Sambrailo Packaging, headquartered in Watsonville, CA, has been a leader in providing integrated packaging and resource management solutions to the ag industry since 1923.
It all started when Charles Sambrailo recognized the need for progressive packaging methods to protect produce, improve product quality and increase packing efficiencies and began supplying packaging for “Apple City,” which is what Watsonville used to be called.
Sambrailo Packaging founder Charles Sambrailo
“From apples, as the industry evolved so did our business into other fruit categories, floral, row crops, and berries,” said Sara Lozano, marketing and product development for the company.
As the company nears its first century, it is looking forward to continue and honor the legacy the team has built.
Today, a third generation of Sambrailo are running the company as Sambrailo Packaging continues to adapt to the ever-changing needs of the agriculture community. One of those big changes was creating packaging solutions that fit with the core mission of organic produce.
Sara Lozano, marketing and product development, Sambrailo Packaging
“In 2014, we designed and developed an organic stock print for our fruit and veg unwaxed and waxed cartons,” Lozano said, explaining “Certified Organic” acts as a billboard on each box. “We did this for our customers to be able to have their customers clearly identify their product on pallets in their coolers, at distribution, and at the retail level.”
The company’s ReadyCycle sustainable packaging journey began almost four years ago, and all involved knew it was the next chapter in the evolution of packaging.
“Consumers and our environment were asking for single-use plastic alternatives,” Lozano said. “We developed ReadyCycle to be that alternative to plastic, to help reduce single-use plastic waste, and give the consumer, retailer, and grower a choice. Our organic customer helped us pioneer the first ReadyCycle into the industry and still are making change happen and are a part of our design process to continue building the product offering.”
Sambrailo Packaging continues to meet the need of the organic customer and is looking to continue growing its reach.
“We are located in California and also in Central Mexico, and we hope to continue expanding into other regions to make our packaging more accessible and lowering freight costs,” Lozano said. “Awareness and education are also main pillars for our ReadyCycle mission—to let people know there is a solution and that retailers and growers are helping make change happen.”
Strawberries in ReadyCycle packaging by Sambrailo
Under the umbrella of Sambrailo International Group, the company has also established Sambrailo Resource Management, which provides ag companies with customized solutions in product development; vendor and supply chain management; product testing and qualification; packaging operations management; and traceability/compliance.
“We developed ReadyCycle to be that alternative to plastic, to help reduce single-use plastic waste, and give the consumer, retailer, and grower a choice. Our organic customer helped us pioneer the first ReadyCycle into the industry and still are making change happen and are a part of our design process to continue building the product offering.” -Sara Lozano
The company packages a great deal of berry varieties, including blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. It also packs vegetables such as broccoli, celery, peppers and onions.
While Sambrailo Packaging has been berry-centric for many years, Lozano noted ReadyCycle has opened leadership’s eyes and many doors for the company to bring products outside the berry category into a sustainable packaging solution.
Erik Sambrailo and Mark Sambrailo
“We have so many projects and have received incredible feedback, we can’t wait to keep the momentum and launch new products for new fruit and veg categories,” she said.
Thanks to three generations of innovations, the philosophy of Charles Sambrailo still rings true in 2020—listen to customers’ requests and continually improve products and services to ultimately improve the quality of the produce and help our customers grow their business.
“We care deeply about the legacy we have been gifted,” Lozano said. “We consider our team family, and we consider our customers a part of our legacy. The relationships we have formed and continue to create make us who we are and continue the energy to stay innovative and adaptive.”