Seal of Approval

Boxmaster brings food safety to corrugated packaging.

When it comes to food safety in the packaging industry, Boxmaster is leading the way. The 33-year-old company—a supplier of corrugated packaging for manufacturers, distributors and anyone else who needs their product in a box—has recently shifted its focus towards providing certified food safe packaging to its customers.

After identifying a need in the market, Boxmaster overhauled its manufacturing practices to comply with food safety standards and reduce the potential for contamination. This entailed moving into a new facility and implementing stringent food safety measures in all areas—from shipping and receiving, to manufacturing, sanitization procedures, preventative maintenance of equipment and staff training.

Boxmaster is now the first International Featured Standards (IFS) PACsecure certified box manufacturer in Western Canada. The certification, which encompasses internationally accepted audit standards and Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmarking, focuses on a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)-based program, allowing Boxmaster to certify that materials used in the packaging process are safe for the food industry.

Such standards have been common in food plants for over a decade, which are now seeking the same safety guarantee from their suppliers. “We’re all about providing our customers with what they need, and we were definitely feeling a shift in this direction. Instead of waiting we decided to go full speed ahead, and be among the first companies to become certified,” says Greg Reid, general manager of Boxmaster.

For Ramona Tolan, quality assurance manager, this reflects a necessary change in thinking. “Before, there was this belief in the industry that we’re just making packaging—no one’s actually going to eat it. But with the food standards coming into place, people are realizing that the packaging industry isn’t that different from the food industry after all,” says Tolan.

Boxmaster is continuing to focus its efforts in this direction with a newly coined slogan: “Your source for food safe packaging.” And according to Reid, this outside-the-box thinking is already paying off. “Our existing customers are very happy, and other potential customers who have seen our facility and reviewed our programs have given us outstanding feedback. They can’t believe that a packaging company operates the way we do.”