OPN recently spoke with Mark Sambrailo, Owner & CEO at Sambrailo Packaging on sustainability and packaging innovations.
OPN Connect: Sambrailo Packaging has grown over the years with now over 400 employees. Tell us about the services you provide so that growers have the right product in the right place at the right time.
Mark Sambrailo: We have roughly 450 employees on our US team and 200 on our Mexico team. We currently have six facilities in California, and two in Mexico.
OPN Connect: Being the third generation at Sambrailo Packaging you have witnessed a lot of changes in our Industry. How has organic played a role in your company’s growth and innovation?
Mark Sambrailo: Both my son and now my daughter work for the company so that’s four generations. My third son is in the NFL but maybe someday he will join us too.
Organics have played a big role, as the need and demand increased so has our business. With the growth of organic produce so has the demand for organic branded and sustainable packaging.
This season we introduced our newest packaging product that is earth friendly and recycle stream ready. ReadyCycle™ is 100% recyclable, constructed with food-grade adhesives and printed with vegetable based inks. ReadyCycle™ is fully printable on all surfaces eliminating the need for labels and added adhesives. There is no wax, only water based coatings for moisture resistance. With all surfaces ready for print customers can take advantage of every inch as marketing real estate for seasonal messaging, recipes, or consumer promotions.
A lot of plastic ends up in the landfill and consumers are driving demand for sustainable products across all market categories, produce being a focus.
OPN Connect: What are some of your newest services that help growers and shippers “do whatever is best for the produce”?
Mark Sambrailo: In addition to ReadyCycle™ we have partnered with CCOF and have branded an entire line of Certified Organic Stock Print Boxes for certified organic growers. This has been huge for organic growers and their products to be easily identified as organic when delivered to retail. We are a one stop shop for organic growers of all sizes, including growers who have their own CSA (community supported ag) programs.
One of our newest services is inbound inspection of items coming in so our customers can get product that’s ready to roll. We partner with our customers to evaluate the quality of their current packaging. We have developed a number of inspection protocols to monitor and pinpoint where packaging and operational improvements can be made.
We manage everything from packaging prebuilds for our customers to Just-In-Time deliveries. Our procurement team has the experience necessary to make sure that you have enough packaging on hand for the season, to fulfill replenishments quickly when needed for spikes in production, and to coordinate the movement of inventory as production moves from one growing region to another.
OPN Connect: Sustainable development is often described as having three main goals: economic development, social development and environmental protection. How does Sambrailo Packaging achieve those goals and help growers achieve sustainable development in their business?
Mark Sambrailo: We are proud to provide livelihood in three different regions of CA and support the surrounding communities. Those communities have been a part of our lives over the course of three generations..
Our customers are offering the consumer an alternative to plastic that is more sustainable. In the end they get compensated for that with consumer loyalty. We offer non-wax boxes that can be fully recycled diminishing the waste stream for our growers.
OPN Connect: You are a speaker at the Organic Growers Summit, what message do you hope is conveyed in your session?
Mark Sambrailo: The future of sustainable packaging is here and now and we want to continue our legacy in packaging innovation and bolster community support with packaging that meets the needs of consumers and the environment.