Spring Roundup

5 June 2024

Viscose Voice - Daffodils in Spring

May’s newsletter- Spring Roundup

Welcome back to a belated edition of Viscose Voice! It’s been a while since our last edition as our team have been extremely busy with exciting business trips, launching our new online shop and exhibiting at our first tradeshow since early 2020.

Read on to find about these and lots more…

Farm Shop & Deli Show Roundup:

viscose staff at the farm shop deli show exhibition

(Our stand and sales team in all their glory!)

We exhibited at the Farm Shop & Deli show between the 29th of April and the 1st of May at the NEC in Birmingham. Run by William Reed, the show is one of five that make up the UK Food & Drinks Shows. It was our first time exhibiting at a tradeshow since before the Covid-19 Pandemic and we really enjoyed meeting new and existing customers and expanding our reach within the food and drink sectors. With over 30,000 visitors to the show, it’s safe to say it was a very busy and successful one for us! It was so good in fact that we have already re-booked for 2025. We also learned a lot in readiness for our next show which is London Packaging Week (11-12th of September 2024).

Thank you to everyone that took the time to visit the stand or share/comment on our social media posts, it is very much appreciated.

US Trip Roundup:

At the end of March, Emma (our Managing Director) and Seren (Marketing & Sales Executive) visited our key distributors and partners of our plastic-free shrink sleeves (or celons as they are known in the US) in Cleveland, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois.

It was a busy but brilliant trip, the team learned so much and built on our already strong business relationships and friendships, aligning our business plans to grow the plastic-free shrink sleeves market in the US.

Thank you to both our wonderful partners for having us and we already can’t wait to visit again soon!

Some highlights from the trip.

American flag and buildings and staff from Kaufman Container

Seren and Emma from Viscose in America

New Online Shop:

viscose online shop products

A major milestone moment for us!

In May, we launched our new ‘Buy Online’ website feature. This brings you a selection of our most popular items that pair with some of the bestselling containers across the food, drink, medical gas and pharmaceutical industries. These can be dispatched for you immediately and sold in box quantities. Items include shrink sleeves for 250ml standard sauce bottles, 28×15 ROPPs metal closures, and shrink sleeves for standard eye-dropper bottles to name a few. This project has been months of hard work, and we are extremely proud and grateful to the team for all the time they have put into getting this project over the finish line.

Check it out for yourself here

New Product Video- Make The Little Choices Count:

In April, we released our new product video. The video demonstrates that embracing sustainability into your packaging does not mean compromising on quality or security. Smaller packaging like shrink sleeves are often overlooked in comparison to containers but remain vital to supermarket and stockist requirements. Our products blend functionality with environmental responsibility, to help you make the best choices for your products and the planet.

Solar panels update:

As some of you may remember, back in July of last year, we installed 250 solar panels on our factory roof. Due to the emergence of the sun (finally) in May, 1/3 of our electricity came from our solar panels. The panels produced 9.95 MWh, this means May has been the best month to date this year so far for the productivity of the panels and that May also beat the best month we had last year which was August. So far, our panels have produced 14% of our electricity this year to date, which we are very proud of.

World Earth Day:

A sauce bottle against a nature background

The 22nd of April was World Earth Day. As part of our celebrations for Earth Day, we decided to donate to The Woodland Trust, the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK. Our plastic-free shrink sleeves are derived from the renewable wood pulp of sycamore trees. Therefore, it felt only right for us to give back to an organisation that does vital work to protect and maintain woodlands and the species that inhabit them around the UK.

The plastic-free shrink sleeves we’ve made in the last year have prevented 32 tonnes worth of plastic from being produced. Every year our business prevents this amount of plastic from going out into the world. We’re proud of this achievement but understand we still have a long way to go to turn off the plastic tap.

Staff corner:

Viscose staff member Matthew Thomas

Staff Profile: Matthew Thomas

This month we spoke to Matthew Thomas, our Warehouse Coordinator. Matthew started his Viscose journey 16 years ago, when he was just 20 years old! When he first started at Viscose, Matthew worked as an operator in the heat-shrink sleeve side of our factory running our old cutting machines and slitter. In 2019, he went to work in the plastic-free shrink sleeve side of the business, working on the machine that turns the Viscose raw material into regenerated cellulose that makes the shrink sleeves. At the beginning of this year, Matthew moved to work in our stores team and became our new Warehouse Coordinator.

Alongside this, since joining the business, Matthew has become a qualified first aider, is a Viscose fire marshal and a member of our internal health & safety committee. All opportunities he is grateful to have had.

Typical day in the work-life of Matthew:

Scheduling what orders are to be shipped and preparing the orders for dispatch including wrapping pallets and organising boxes are some of Matthew’s daily priorities. He has recently become forklift licensed and therefore can help with the movement of stock in and around our warehouse. He also organises the transport of customers’ orders and samples with our freight partners and helps with general maintenance around our factory floor.

Outside of work, Matthew is a major Swansea City Football Club supporter. He attends most of the club’s home games and regularly travels the country on his weekends to attend the away games. Alongside this, Matthew plays darts competitively for a local team and likes to watch the darts in his spare time. He also enjoys swimming once a week before coming to work at a local leisure centre.

We asked Matthew to share an interesting fact about himself with us- in 2020, during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Matthew’s friend won a competition for himself and three friends to have an online meeting with darts icon Peter Wright (at the time Wright was World Champion). Matthew stated that it was a brilliant opportunity to meet Wright and increase his darts knowledge.

We asked Matthew to tell us what he likes most about working at Viscose:

“The people play a big part in why I enjoy working at Viscose. I have worked here for so long it is like a second home to me which speaks volumes about the company. I am very happy here.”

Thanks, Matthew, for your time with us for this edition.

Long Service Award:

Our wonderful and dedicated staff are key to keeping our business going. March saw a significant work anniversary – Rob Fuge (Cellulose Lead Hand / Maker) celebrated 15 years. Well done Rob!

Viscose in the press:

An article featuring Viscose

In May, we featured in Packaging Suppliers Global magazine, discussing our security shrink seals and how they are an ideal secure packaging solution for the pharmaceutical sector. Our article includes info on why you should use shrink sleeves on pharmaceuticals bottles, containers and testing kits, which includes how they act as visual tamper evidence and preserve a sterile clean environment.

Read the article for yourself here(pages 34-35)

Our case study with our friends at Sauce Shop was also featured in Food & Drink Manufacturing Magazine and Newsletter.
Check it out here(pages 6-7)

Next Edition:

Look out for our next edition in July, where we will discuss our visit to Portugal to visit our cork supplier, our summer staff event and lots more!