A simplified process of labelling their butternut bags has resulted in a major improvement to Habata Agri’s packaging operation as the company strive for greater efficiency.
Previously Habata had used a method of tying a label onto the bags once they had been filled, which operations manager Gary Webb said had proved unnecessarily time-consuming.
“There was a little hole we had to thread a line through and it took some time to do that and then to fasten it to the bag,” said Webb.
“For me that was time wasted that could be better used elsewhere. Also, you couldn’t really see the Habata brand on the small tag.”
Now Habata have introduced a new bag with a label stitched onto the top which not only saves time, but provides better promotional opportunities.
“The new label is bigger and so much more visible, and we have colour-coded the 3kg and 6kg bags,” he said.
“The bags come from the suppliers like that so there is a lot of time saved in the packing operation. Now our packers just fill up the bags and tie them up.”
Webb said the packaging sizes had also changed over the years due to the demands of the consumers.
“Years ago, when 10kg bags were preferred, we started packing bags of 6kg because we found that we got more per kilo for that size,” he said.
“Even though the 10kg bags were the norm, we carried on packing the 6kg bag and now people hardly even ask for the 10kg bag anymore. Many even prefer the 3kg size.
“Freshmark also sell them loose and the focus is definitely moving to smaller packaging.”
While they received more per kilogram this way, Webb said it was labour intensive as every 3kg bag had to be weighed.
“If it is underweight, it gets rejected,” he said.
Webb said the material and colour of the bags had remained unchanged.
“We feel the butternuts look more attractive in an orange bag and the nylon netting material not only allows the produce to breathe, but also gives the consumer an opportunity to view the merchandise on offer.”