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"Wim Vanbergen: "We serve niche markets"

Proplastics active over six months after Plastic Force takeover

The company Proplastics has been active in Borgloon for over half a year. In April of this year Ludo Treunen and Wim Vanbergen took over the company Plastic Force. The company serves various sectors, amongst which are the fruit and vegetable sector. Wim: "We focus on various groups, fruit and vegetables, baking products and the processing industry." The company does this on purpose: "This way we spread our risks. There are smaller players in every market and we focus on them. The niche markets and the specific demands. We don't go for the masses." 



New mushroom packaging

"At the moment we are very active in the mushroom sector. We recently introduced a new packaging. It is a tray with a transparent lid which is clicked shut. The 'old' mushroom boxes were welded shut." Wim indicates that the market has responded very enthusiastically to the new packaging. "We introduced it in Germany and have been using it for around a month. A lot of people who used the 'old' packaging want to switch to this new one. In general the trays are sold in black with a transparent lid. Mushrooms are well presented due to the black colour. We can see good growth in this for the future. The sector isn't growing, but we expect to serve part of the market with this new packaging."



Niche markets

Wim and Ludo indicate that they want to be innovative as a company. "We're not about mega production volumes, but want to put unique products in the market that our customers are satisfied with. If you continue to innovate you're a step ahead of your competitors. We make what the customer wants and are specialised in small amounts, in niche markets." According to Wim there is an increase in transparent packaging. "There is an increasing desire to show that the product is good. Of course you have to be convinced of this. We mainly serve the mushroom and tomato suppliers in the fruit and vegetable sector at the moment. We also supply products to the processed fruit and vegetable sector, such as the salad and ready meal markets. We see good chances in salad bowls. We are constantly developing new forms for the customer." 

Mono material
Wim says that more and more companies want to use mono material so that the packaging is reusable. Lidl used to use cake trays made out of cardboard and plastic, but now they have switched back to plastic. Mono material which is fully recyclable. If you use multiple types of packaging, the products are no longer reusable. Especially if they are welded together. In our sector Polystryrene (PS) is slowly disappearing and PET is being used more and more. PS is becoming increasingly expensive and the price of PET has remained stable."



Ludo and Wim started the company in April this year. Both men look towards the future optimistically. Ludo: "With my experience in the sector and Wim's young and enthusiastic entrepreneurial spirit we should be fine. We expect the takeover and all the business around it to be rounded up by the 1st of January. We hope to win back some customers who left because Plastic Force went bankrupt and it was unclear whether there would be a takeover. There was some uncertainty for a while. We want to serve more customers in the fruit and vegetable sector in the future and show that we can serve specific markets. We will certainly run into difficulties, but we view them as challenges. We expect to do more with printing in the future. We may also encounter clients further away in Europe. If we run into new and interesting cases we won't say no to them." 

For more information:
Wim Vanbergen
Proplastics
Industrieweg 17
3840 - Borgloon - Belgium
T: +32 (0)127-43484
F: +32 (0)127-45480
www.proplastics.be
wim.vanbergen@proplastics.be

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