Business Action | December 2019 / January 2020


December 2019 / January 2020 issue of the independent North Devon-based business magazine covering news about business and enterprise in Barnstaple, Bideford, Braunton, Chulmleigh, Combe Martin, Holsworthy, Ilfracombe, Lynmouth, Lynton, South Molton, Torrington, Woolacombe and more.

This issue includes the event guide for the BBxpo business exhibition and networking event in Bideford on Thursday 24 October 2019.

Business Action Plan and magazine subscribers receive priority access of new issues of Business Action on publication. Subscribe at

graphics design teams produce

fully functional prototypes so

that each design can be tested

to ensure that shapes, folds,

assembly and visual appearance

combine to provide the best

possible product for the client.

The importance of people

Complementing this investment

in equipment and technology,

Jason emphasises the

importance of all the people

working in the business.

“We have a very loyal

workforce,” says Jason. “Many

people have been with us for

over 20 years.”

While it’s a challenge to

keep everyone happy, Jason

adds that the company aims to

demonstrate its appreciation

for everyone’s hard work. This

includes providing an impressive

range of benefits including


Manufacturer always moving forward

Atlas Packaging, like many

manufacturers, operates a

sophisticated, modern business

hidden away on a business park.

As a result, few people in North

Devon may realise that, as an

independent corrugated cardboard

packaging specialist, Atlas

Packaging supplies packaging

to household brands including

Riverford Organics, St Austell

Brewery, Adidas, Asda, Baileys

and Johnnie Walker.

Inside the Atlas Packaging

plant at Roundswell, Barnstaple,

a team of 150 works to

design, print and manufacture

a range of packaging that is

shipped to customers across

the country. The company’s

success has enabled the team to

grow from 130 two years ago,

while continued investment has

increased its capabilities and

capacity. In 2012, it invested

£2.5 million in new machinery

with further investments of

£500,000 in 2014 and £1.75m

in 2016. Planned investment

in 2020 will increase capacity

even more.

Technology in packaging

Managing director Jason

Sharman acknowledges that

there is never certainty in

business and that all businesses

need to be prepared to respond

to changing circumstances,

whatever they may be: “We

are always looking at the next

requirement. Our approach

to business is always to try to

move forward.”

Atlas Packaging approaches

this in a number of ways. In

addition to investing in efficient

machines that print, cut and

fold cardboard into packaging

that looks like a work of art,

Atlas has a fully equipped

structural design studio which

uses CAD technology to push

cardboard engineering innovation

to its limits. This enables it

to develop tailored designs for

individual packaging products

optimised for transportation,

storage, assembly and display.

Alongside this, the graphics

design team uses proprietary

and specialist design software to

ensure that packaging looks as

good as it functions. Working

together, the structural and

Manufacturers play a vital role in the North Devon economy, but

because many don’t supply consumers their success is not always

visible. As part of Business Action’s mission to cover all areas of

business, editor Robert Zarywacz met Jason Sharman, managing

director of Atlas Packaging, to find out more about the company

The Atlas Packaging team in Barnstaple

free gym membership, cycleto-work

scheme, free fruit

and childcare vouchers. It also

provides extensive performance

data on the company so

that everyone can understand

the importance of working

well as a team to maintain high

standards and productivity in

a very competitive marketplace.

As a growing business,

Atlas Packaging invests in

its people and continues to

employ apprentices to learn

and develop valuable workplace

skills on the job. Recognising

the common challenge of

attracting new talent to

manufacturing, it plays an

active part in the community

and has partnered with local

charity Chemohero for 2020. It

also sponsors the ‘Our School

Orchard’ project to support

Philip Sweetland (second left) and Jason Sharman (to his right) receiving

Atlas Packaging’s Careers Excellence Award from the Gatsby Foundation

primary school students in

planting and maintaining

small school orchards and is

sponsor of the Annual Bideford

Cardboard Boat Regatta. As

well as supplying free cardboard

to teams constructing

vessels, in 2019 Atlas Packaging

enabled three students – Fahren

Woollacott, Callum Rippon

and Joe Passmore, all aged 15

– to develop their concept and

design it with CAD software

before building it as part of

their work experience. Their

boat still sank!

The company has also

aligned with Ilfracombe

Academy and recently participated

in its Year 7 roadshow

to demonstrate the breadth of

manufacturing careers available,

from accounts and drivers to

machine operators, designers

and IT. As a result of this

commitment to future manufacturers,

it was recently awarded

the Small Employer of the Year

Award at the Careers Excellence

Awards 2019 in London run

by the Careers & Enterprise

Company in partnership with

the Gatsby Foundation.

Environmental care

Jason adds that Atlas Packaging

is fully aware of its environmental

responsibilities as a

packaging manufacturer. While

corrugated cardboard is one

of the most environmentally

friendly materials, there is

no complacency. As well as

holding both ISO 9001-2015

and BRC – 2015 Certification

accreditation for quality

control, the company has

achieved ISO14001 environmental

management system

certification. In addition, its

FSC® Chain of Custody certification

ensures checks at every

stage of the supply chain so that

customers can be confident

they are purchasing genuine

FSC-certified goods.

With this commitment

to the environment and its

approach to investing in technology

and its people, Atlas

Packaging maintains its readiness

to meet the challenges that

future manufacturers will face.

■■Details 01271 344055 or

14 business action | December 2019 / January 2020 |

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