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North Tyneside's GM Packaging has success wrapped up

 

A North Shields packaging business which specialises in biodegradable products, as opposed to plastic, is blazing a trail with substantial contracts won for blue chip clients including Marks & Spencer.

GM Packaging, based on the Tyne Tunnel Estate, was set up by MD Graham Montague 25 years ago when he was made redundant from his role as a chemical salesman in the 1980s recession. He started his business printing branded carrier bags for butchers and then diversified into containers and cartons, primarily due to customer demand, innovating along the way.

One of the company’s early customers was the NHS and GM Packaging products such as food trays, are now used in all the North East NHS hospitals. This long-standing expertise helped win a Marks & Spencer’s contract to provide hot food containers in various outlets and its head office.

Graham Montague said: “We have seen our turnover double year on year for the last few years. A huge part of our growth has been down to our website which has attracted interest from around the globe. We are winning work due to our ability to be nimble and respond to bespoke requests really quickly, as well as getting great referrals from existing customers. I’m delighted this expansion has also created three new jobs in the last two months alone.

“Due to the uncertainly around Brexit we have consciously decided to develop our client base outside of the EU and it is already paying dividends with contracts as far afield as Nigeria and the Seychelles.”

A member of North East England Chamber of Commerce, which provides his company with exporting legal advice, keeping as much of his business in the region is extremely important to Graham Montague. For example, GM Packaging uses fellow Chamber member Port of Tyne facilities to ship raw materials in and finished goods out, as much as possible.

Sustainability in packaging is becoming an ever-more important issue and GM Packaging’s products are all compostable and easily recycled. The packaging is manufactured from a partner factory in India, produced from bamboo rather than trees, as it grows more quickly. It has also introduced a plastic free paper cup that can be recycled in any waste bin and is manufactured in the UK.

The growth has resulted in the company currently looking to move to larger premises to be able to cope with the substantial order-book.