Growing Media Packaging Innovations Continue to Thrive

6 September 2012

The grafting together of three companies’ shared `can do’ attitudes, quality focus and passion for breaking new ground is producing a thriving crop of new packaging innovations for the growing media market.

Edibles-ferts-rangeAfter working with Convex as separate customers for over two decades, Daltons Ltd and Besgrow formed a strategic alliance four years ago to optimise their production and packaging.

Besgrow now has their Pacific Bark factory on the Dalton’s site in Matamata and the two companies are proactively working with Convex to spearhead new packaging innovations in their industry.

In March 2012 Daltons Ltd set a new benchmark for New Zealand’s growing media industry by launching their Premium and Incredible Edible fertilisers in recloseable Sliderpack™ packaging.

The Daltons Sliderpack™ bags incorporate two world-first features that were custom developed by Convex. One is a purpose designed square-bottom with four side seals, which enable the eye-catching box-shaped packs to stay in an upright position and really stand out on the shelf. The second is a smaller 1.5kg Sliderpack™ especially developed to suit fertilisers, which require less space in the pack to meet the specified content weight.

Daltons General Manager, Colin Parker says the Sliderpack™ bags have maximised the presentation of his company’s premium home gardening fertilisers.

He says, “The fertilisers we manufacture are used by professional nurseries and horticulturists and are top quality products for home gardeners. We wanted our packs to reflect the quality of our fertilisers and I definitely think we achieved that. The presentation of the Sliderpack™ bags is outstanding. The zip closures also make it really easy for people to handle our fertilisers and store them.”

Over 20 years working with Convex has enabled Daltons to achieve several packaging firsts in their industry. They were the first New Zealand growing media company to laminate their bags and one of the first to switch to co-extruded films. This year they led the charge again by becoming the first Kiwi growing media company to adopt Sliderpack™ packaging and the first company ever to use the new square-bottomed and smaller 1.5kg Sliderpack™ bags.

Convex Regional Sales Manager, Vikki McNamara says the successful development of the new Sliderpack™ bags was a good example of how Convex pushes the boundaries of technology to deliver what their customers want.

She says, “At first it looked like the new Sliderpack™ innovations Daltons wanted were impossible but that just spurred us on to find a way to do it. What they ended up with has taken their fertiliser range to a whole new level in New Zealand. There is nothing else like it.”

Daltons’ Colin Parker agrees.

He says, “We were lucky to be able to work with an innovative company like Convex to develop our Sliderpacks. They designed the whole bag, built some of the machinery for it and gave us exactly what we wanted, from scratch. It doesn’t get much better than that. We like to try new things and Convex is the same. The Sliderpacks have boosted our brand positioning and given us a distinct competitive advantage.”

Besgrow is now planning to launch Sliderpack™ packaging as well.

Christchurch-based Besgrow specialises in innovative growing media products for the international orchid market. As part of their strategic alliance with Daltons, Besgrow also looks after the export orders for the Daltons products. In return, Daltons contract pack Besgrow’s export orchid bark and Convex makes the packaging.

Besgrow CEO, Anthony Washington says, “Working with Convex and Daltons has provided us with a really good solution for our packaging. We have been able to streamline our packaging and make our business much more efficient by using economies of scale. We are now planning to export the Daltons products that are successful in New Zealand and the Sliderpack™ fertilisers are one of those lines.”

All three companies describe their working together as a `really good fit’.

Along with launching new Sliderpack™ packaging, Daltons and Besgrow are also working with Convex to develop a compostable growing bag that will eliminate landfill waste generated by commercial greenhouse growing.

For the past two seasons growing bags made from Convex hybrid compostable EcoFuse film have been filled with coir fibre imported by Besgrow and then planted with tomatoes to test their greenhouse performance. The test results are being used to further develop the growing bags to meet commercial requirements.

Anthony says, “What we are doing is very innovative and a good example of us continuing to work together to bring new innovations into the growing media market. We have worked with each other for a very long time and look forward to continue doing that for many more years to come. We are all very entrepreneurial and work together well.”