we are delighted to be supporting the national awards again this year.”

You can still vote for Glossop Cartons to take home the People’s Choice award by clicking here

Voting closes on April 30, 2020.