With a wink to retail, Volm focuses on packers when creating packaging
While creating a product that is ideal for the retail level is extremely important, officials at the Volm Companies really want to focus on producing packaging with the packer in mind.
“Yes, we want to create a package that is ideal at the retail level, but first you have to get it there,” said Marsha Pozza, the Antigo, WI-based company’s director of marketing and communications. “This is where our experience and knowledge of the packing line equipment comes in. Not only do we manufacture the bags, we make the equipment that runs on.
“You can’t push for packaging that the industry isn’t able to fill. Packing line automation has become a necessity, not a luxury that only large packers could afford. Labor challenges have only become more common, and it’s not going to change. We focus primarily on solutions for whole, fresh produce. From soft fruits to your more-hearty commodities, we have a little something for nearly everything,”
Pozzo, who joined the company 15 years ago, says that the main purpose of packaging is to protect what’s in it. Packaging for fresh produce is developed so it can maintain freshness, ensure maximum shelf life and protect against damage. It can also provide food safety from external factors like human tampering.
“Our industry does an excellent job in branding and using packaging and labeling to educate shoppers on the benefits of their products,” she said. “It is important that all the players in our industry are putting their best foot forward in promoting the consumption of fresh produce, so I’m strongly in support of using packaging to help with this. Packaging provides convenience, whether it’s a bag that can easily be handled or as a prepared dish that can be microwaved.”
That may be why sustainability is playing such an important role at Volm. The company has an impressive portfolio of sustainable products and has been promoting most of these package types for many years. “Bio-degradable, compostable, recyclable options in addition to products made from renewable resources are all in our line-up,” Pozzo said. “We’re ready with any of it, should the market decide they’d like to pay for it.
“What we also want the industry to know, is that we aren’t only focused on sustainable product production. We have committed to environmental social responsibility as an organization and are doing things more sustainably. We have recently drafted our first corporate responsibility report and will be publishing that in the coming weeks. We invite anyone to learn more about what we’re up to by checking us out on our website: https://volmcompanies.com/about/volm-sustainability.”
She also explains that the company’s customers are primarily growers, packers and shippers of fresh produce. Volm works with them in their efforts to fulfil their contracts or obligations with the brands and retailers. “We’d invite any retailers or suppliers who are interested in learning more about Volm to reach out to their suppliers, visit our Volm website or simply reach out to me directly,” Pozzo said.
The business model seems to be working well. “We’ll continue to use the same strategies that have worked for us for the past seven decades,” Pozzo said. “As long as we can continue to focus on our customers as our No. 1 priority and carry through on delivering at a level above just expectations, we’ll continue to be successful and see the growth we hope to achieve.”
Volm got its start when the family, which sold groceries and hardware supplies and ran a small feed mill, serving the needs of local dairy and potato farmers near Bryant, Wisconsin, realized that local farmers needed a reliable supplier of used and new burlap bags and other miscellaneous supplies.
“It was then that Volm formed distributor relationships with other bag companies and moved its growing business to Antigo, WI,” Pozzo said. “The company has since expanded into multiple distribution and manufacturing locations and through key acquisitions, has grown to become a group of companies spanning North America and Europe and employing over 500 people. In 2024, Volm will be celebrating its 70th year in business.”