Given the essential role of hygiene for food packaging, pro­duction at Sonoco Consumer Products Europe plants strictly adheres to the provisions of the world’s leading program for product safety and quality certifications, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standard. All of the packaging specia­list’s European plants were promptly awarded the recently introduced AA grade of excellence in the current certification process; the only exception is the plant in Inofita, Greece, where the audit is still pending.

The AA certification under the BRC Global Standard confirms that Sonoco continues to meet the highest international hygienic standards. By introducing the new grade of excellence, the BRC has responded to the changing face of safety, quality and hygiene requirements in the food industry, which have grown increasingly stringent over the past several years. The new grade is part of Revision 5 of the Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Material, which also raised the bar for suppliers in the food industry. The BRC Global Standard now requires certificate holders to provide more rigorous risk analysis throughout the supply, production, and transport chains. It also places allergens and food defense, i.e. protecting food against intentional con­tami­nation, more in the spotlight of risk analysis. As a result, certified companies are called upon to develop preventive measures to best protect the consumer.

Highest standards in hygiene, quality and energy efficiencySonoco’s BRC certification applies to all areas of the company. Buildings, hygiene management, and the supply chain – they all have to meet strict criteria to be awarded with the excellence grade AA. Accordingly, Sonoco holds trainings for employees on a regular basis and selects its suppliers very carefully.

Along with its hygiene management policies, Sonoco strives to meet the highest quality and energy efficiency standards, and is certified in these areas as well.

By 2018, Sonoco will have combined the norms of the three areas in its own Integrated Management Systems, enabling the company to monitor all of them centrally. Not only will this make Sonoco’s internal processes more efficient; it will enable the systems to seamlessly complement each other without overlap.

Premium packaging for a premium product

Together, the teams at Sonoco and Gialousis created a package that reflects the high quality of the product inside. The minimalistic design features gold-embossed fruits and nuts on a blue (for milk chocolate), black (for dark chocolate) or white (for white chocolate) background. The rigid paperboard container can be recycled using the local waste stream – an important feature for the Gialousis team.

Consumers can experience the advantages of Marchoc’s packaging first-hand in everyday situations. Before they open the rigid paperboard container for the first time, a Sealed Safe peel-off membrane protects its delicious content. Fans of hot chocolate typically consume the powder over the course of several weeks – a period of time during which the easily reclosable snap lid protects it from outside influences.

A success story – to be continued

The premium shelf presence of the rigid paper container helped the new product to claim its place among other powdered beverage products. And the cooperation between Sonoco and Gialousis doesn’t end there: Gialousis is already introducing other products, such as the kids’ chocolate drink Jumbotonic, to the Greek consumer goods market – in Sonoco’s rigid paperboard containers, of course.