With plastic waste an increasingly pressing problem for the planet to deal with, one fast-growing Welsh firm is coming up with solutions to help tackle the issue.
The latest firm our blog focuses on, is high-growth Transcend Packaging. Based in Ystrad Mynach, Transcend Packaging is a company focusing on sustainable paper-based packaging and new biodegradable plastics which have a superior environmental profile.
Here, Transcend Packaging CEO, Lorenzo Angelucci, tells the story of the business and explains how the help of Business Wales AGP has provided a springboard for growth – with the company's staff growing by 86% since enlisting its help.
Tell us about Transcend Packaging.
When we came on the scene, we made an immediate impact by working with like-minded companies to source sustainable materials that offer a genuine alternative to single-use plastic on a commercial basis. We've partnered with major brands to reduce or eliminate millions of single-use plastic straws from the world.
Sustainability was the reason I started this company. I founded Transcend Packaging after seeing footage of a turtle with a plastic straw stuck in its nose, so I went out and helped develop a paper straw.
We're innovative and disruptive – offering solutions to the market.
Our customers see us as an executioner of smart packaging ideas and concepts. With the help of Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme (AGP), we have delivered company growth by exploiting our knowledge and building a team passionate about doing good.
What are your proudest moments in business so far?
The work we do every day gives us a sense of pride – our products are part of a solution to the problem of plastic waste.
One of the most significant boosts to the company came in June 2018, when we secured a significant contract to supply paper straws to McDonald's in the UK and Ireland.
We're proud to help major brands move away from single-use plastic.
But it's not just about our products; it's about being an excellent business to work for. That's why we were honoured to be recognised by Chwarae Teg recently as a Fairplay Employer. We're committed to the values of gender equality.
If you were starting again, what would you do differently?
That's a difficult one to answer. There are many decisions you might look back on and think, should we have done that differently? But what makes our business what it is today is all those decisions – right or wrong – that we made as we developed.
How has support from Business Wales AGP helped your business?
We have achieved substantial growth milestones since joining the programme in November 2018. That growth has translated into workforce expansion, and we've created 83 jobs since we've been part of Business Wales AGP.
The support we have received includes a three-year visioning Orbit exercise, which helped us with the clarity of our growth objectives.
Other areas of support have focused on branding, redevelopment of the website, HR systems, processes, and preparing the business for growth.
Also, we've received support and advice on IT integration, access to grant funding and manufacturing process efficiency.
Transcend Packaging has been able to articulate our growth plans, and Business Wales AGP has provided endorsement to the direction that the business expansion strategy is taking.
We are embarking on a significant scale-up having won the four-year contract to supply McDonald's with paper straws, a project to prepare us for cultural change and organisational development is underway.
Our focus was around early anchor clients, and we now need Business Wales AGP advice and direction on the strategy to leverage this early stage blue-chip client base and production facility set up.
What advice and guidance would you give other businesses starting today?
● If you have a business idea, do your best to bring it to reality. It could be something that changes the world for the better, so have confidence and belief in your vision.
● Aim high. We are expanding both because of the quality of the product we deliver and the passion of our workforce.
● Seek out advice. The support we've received from Business Wales AGP has been invaluable in helping us achieve growth, this has had a really positive effect on our place in the local and national economy.
For more information on Transcend Packaging, visit here.
Further information on the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme.