ABSORBENT fruit pad production in Mexico should begin within just a few months, as Sirane’s new production facility in Central America begins to take shape.
And while the initial focus will be on the soft-fruit market, the ambitious team at Sirane Mexico have plans to actively develop other markets, including medical & healthcare.
Simon Balderson, Sirane MD, has just returned from the contract exchange where the company took formal possession of the premises – and it is now all systems go, with machinery built at the company’s headquarters in Telford, UK, being sent over and installed in the factory ready for use. All being well production will begin in September.
Sirane Mexico is based in Guadalajara, close to the major berry growing regions and the headquarters of many major growers, and will focus initially on absorbent fruit pads – with the market for berries in particular and soft-fruit in general the major target.
But long-term the company has plans to develop a market for all of its food packaging range, particularly absorbent pads and cooking bags, as well as medical & healthcare products. Sirane’s expertise in absorbency and material science mean that the products we can make can be used in many varying and diverse industries on a global basis.
Simon Balderson said: “Sirane Mexico is a major step for the company.
“People often ask us why Mexico? Well Mexico is the perfect place for Sirane to begin manufacturing. Certainly in soft-fruit terms, it is one of the world’s major producers, but geographically it is also quite a distance from many of its major export markets.
“This means shelf-life matters to the Mexican growers, and they understand its importance. They are very experienced and highly educated in this area, so it fits perfectly for us. The Mexican fruit export market has grown significantly in recent years following investment.
“Sirane’s invested a lot of time in recent years on shelf-life extension for fruit and vegetables, and we’ve now got some very effective products. Everything fits together perfectly.
“I’ve visited the region myself, and found the growers to be very receptive to new technology, and keen to get involved. They are seriously excited by what we’re offering.
“By opening manufacturing in Mexico, Sirane will be able to offer better service and better technology to the region, whilst also gaining from their knowledge and expertise. The transport links will also connect us with major markets in Central and North America.
“The location in Guadalajara is perfect, close to the major growing regions and so close to customers, and on a new innovation park with easy access to the Pan-American Highway – meaning it is well connected by road to much of North and Central America.
“We’ll also be able to supply into South America, and in particular the berry markets in Chile and Uruguay. Being based in Mexico will make serving these markets much easier.”
Mexico’s soft-fruit industry is one of the largest in the world. Its temperature, height above sea-level and rainfall make growing conditions absolutely ideal. Vast quantities of fruit including strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries are exported to Europe, North America and even the Far East – making packaging vitally important.
Sirane offers a range of absorbent pads for fruit, including standard absorbency, absorbent ‘cushioned ‘ Soft-Hold bubble pads, and our new Dri-Fresh ABV anti-microbial pads, which contain a blend of natural bio-flavonoids and organic acids which naturally enhance fruit’s own protective defences. We also offer pads with ethylene absorbency incorporated.
All of these products will be manufactured at the new 1,500 sq m unit in Guadalajara, in an innovation park where there is scope to expand the site as the Mexican business grows.
Simon Balderson added: “Sirane Mexico will provide jobs in the region for engineers, scientists and in manufacturing. We have had great help from Pro Mexico in the UK, as well as the Mexican government and the local officials in the Jalisco region.
“We realised some time ago that the service this market needed was local manufacturing. The market is vast – and the intention is for Sirane Mexico to grow with it. Long-term, Sirane Mexico should lead the way in terms of product development for this sector. In effect we will be opening a fruit-based R&D department in the region alongside the manufacturing.
“Sirane Mexico is a significant step for Sirane. We’ve been encouraged every step of the way by people within the Mexican fruit industry and by government officials, and we’re now looking forward to the day the factory opens for business and begins production.
“Once we’re fully up and running we’ll be looking at what other opportunities our unique expertise in absorbency and material science will open up… whether it be food packaging, absorbency for use in medical environments, or even industrial products.
“It may well be the soft-fruit industry that took us to Mexico, but we’re not just opening a factory to make soft-fruit pads. There will be much more to come from Sirane Mexico.”
Sirane’s food packaging division offers a wide range of products, including absorbent pads for meat, seafood, fruit, poultry and cheese, cooking bags for the oven, microwave and bbq, protective packaging such as sticky boneguard, and dividers for food presentation.
Meanwhile our medical & healthcare division has developed a number of great products, including absorbent non-slip disposable floor mats, 95 kPa bags, absorbent pouches for specimen transportation, absorbent tourniquet drapes, and much more.
PICTURED: Jose Covarrubias, manager of the innovation park, Roberto Hernández, lawyer for the landlord, Jorge Moreno, landlord, Simon Balderson, Sirane MD, Ernesto Sánchez Sirane’s legal representative in Mexico, Josua Vega, Sirane Mexico, and Ana Lilia Puente, a property consultant.