Over the past 30 years, Cooreman has developed from a small-scale family business in Dendermonde into one of the largest poultry abattoirs in Belgium and the Netherlands. The company has been working with Smart Packaging Solutions throughout this period. Andy Cooreman, owner of the family business (third generation): “Despite the systematic growth of both Cooreman and Smart Packaging Solutions, we have remained two families who enjoy working together.”
Up to 30 million chickens are slaughtered, processed at Cooreman every year, and transported to all corners of the world. This requires a high level of packaging availability of up to 15,000 boxes on a daily basis. Andy: “We have been getting our boxes from Smart Packaging Solutions for the past 30 years. They have been very flexible in the way they have met our packaging requirements over these years. Peak periods are planned in advance, but if high stock levels are present in the company they can also meet our demands. The number of packages required is actually delivered just in time.”
The process from incoming to outgoing logistics - including slaughtering, processing and packaging - only takes 2 hours at Cooreman. This is a record time, and Smart Packaging Solutions' packaging contributes to this. Andy: “Smart Packaging Solutions' boxes are so well constructed that they can be opened very easily on the production floor. The packaging time is thereby reduced to a minimum, which contributes to a faster turnaround time.”
One of the major packaging challenges in the chicken industry is humidity during the production process. This high humidity, combined with the percentage of moisture held by the chickens, means that cardboard packaging is at risk of sagging. This risk is even higher when the chickens are frozen and the packs are exposed to even more moisture. Andy: "Smart Packaging Solutions is a specialist in the production of moisture-resistant packaging made of solid board. The packaging retains its strength, even in humid conditions."
This strength also makes it easier for the packaging to be stacked at outbound logistics. Andy: “One pallet can hold many kilograms of chicken, which amounts to about 5 to 10 percent more packaging per truck. This is one of the reasons why it is more beneficial for us to pack in solid cardboard instead of in plastic crates. Plastic crates also need to be cleaned and returned after use, which is a very time-consuming process, given the size of our sales.”
Another motivation for Cooreman to pack in solid cardboard is the fact that the material is very good for printing. In recent years, the poultry abattoir has put a lot of effort into brand recognition with its own Cooreman packaging, which has been developed in cooperation with Smart Packaging Solutions. Andy: “We have explicitly chosen to market our abattoir as a brand. All boxes are therefore printed in a uniform Cooreman style, instead of being personalized to the wishes of our customers. For example, we advertise our brand strictly and we have built up a good reputation in the sector, particularly in the Muslim community with our halal slaughtered chickens.”
Cooreman and Smart Packaging Solutions are two family businesses with professional and personal ties. Andy: “Despite the systematic growth of both companies, we have remained two families who enjoy working together. This is in part also because we have known many of their employees for 20 years already, so we have built a family relationship with each other. Smart Packaging Solutions also has a great deal of sector-specific knowledge available. This expertise is what sets them apart from other packaging suppliers.”