2020 will no doubt go down in history as an extraordinary year. And it was certainly anything but ordinary in the exciting world of egg packaging!
Demand for our products was so overwhelmingly high that we don’t mind admitting it was hard to keep up with production at times! However, thanks to recent years, smart refinements and advances in production - as well as the tireless efforts of our employees - we still managed to deliver more packs than ever before to our customers all around the world.
It's all about teamwork
Our CEO Torben Rosenkrantz-Theil was quick to praise the team:
“Hartmann is built around a very accomplished group of employees, who’ve shown incredible resilience and loyalty during these challenging times - and are now already giving their best to take care of our customers in 2021.”
Of course, the threat of Covid-19 is still looming – and with it, all the associated consequences for retail and the egg industry. However, the demand for egg packaging remains high. Supermarkets still can’t get enough eggs as consumers are obviously eating at home more.
“The good news, though, is that thanks to new production lines installed in 2020, we’re already in a much better position than last year - with further global investments already approved for 2021,” Torben says.
And what an impressive list of investments it is: a brand-new plant in Brazil, significant capacity expansions at plants in Europe, and a huge rollout in the US. Not to mention acquiring the largest pulp moulding plant in India and signing a deal to buy a major plant in Russia.
In short, as the market leader in paper-based egg packaging we’re in a great place to satisfy the continued high demand for sustainable egg cartons and fruit packaging.
Recently, we have ramped up new and additional capacity at our plants in Hungary and Croatia and there is more to come. Projects are being commissioned during first quarter of 2021 and there will be further developments later in the year.
Morten Skovgaard Frank, Senior Vice President Hartmann Europe, takes up the story: “This significantly escalates our production capacity, and our ability to meet the needs of our European customers – especially with the ongoing conversion to the new PlusPack™, our recently revamped and optimised classic product.”
In early September 2020 Hartmann also entered an agreement to buy the Russian company, Gotek-Litar JSC, which produces moulded fibre packaging at a factory in Zheleznogorsk, about 450 kilometres south of Moscow. Russia is an attractive market where sales of eggs and moulded-fibre egg packaging are driven by urbanisation, continued development of the retail industry and an increased focus on sustainability.
“Gotek-Litar, a leading manufacturer of retail and transport egg packaging, is a perfect match for us,” says Morten. “The production facilities at the company’s factory are based on machinery and technology developed and manufactured by Hartmann - so Gotek-Litar is already a long-standing partner of ours.”
“And best of all, our own Russian customers will of course benefit from the deal, as we’ll be closer, more convenient and faster with supply,” he promises.
In 2017 Hartmann North America opened its egg carton plant in Rolla, Phelps County, Missouri (US) to supply the North American market. Last year, we launched our second expansion in Rolla and further expansion is planned for 2021. This will not only increase Rolla’s egg carton production but allow greater diversity of egg carton products.
“The multiple production lines we’re installing will give us flexibility to produce our complete product line in multiple facilities and triple the current output of the Rolla facility in a very short period of time,” says Karl M. Broderick, President Hartmann North America.
Hartmann’s expansion has been fuelled by consumer behaviour and retailer demand. “We’re seeing a fundamental shift away from plastics and into more environmentally friendly and sustainable products,” Karl says.
As Hartmann works towards completion of the new production facilities, staying committed to sustainability remains important. “Although moulded fibre isn’t a modern technology, we’ve modernised it by using the best production technology available. We essentially have a closed-loop system where everything goes right back into the supply chain and is fully utilised. This was recently recognised by the US Department of Commerce for Hartmann’s vision and investment of state-of- the-art manufacturing processes”, Karl concludes.
An entire new-build plant in the north of Brazil was completed in December 2020 and commercial operation started in January this year. Like the other production facilities in Brazil, the new site will be operated under the name Sanovo Greenpack as our other South American subsidiary.
It’s located in Goianinha in the state of Rio Grande do Norte. The North-eastern region of Brazil is developing rapidly, and consequently, egg consumption is increasing.
“Until now, this region has been supplied by our factory in Montes Claros, in Minas Gerais state,” says Ernesto W. Schonbrod, President Hartmann South America.
However, the factory has reached its production capacity and is quite a distance from the Northeast, meaning that a new, more local factory was needed.
“This new expansion will increase the production capacity in Brazil and enable faster delivery, better service and reliable logistics to the Northeast market,” Ernesto concludes.
In November 2020, Hartmann completed the acquisition of India’s largest manufacturer of quality egg and fruit packaging. 250 kilometres north of New Delhi, Hartmann India Ltd (former Mohan Fibre Products Ltd) sells moulded fibre packaging to egg and apple producers in India - particularly the Northern states of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. This establishes a solid platform for Hartmann in the lucrative Indian market, in which we’re seeing favourable demographic development and increasing egg and fruit production.
A workforce of 200 employees takes care of the production and sale of egg and fruit packaging
We asked Hartmann’s CEO, Torben Rosenkrantz-Theil, to tell us more about this historic deal:
What makes India an attractive market for Hartmann?
The Indian market is substantial and growing, due to population expansion and increasing egg and fruit production. We expect moulded fibre packaging for protection of eggs and fruit to gain further traction as supply chains are professionalised. And we’re very excited to have broadened our production footprint into India, which holds great promise for further development in the coming years.
What makes Mohan Fibre a suitable match for Hartmann?
Our strategy is based on increasing Hartmann’s packaging volumes across our markets, and India is certainly no exception. Mohan Fibre shares our service values, sustainable business model and clear commitment to great products.
How will Mohan Fibre customers benefit from the acquisition?
It’ll be business as usual for Mohan Fibre’s many customers in the coming period. Maintaining the pace of the expansion and technology upgrade, we’ll also draw on our experience from other markets, further improving the quality and service levels to meet increasingly sophisticated demand from producers and consumers.