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Sustainable Packaging Is An Advantage For Obeikan MDF: Salvador Martinez

Obeikan MDF general director Salvador Martinez believes that offering sustainable packaging solutions is an advantage for the company. Read the full interview here:

ESM: What sector is Obeikan MDF dedicated to?

Salvador Martinez: At Obeikan MDF, we work on sustainable packaging solutions, mainly for fruit and vegetables for export. However, since our raw material – MDF – is incredibly versatile, a versatility provided by the combination of sustainable material together with our manufacturing process using laser cutting, we can develop tailor-made and creative solutions for each customer. 

This means that we have received orders not only within the fruit and vegetables sector, but also for sectors as diverse as fashion, gardening or top-of-the-range confectionery. We have even created a line of display materials at the point of sale.

What is so special about your packaging?

The first advantage is sustainability. We manufacture our packaging only from wood fibres and paper. The raw material is therefore 100% natural, organic, biodegradable and easy to recycle.

We do not use external elements such as staples or nails, and all our packaging is FSC and PEFC certified, ensuring that they are sourced from sustainably-managed forests. But the packaging is also designed for reuse in the home.

The second big advantage is logistics. Compared to other alternatives that exist in the market, with higher thickness and less efficiency, our assembly system allows us to transport disassembled containers together with a small assembly machine that facilitates the operation at the destination. In addition, by using a thin material we can ship many packages in a single container, which reduces the CO2 footprint.

The third advantage is industrial design, suitable for long-distance export. The containers are stacked in perfect blocks, very solid and resistant. Our containers are undoubtedly the most robust on the market. This ensures that the products they contain arrive in perfect condition at their destination.

Finally, our fourth special feature is that we manufacture with laser cutting technology, which allows the design of containers with ventilation channels and air flow strategies that favour a pre-cooling of the fruit once it has been packed much faster, reducing energy costs and ensuring that the fruit preserves its humidity and quality.

This gives us great flexibility, as we do not need to make moulds; we can seal the edges of the material to prevent the box from absorbing moisture and becoming weak, extending the life of the fruit inside and ensuring its optimum quality.

Have you increased production this year?

Yes, we have been in the market for 11 years and we have been growing steadily every year. In addition, this year we have participated in a greater number of international events to boost the company's growth in the coming years.

What events do you usually support to promote your products?

Due to our speciality in the fruit and vegetable sector, this year we attended some of the main events in the sector – Fruit Logistica, Macfrut, Global Cherry Congress, Global Grape Summit and Fruit Attraction. We also crossed the pond to participate in PMA Chile and Expoalimentaria Lima.

In all these events, we have been present, either as exhibitors or as visitors. However, we know that many of our customers, as part of their sales strategy, wear our boxes at the events they attend around the world. Our containers are highly differentiating, so they capture the attention of buyers of large distribution, who value them very much as a marketing tool and for their simplicity in generating zero waste.

You mentioned the importance of the retailers or buyers within your strategy. Do you have many clients within the large distribution?

That's right. Some of the biggest orders we received come from the biggest retailers around the world.

In relation to the growth of Obeikan MDF, what markets do you already have a presence in? What markets would you like to reach?

In the fruit and vegetable segment, we work with all the large producing markets, which also export large volumes. In addition, we also work with large-scale distribution in the target markets because often, as I said before, they are the ones who ask us for our packaging to be used with the distributor's brand.

The company is currently immersed in an ambitious expansion process, not only in terms of new international markets, but also in terms of other segments and product lines. To name a few, we currently have several gardening projects underway for urban orchards, home decoration, DIY, PLV material, etc. And all this in different international markets.

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