Value in a British Packaging Supply Chain
The phrase “Made in Britain” has always been synonymous with quality, but why is UK manufacturing now more valuable than ever?
With supply chain stabilisation being a key learning outcome for most businesses heading into the post-COVID recovery period, having knowledge and control of the links in the chain is hugely important. As Sophie Kieselbach of Sphera says “If you don’t know your supply chain and the risks within it, you are not fit for the future”.
Over and above the reliability and high standards inherent in UK manufacturing – a study by Barclays Bank in 2018 showed this perception of quality drives international consumers’ willingness to pay more for British goods (42%). This is closely followed by reliability (31%) and the knowledge that they are internationally respected (32%) – having a local supply chain can be hugely beneficial and drastically reduce any risks.
In the context of a supply chain, the definition of a ‘local supplier’ is open to interpretation. It can mean the same region, country or even continent. Due to shared language, small geographical distance and common culture, it is easier to build better communication and a more meaningful relationship between manufacturer and customer as a result. This improvement in communication leads to more control, allowing more straightforward checks on progress and quality alongside better negotiation and collaboration opportunities. It also provides for quicker correction of any issues or problems. Cullen has almost a century of experience and, as the UK’s largest moulded pulp manufacturer, is better placed than most to create close relationships. With ISO 9001 accreditation and 1 billion products manufactured in the last decade, reliability and high quality standards are guaranteed.
Reactions to world events, customer demand and market fluctuations are also better facilitated with a local supply chain. Fast delivery is possible to and from anywhere in the UK with no lag time of multiple weeks while stock is at sea or held at customs. With manufacturers closer to home, lead-times are shortened and response times are improved.
The environmental advantages of a local supply chain are obvious. With a shorter distance to travel, your supply chain will have a drastically reduced carbon footprint. The more links in the chain that can be made local, the better for the planet.
Local Manufacturing Supply Chain
At Cullen, our manufacturing process is exclusively within the UK. We supply eco-friendly moulded pulp and corrugate packaging to 33 countries globally, but all the links of our chain are sourced locally with all production taking place at our 56,000m2 site in Glasgow, UK.
High volume, disposable products such as cup carriers for takeaway drinks have historically been imported due to low costs. A disruption to the global supply chain poses a real challenge for vendors who need to comply with health and safety guidelines and want to uphold environmental objectives. Cullen is the only manufacturer of eco-friendly cup carriers made from moulded pulp in mainland UK.
Moulded pulp products by Cullen are recyclable, compostable and biodegradable. However, with products such as cup carriers, there is a high potential for customers to dispose of them incorrectly. With the short life cycle of moulded pulp, these cup carriers will break down without environmental damage, even if they don’t find their way into the right bin.
For even less waste and more sustainability, Cullen now manufactures splittable cup carriers. One unit, two options, the splittable unit is a four-cup carrier, perforated to allow the unit to split in two for use with smaller orders.
As the sole manufacturer in the UK, we are excited to be able to ensure steady and certain supply of these products, regardless of world events.
To discuss moving your packaging supply to a more local manufacturer, speak to our team of packaging consultants.