31 May BEMA Member Company Spotlight – We Seal
We Seal Ltd – Richard Hobson – CEO
Richard has been at We Seal for 30 years.
Kelly Allen, Membership Manager for BEMA had an opportunity to ask Richard a few questions about himself and the organization.
Q: Tell us about your company and the products/services you offer:
A: We Seal is a UK-based company, specialising in the manufacture of recyclable tape-based bag closures and reliable sealing machines. We supply over 95% of UK bakeries, including Warburtons, Hovis and Allied Bakeries. Our closures are easy to open, resealable, thermal print compatible, safe (no sharp edges or choke hazards) and use 80% less raw material than rigid plastic tags. Sustainability is at the core of everything we do.
Q: What is something new or innovative your company has done recently?
A: Innovation is our favourite word! We’ve got several exciting projects in the works at the moment, including tamper-evident bag closures, paper-based tape seals and closures made from polyethylene. We were recently awarded a patent for our easy open, tapered ends.
Q: What do you love most about the baking industry?
A: We’re a very adaptable and resilient industry (just look at how we kept things going during the pandemic!) and we touch every corner of the world. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an independent, artisan baker or a giant conglomerate, there’s room for everyone, and together we play an important role in the daily life of billions of people.
Q: How did you get started in the baking industry?
A: I actually started off in the adhesive tapes industry in the 1980s, providing conversion services to manufacturers such as YKK and 3M. In the early 80s it was reported in the news that a child had tragically lost their life choking on a rigid plastic bread bag clip, and there was a huge shift in the UK baking industry as consumers called for a safer alternative. By the early 1990s, all of the household names had switched to using resealable tape-based bag closures. I’ve been involved with making bakery packaging safer and more sustainable ever since, with We Seal now producing over 4 billion bag closures every year.
Q: What drew you and your company to join BEMA?
A: We’re seeing a global appetite for change and calls for sustainability at every level of the baking industry, and being a part of BEMA allows us to meet likeminded companies who share our vision for the future of our industry. Through attending events like IBIE we have been able to foster incredible connections with people we would otherwise never have met, and see important issues given the platforms they deserve.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
A: I’m a keen cyclist, skier and tennis player – although not to a standard to worry any professional. I also enjoy walking around our beloved Yorkshire Dales with our aging Labradors.
Q: Anything else you want our members to know about you or your company?
A: Since starting my first business at age 21, it has been an exciting ride. After well over 20 years supplying bakeries with the consumable, we acquired the sealing machine side of things in 2016 – bringing the razor and razor blade together as you might say – to provide bakeries with a simplified sealing solution. 38 years after I started out, I wish that I could go round and do it all again, but with the knowledge and experience I’ve gained along the way!
“Supplying the global baking industry with resealable, sustainable bag closures.”
To learn more visit https://weseal.com/.