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The Bee’s Knees!

July 10, 2019

At Associated Labels and Packaging we’re known for our innovative label and packaging solutions, our dedicated and hardworking team… and our beekeeping skills?

No Plan Bee

Why bees, you ask? AssociatedLP has a lot of customers in the Agriculture and Natural Foods Industry; we thought what better initiatives to be part of than pollinators?!  Bees are part of a group of small mammals (along with birds, bats, butterflies, beetles, and more) that “are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food” (Pollinator Partnership). In fact, “honey bees alone are responsible for between 1.2 and 5.4 billion dollars in agricultural productivity in the United States” (Pollinator Partnership).

How insane is that!?

Clearly, bees are imperative “for ecosystem stability” (Simon Fraser University). Knowing this, we wanted to do our part to contribute positively to the bee crisis. What better way to do it than to create an apiary ourselves?

beekeeping

How Does It Work?

Three years ago, our Sustainability Manager Jay Ashworth started the setup with two locally-sourced beehives. “We started this project to be able to give back to the community in a way unrelated to our packaging,” he says, “We want to increase awareness about the importance of pollinator plants and issues with local habitat loss for bees.”

Jay checks the hives every two weeks to make sure that the queen is still laying eggs, they aren’t overrun with disease, and to make sure there is enough room to expand. He even planted two California Lilacs nearby, which are basically catnip to bees.

Shortly after he set up the beehives, Jay found out he was actually allergic to bees (oops)! But that didn’t deter him, and Jay formed a bond with the bees and now they’re part of our family here at AssociatedLP. We even show our customers the hives on our tours or whenever they come to visit. Further, local customers are welcome to don one of our bee suits and join Jay in the hives at any time! They walk home with a greater appreciation and understanding of bees role in our food systems (in addition to a jar of local, raw honey).

As you probably already know, sustainability is of huge importance to us at Associated. We are so proud of our beehives and their growth in the last three years. We’re buzzing to see what the future brings!

How Do We Get It Right?

July 3, 2019

With so many options to customize your label or flexible packaging needs, we make sure to get your order right the first time! Before we even get to production, we have several steps in place to ensure your product is reflected accurately.  Here’s a quick summary of what to expect:

1) Customer Service

Our customer service team are warm, friendly, and dedicated! Whether you’re calling in, emailing through the Request a Quote function on our website, or in person (did we mention we have an awesome saltwater aquarium?). Our team will take care of you and direct your request to the right department or specialized person.

Most importantly they file your labels or flexible packaging samples into our archives once they’re complete. This way, your information is safe to reference the next time you work with us!

customer service

2) Sales

After customer service, you will be connect to one of our highly experienced sales representatives. Our sales team will always go the extra mile, and will guide you through each step until you receive your custom product! Once you’re in contact, they begin bringing your ideas to life by establishing your needs and adding their recommendations. Whether you’re looking for lidding film, labels, or any products from our extensive catalog, our team has the knowledge and experience to take your vision to the next level. From the product inside the packaging to where the packaging will end up, everything gets covered to ensure that we can create the best version of your packaging possible.

Your sales representative will be your go-to for all questions, concerns, comments – anything! Through their product knowledge and strong project management skills, they’re well-equipped to deal with any needs and know how to get the right product or service for your company. 

3) Art & Pre-Press

From sales, your order moves on to our in-house Art and Pre-press Department! Our pre-press operators and designers are willing to assist with any project you have. The first step here is sending your files for preflighting – whether they’re high-resolution PDFs or working files created by a designer: both work! Our pre-press department is capable of receiving a variety of electronic file types and converting them to suit our parameters. At this stage, our art coordinator will assign your project to an operator to create an approval proof for you.

We use Macintosh and PC platforms with our state-of-the-art software to produce your art with technologies appropriate to each project. We then send the proof to you digitally, and once approved we’re on to the next step!

 

 

4) Research & Development

Research & Development has become an essential part of the manufacturing and production processes, helping to create new material structures and designs. It transformed our company from basic nutrition label offerings in the past to the advanced food safe packaging solutions of today.

Each new project receives a dedicated R&D manager in direct contact with a team of suppliers, external laboratories, and an internal process development team in each of our production divisions. This team can help to improve your product’s existing properties or develop the best possible material structure for your packaging.

 

Now you’re off to production! We’ll be posting a more detailed blog about production soon so stay tuned!

Equipment Spotlight: HP 20K Digital Press

June 26, 2019

In case you missed it, we made a huge addition to our team early last year… our HP 20k Digital Printing Press!

hp 20k

 

Even though we’ve had the HP 20K Digital Press for a while, we’re still so excited about the new opportunities we can offer our customers! The 30-inch wide web increases our capabilities substantially by allowing us to do the following:

  • Provide quick proofs and digital samples
  • Deliver a fast turnaround time
  • Provide the market with unlimited short-run flexible packaging (perfect for seasonal runs!)
  • ‘Just in Time’ printing capabilities

 

The HP 20K can also help customers with their sustainability initiatives by eliminating the need for plates, reducing set up/production waste, and being energy efficient.   

By extending our capabilities and offering exceptional print quality, we can ensure that your brands stand out in the marketplace. Take your brand to the next level and contact us now for a digital label or flexible packaging solution that delivers distinction to your product.

Selling the Experience, Not the Product

June 19, 2019

 

After cultivating land, propagating plants, and tediously caring for fruits and vegetables; our farmers’ harvest needs to be protected in an economical and sustainable way through the supply chain.

Lidding film is becoming the natural step for produce processors and brand owners looking for new solutions. Companies can choose their customers’ experience through innovative material choices. Associated offers Easypeel (single seal) in Compostable or Recyclable films, as well as, Re-sealable Recyclable films for both fibre or PET punnet/trays.

lidding film

Specifications

 

Reseal – PET Film > Solventless Adhesive > PET Film > Reseal Layer > PET Film

Peelable – PET Film > Solventless Adhesive > PET Film

Peelable (Compostable) – 1.2mil Plant Based Film > Compostable Adhesive > PLA Sealant

 

These options resonate with consumer trends which aim to reduce the impact on the natural environment (especially with compostable lidding films). Consumers can feel relieved, not guilty, that they are using a package that is part of a regenerative or circular economy.

 

One Girl Can; One Girl Will

May 1, 2019

One Girl Can

Wow the distance between each year is shrinking isn’t it? We are always shocked when April rolls around.

Our company has made the easy decision to continue supporting Maggie’s education so that she can succeed and help others in her community.

We couldn’t be happier with her progress and look forward to see where her determination takes her!

We must thank AG Hair and their One Girl Can project for making this all happen. Not only does this company have great products, they also have a social

purpose! We encourage all other companies to look beyond the bottom line, and be a company for positive change. If you would like to sponsor or donate click here.

About

“In the marginalized regions of Kenya and Uganda where we work, education is unaffordable for many families. We provide high school and university scholarships to girl with the greatest need and potential. By sponsoring a girl’s education you’ll be helping her achieve her dreams and break the cycle of poverty and gender inequality.” ~One Girl Can

Letter from Maggie

 

 

 

Company Report Card: Food Safety Certificate… A+

April 15, 2019

Another proud moment for our company with an outstanding A+ or 95.1% rating from the IFS Pac Secure certifying body. All of our hard work pays off, and we offer your brand the same level of professionalism. Documentation, traceability, HACCP all of those fun words, we speak your language. We have to, we are in line with your brand, and so it just makes sense to continue to push ourselves to new frontiers.

Our staff is keen to discuss any concerns you have with IFS Pac Secure and issues around labels and packaging.

For any questions please email us at sales@associated-labels.com

 

 

“Indoor Pool Goes Here…” ~ Management

March 13, 2019

Nope, just kidding!
We did just get a new 22,000 sqft. warehouse though to meet the needs of our growing customers =)

We are all about the latest technologies, reducing lead times, and being the very best that we can. We are excited to see where this new phase in our history takes us. Stay tuned for when the cardboard cut outs turn into new machines, and new product offerings for your company!

Natural Products Expo West: “WHAT THE @#$% IS THIS COMPANY ABOUT?!”

February 28, 2019

Make Your Labels and Packaging Stand Out!

YES… 3,500+ exhibitors is overwhelming
YES… Standing out can be a challenge
NO… You don’t have to feel this way anymore

Creating first impressions was our main objective this year when designing our new 20 by 20-foot booth. It was important for us to stop people dead in their tracks and ask: “WHAT THE @#$% IS THIS COMPANY ABOUT?!”

Yes we could have flooded our display with text, manufacturing jargon and lame pictures like everyone else; fortunately that’s not our style. The struggle to differentiate yourselves from other companies is real, and we know this first hand. We want to help you create lasting first impressions for your customers.

Come and discuss the latest technologies in labels and packaging, environmentally sustainable options or industry trends. Our label and packaging team works with companies from across all industries in North America. We have heard it all, and we get excited by finding solutions to your problems.

With expertise in labels, application equipment and flexible packaging (shrink sleeves, stand up pouches, stick packs, bar wrappers, resealable lidding film, compostable and recyclable stock options) there will be no shortage of conversations.

Our booth is in Hall C, #2785

Look for the outstanding booth with vibrant colours, sky scapes and planetary theme. It will be hard to miss.

One Company’s Waste, Is Another Company’s Resource

February 7, 2019

NISP

“A business led initiative that uses the industrial symbiosis approach to create new market opportunities. It also increases the range of resources that have commercial value. This means adding to the bottom line and improve resource efficiency.”

Win/Win/Win

Associated Labels and Packaging participated in this program to discover if our waste could be turned into another companies input. The program was pretty simple in design. Companies were invited to fill out as many “Haves” on a green info card (this could include waste, unwanted resources, services, vacant warehouse space etc). This was followed by your “Wants” on a yellow info card (similar to haves, but also included information requests). The results would be shared amongst each table and people would write their names on either cards to make connections or referrals.

Example

Associated Labels and Packaging recycles shipping shrink wrap, which likely gets sent to China to process into who knows what. Instead, this plastic can be sent to a local company who can use the shrink as an input to create their products. This process accomplishes the following:

  • Hauling and dumping fees are removed
  • Our truck can simply add this stop to it’s local delivery
  • Receiving company gets a free resource
  • Resource remains in local circular economy
  • There is less environmental impact and virgin materials created
  • Associated Labels and Packaging can get closer to zero waste!

Roadblocks

Associated Labels and Packaging creates continuous, and for the most part unavoidable label and flexible packaging waste. These products have zero end value since they cannot be separated into their original components. This unfortunately means most of the time this product ends up either in the landfill or incinerator for energy. Our suppliers have no solution, however there is a small glimmer of hope in Iowa of all places.

Continuous Materials Recovery  takes all paper and plastic waste and transforms it into building materials for exterior walls and commercial roofs. Unfortunately Iowas is a staggering 3,000km (1,864 miles) away. NEXT Steps>>> Feasibility study on using Continuous Materials Recovery.

Connect

If you have any suggestions, or have heard any solutions out there, I would love to hear them! Direct your message to info@associated-labels.com, Jay Ashworth, Sustainability Manager.

To learn more about NISP’s local, national and international programs click here.

 

Communities in Bloom National Winners!

December 3, 2018

This past summer Associated Labels and Packaging helped the City of Coquitlam win first place in its class in the national competition. The “5 Blooms Silver” award was presented to the Mayor and Council (City of Coquitlam) by our very own Sustainability Manager, Jay Ashworth.

Communities in Bloom recognized Coquitlam with a special recognition for “Pollinator Friendly Community of the Year.” With our four beehives, we would like to think this help significantly =)  We look forward to helping this great community cause in the future! Every little bit helps get the message of sustainability out there!

“Communities in Bloom is a Canadian non-profit organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement and the challenge of a national program, with focus on enhancing green spaces in communities.”

 

 

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