North East packaging specialist Encore Packaging Solutions has employed a new Group Quality and Environmental Manager following demand from customers for food packaging options.
Encore Packaging Solutions and its sister company Encore Envelopes already produce more than 3 billion items of packaging a year from its factories in Peterlee and Washington, including corrugated and solid board boxes, direct mail packaging and e-commerce solutions.
Following the appointment of Laura Croisdale, the company plans to apply for the BRC Global Standard for Packaging, allowing it to expand its current offering and produce packaging for a variety of food items.
Laura will also be ensuring Encore’s ISO9001 quality management standard and ISO14001 environmental standard are up-to-date, as well as compiling a new combined management system which will also include health and safety.
The move is something of a homecoming for Laura, who originally joined Encore in 2008 and returns following a year-long post with Northumbria Police where she worked as an Environmental Officer.
She said: “It’s really great to be back – I’ve got a huge challenge on my hands as I’m aiming to have the BRC standard achieved in the next year, but I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the task ahead.
“It is still a competitive market out there and we know from talking to our customers that many of them would come to Encore for food packaging if we could provide it so we are really making that our priority for the next 12 months.
“We need to stay ahead of the game – we know the products we produce are excellent but we also need to have the systems and accreditations in place that our customers require to ensure we’re maintaining the high standards we have set ourselves.”
Having joined Encore at the age of 21, Laura has a thorough understanding of the business. Starting out in the sales team she was soon drawn to the environmental management side of the business, becoming an associate member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) before undertaking a Master’s degree in Environmental Legislation and Sustainable Development at Newcastle University.
She believes her existing knowledge of the packaging industry, combined with her recent experience in the public sector, will give her a fresh perspective and allow her to bring new ideas to the business.
Encore Packaging Solutions managing director Russell Croisdale said: “Since it was first established two years ago our packaging division has been extremely successful, but we are always looking at ways of becoming more competitive and attracting new customers, as well as wining new business from our existing customers.
“Food packaging is an area that many of our customers have asked about and it is something we have been looking into for a while but it needs a dedicated lead to ensure everything is complied with correctly.
“Laura knows the business inside and out and is really passionate about leading us forward on the quality and environmental side – there’s no doubt she’s got a big task ahead of her but we’re sure she’s up to the job.”