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Quality Packaging Guaranteed

Once deciding to venture into the food safe packaging industry, Boxmaster has gone above and beyond to ensure success today and in the years to come

Canada’s packaging industry has long operated independently from the food service industry, but for Boxmaster—a supplier of corrugated packaging for manufacturers, distributors and anyone else who needs their product in a box—food safe packaging has become a primary focus. The 33-year-old company, based in Delta, B.C., is now the first International Featured Standard (IFS)-PACsecure certified box manufacturer in Western Canada.
The IFS-PACsecure 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. This allows Boxmaster to certify that all of the materials used in their packaging processes are safe for customers in the food industry.
To achieve compliance, Boxmaster moved into a brand new production facility, hired a full-time quality assurance technician, and implemented stringent food safety measures in all areas—from shipping and receiving, to manufacturing, sanitization procedures, preventative maintenance of equipment and training of staff. According to Boxmaster’s operations manager, Chris Hanna, this level of care often takes people by surprise. “People walk into our plant and don’t expect to see everybody wearing hairnets because they assume we’re just making boxes. They’re amazed that we’re as clean as a food plant, and have such stringent allergen policies.”
And while others in the packaging industry have shied away from food safety altogether, Boxmaster is leading the industry with its newly implemented standards. “Undergoing a certification audit was an important way to step ahead of the game, and show customers that we are truly walking the talk,” adds Hanna.
As part of the extensive modifications to their business practices, Boxmaster also introduced a traceability and recall system, so if a customer receives a contaminated shipment it can be traced directly back to the source. For Greg Reid, general manager of Boxmaster, having this degree of accountability is essential. “In the rare event that something happens to a box that opens it up to contamination, we are able to immediately issue a recall. That’s a very important part of the service we provide.” And most importantly, this results in cost savings for their customers. “We just have to present our certification, and the customer doesn’t need to send their quality assurance people to conduct an audit themselves, because we’ve done it for them.”
Ramona Tolan, quality assurance manager, sees Boxmaster’s evolution as a necessary way to meet the demands of a changing market. “In the past, people in the industry were only concerned with what was in the food, and where the ingredients came from. They were kind of forgetting that food products do ultimately come in contact with packaging.”  
Boxmaster is already beginning to see their efforts rewarded—something that brings Reid a deep sense of pride. “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.”