Honey Harvest

Honey Harvest

September 27, 2016

Since April Associated Labels and Packaging went through a large learning curve when installing our little bee friends here in Vancouver! Through all the growing pains we successfully harvested 37lbs of honey this year!

We are so happy to have this project open to staff who wish to learn and participate about these amazing pollinators. We welcome anyone to come down and take a look, especially those companies who would like a heads up on how to install your own beehives at work. The next step for us is to winterize our bees and let them be (not a pun person) until the spring when they decide to come out of their mini hibernation.

If you have any questions about our sustainability projects, please feel free to email me jay@associated-labels.com


Tricity News: “Buzzing is all in the Biz at Associated Labels and Packaging”

April 5, 2016

Jay Ashworth

Jay Ashworth, marketing and sustainability manager at Associated Labels, shows staff the caged queen bee that will go into the Coquitlam company’s new parking lot apiary.

On a blustery Monday morning, Shaun Ashworth traded his suit jacket for a beekeeping suit and stepped into a fenced enclosure to help his brother, Jay Ashworth, pour 32,000 honey bees into specially made homes in the parking lot of Associated Labels and Packaging.

As the president of the Coquitlam company, Shaun is decidedly more at home in an office than an apiary but is keen to support the beekeeping venture proposed by Jay, the company’s marketing and sustainability manager.

“Our company is focused on sustainability, awareness, creating less of a carbon footprint and contributing less trash to the landfill,” Shaun said. “Even if he wasn’t my brother I probably would have said yes.”

Shaun Ashworth
Associated Labels president Shaun Ashworth removes some of the 16,000 bees from a tube before putting them in the Coquitlam company’s new parking lot apiary. – Photo by Jordi Ashworth

As Jay completed a beekeeping course, Shaun had a fenced enclosure built at the rear of the property, where it backs on to a greenbelt that joins up with the Fraser Mills site. There are two wooden apiaries now, and plenty of room for expansion.

On Monday, a handful of the company’s 180 employees gathered to watch the installation as Jay and Shaun emptied two long tubes, each packed with two pounds of bees — that’s 16,000 per tube — into each “house.”

Associated Labels president Shaun Ashworth holds a honeycomb from the Coquitlam company’s new parking lot apiary.

The queen bee is installed in a cage to keep her — and the rest of the bees — from flying away, and the bees will likely have her released within a few days.

They’ll survive on pre-mixed sugar water until more flowers crop up in the area; Jay and his girlfriend, Sarah Rutherford, planted wildflower seeds in the area as future bee food. And by September, the honeycombs will be removed and the honey harvested and likely given away as gifts (labels for the jars shouldn’t be a problem).

Interested employees can be part of the action as Jay will be giving courses for anyone interested in learning about beekeeping.

Associated Labels bees
Associated Labels staff look on as some 32,000 bees are placed in the Coquitlam company’s new parking lot apiary.

“It’s been awesome for company culture,” he said, noting the project has generated plenty of conversation among the staff.

Jay is also spearheading a community garden project at Associated Labels, with plans to turn disused parking lot plant beds into food-growing plots.

Meanwhile, Shaun is applying environmentally friendly principles to the business with the creation of the first fully compostable, non-GMO stand-up pouch in North America.

“It was four years in development,” Shaun said. “It took a lot of time and money… but there’s enough garbage out there already going out to the landfill.”

In fact, of the 17 billion plastic stand-up pouches made in 2013, none were recyclable or compostable — a number that gave Shaun pause when he thought of the future he’d be leaving for his children.

“We’re trying to do our part with end-of-life packaging,” he said. “Even if this went into the trash, I know it will be gone. Maybe not within six months but definitely in a year.”

The packages, made of non-GMO corn starch and Forestry Stewardship Council-certified birch and eucalyptus pulp, with non-toxic ink, are being used by the quinoa company Alter Eco. Testing has shown the packages disintegrate in about three to six months.

The only drawback is cost, with a price point of more than double that of a similar non-recyclable pouch.

Changing that will simply be another business challenge for Shaun that, fortunately for the slightly more squeamish of the Ashworth brothers, doesn’t involve handling bees.

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Honey Bees Make Associated Labels and Packaging Their New Home!

March 31, 2016


Staff at Associated Labels and Packaging have revived a derelict piece of land on our property to house two colonies of honey bees! On April 4th, Shaun Ashworth (President) and employees will help install the two queens and their bees. Ongoing courses will be offered to staff to train them in caring for the bees year round. There has been lots of positive feedback from staff for the hives, as well as, growing interest in helping the environment in any way we can.

At Associated Labels and Packaging, we hope to be part of similar projects in the future and encourage other companies to do the same. Not only for the health of our bee population and plant pollination, but the health of our human population as well. Bees encourage new conversations, and new connections to nature and each other.

We would like to think that work doesn’t always have to be just about work!

Associated Labels and Packaging – Proudly Sponsors Local Community Sports

January 4, 2016

032013orr1Indian LAX 1When you ask most people (even Canadian’s) “what is Canada’s official sport?” Most would say hockey, which is only partially true. Unbeknown to most, when we aren’t riding our moose to the pub, or snacking on walrus blubber, we partake in our official summer sport “Lacrosse.” Lacrosse is the oldest sport in North America, and was adapted from the First Nations game “Baggataway,” a much larger and dangerous game played to toughen braves for war or to settle disputes between tribes.

Associated Labels and Packaging is a proud sponsor of both sports, the “Coquitlam Jr “A” Adanacs Lacrosse Club” and the “Coquitlam Jr “ A” Express Hockey Club.” In addition to supplying jerseys to both teams, Associated Labels and Packaging has also invited the lacrosse team to use our new gym facilities for training. Community involvement has always been a part of our company values, and we are proud and fortunate to be able to continue supporting these teams.

Coq Jr Associatedimage-coquitlamExpress




Admire Classic Art With Every Sip! Incredible Shrink Sleeve Design Receives Gold Pentaward

December 31, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 10.30.08 AMHeineken is a proud partner of the Rijksmuseum. The two have a shared history that goes back to the 19th century. To celebrate this partnership, Heineken asked dBOD to design the so-called ‘Amsterdam Originals shrink sleeve series’. Seven Heineken bottles have been transformed with unique classical shrink sleeve art design. Surprisingly showing images of world famous Rijksmuseum art pieces. If you put them together and turn them around the shrink sleeves beautifully show that iconic classics can still inspire new generations. “It’s a matter of daring to give it a fresh twist.”

At Associated Labels, we are committed to delivering innovative decorating and flexible packaging solutions that fit our customers and their products perfectly. That’s why we created our Flexible Packaging Division to handle the specialized requirements of specialty packaging and shrink sleeves; including offline lamination for all your laminating and slitting needs.

Please contact sales@associated-labels.com with any further questions

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Symbolism Speaks to the Beers Aging Potential, Unearth Your Label Design

December 28, 2015


“In a dark and secret place, away from prying eyes and thirsty cellar hands, this dense, warming beer will mellow and become sherry-like with age. Unearth early for a more hop-forward experience. Others may be laid to rest – this one was born to wait.”

We’re quite a fan of the label work Hired Guns Creative does for Driftwood Brewing Company, and it’s certainly not the first time they have been featured for their label design. The latest from Driftwood is a barleywine with a stunning pressure sensitive label to match. Against a frosted amber bottle, the eerie illustration and dripping wax communicate the time and dedication put into aging each bottle of Old Cellar Dweller.

“For Driftwood Brewery’s Old Cellar Dweller barleywine, our task was to design a pressure sensitive label that showcases the strong character of the beer, while speaking to its aging potential. To these ends, we chose to illustrate our take on a grinning skull, favoring a bold, graphic approach. The dieline protrudes with ribs, teeth, and the long outjutting arm bones that create an excess of negative space, at once playful and decadent. Wax dip and gold foil lend the final touches and the spark of life to our skeleton in wait.”

Here at Associated Labels and Packaging, we are here for you at every step of the process in creating a label design that works for you and your brand. For more information please contact sales@associated-labels.com

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“I’ve Got News for you BROTHER!” HULK HOGAN Overcome by Emotion With Announcement to Associated Employees

December 23, 2015


Associated Labels and Packaging wanted to show our appreciation to employees for all their hard work and dedication they provide day in, and day out. The Associated Gym is free to all employees 24/7, with Women’s Only time allocated to Wednesdays. The gym is located on the top floor of our building with large windows to gaze out of when getting your fit on. The space includes free weights, assistive weight devices, treadmills, exercise bikes, elliptical machines, stretching and abs area.

We have received a lot of positive feedback from Associated employees since we opened the gym. Some of the benefits we have seen first hand  include providing an area where employees can connect to each other outside the work environment, improved employee health, and increased happiness which directly strengthens our company culture.

There are also long term benefits of having healthier employees for our company as well. Regular exercise has been proven to increase alertness, energy and cognitive power which translates into increased productivity. Consequently it also reduces stress, anxiety and illness which can cause increase costs associated with sick days.


Here is an interesting article if you still need to be convinced why happy and healthy employees are so important to any company culture.

“First, health care expenditures at high-pressure companies are nearly 50% greater than at other organizations. The American Psychological Association estimates that more than $500 billion is siphoned off from the U.S. economy because of workplace stress, and 550 million workdays are lost each year due to stress on the job. Sixty percent to 80% of workplace accidents are attributed to stress, and it’s estimated that more than 80% of doctor visits are due to stress. Workplace stress has been linked to health problems ranging from metabolic syndrome to cardiovascular disease and mortality.”

Lastly, when we asked the Hulkster for some words of wisdom when working out, he gave us his life philosophy: “Train, say your prayers, eat your vitamins! Be true to yourself, true to your country, Be a real American!” We then reminded him that we are Brothers from the North!

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“NO COFFEE ALLOWED?!” Condolences for Pantone Color Factory Employees, Here’s Why…

December 21, 2015



The printing colors of the world are dreamt up at Pantone, where scientists with near-perfect color vision (that’s explained in the video below) create all the printing colors we use everyday. It’s fascinating!

It’s crazy the distinctions they can see! I tried really hard and everything still just looked like “pink ink” to me. Madness.

In the comments, someone who claims to be a former Pantone employee writes, “Having worked for Pantone years ago I know how exacting the printing ink color standards are in real life. The amount of fabric that was “off” was amazing.”

Can you tell the difference? Because if you can, I have a ticket to Hogwarts with your name on it. (JK Hogwarts is closed, nerds.)

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36,000lbs of Food Donated by Associated Staff Over 6 Years!

December 18, 2015


Associated Labels and Packaging President Shaun Ashworth, stood proud of his staff once again this year for contributing 10,500lbs or 11 pallets of food to SHARE Family & Community Services.

“What a year! I couldn’t be happier that Associated Staff helped feed those in need again this holiday season. We started with humble beginnings in 2010 with the 1,000lb challenge, and each year since then we have grown exponentially. Who knows next year might be the best ever! I am no stranger to meeting new challenges.”  ~ Shaun Ashworth, President.

According to SHARE, 10,000lbs feeds 750 families for a week (37% of which are children). SHARE services the Tri-Cities Area to individuals and families in need, regardless of source of income (working, receiving income assistance, pensions or employment insurance, no income). We encourage everyone to make a contribution to their local food bank this year, nothing makes people happier than giving to others.

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Man Takes Photo by Press, What Happens Next Will Never Blow Your Mind

June 17, 2015


Because nothing happened. The only remarkable thing that happened today, was that dude in the background (on top of our new press King Kong) hummed Alanis Morissette all day, it was like riding an emotional rollercoaster.

So King Kong, our new Windmoeller & Hoelscher 52″ MIRAFLEX AM 10 Colour Flexographic Printing Press, gets bigger and bigger every day. Our excitement grows as we know this press is a game changer. We’ll be able to increase our flexible packaging printing capacity, offer wider web printing and laminating, while super serving our new and existing customers with a flexible packaging printing press that is at the top of the class.

Labels and Flexible Packaging play a huge role in building and distinguishing a brand, if you are new to this world, we’re here to help you out from start to finish. If you know all there is to know about flexible packaging printing – then we don’t need to tell you why King Kong is making us feel like whipping our hair around like Alanis.

Regardless, feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like to know more about labels, digital printing, flexible packaging printing, or even label application and packaging equipment.

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