Refining taste

By developing innovative and high-quality products, Union Papertech meets its customers’ needs in the space of filtration paper manufacturing for tea and coffee

Throughout the first half-century of its existence, Union Papertech – a manufacturer of high-quality filtration paper – has stayed true to its belief that it has to develop a deep understanding of its customers’ needs. This way, it has garnered huge popularity among some of the largest players within the hot beverage market.

“We work on the basis of a partnership,” points out the company’s Sales & Marketing Manager, Chris Law. “This allows us to seek regular feedback to see how we are doing, which, in turn, enables us to be more agile and reactive than other companies in the market.”

Known particularly for the manufacture of abaca-free papers, over time, Union Papertech’s collaboration with its partners has led to the development of multiple innovative solutions. For instance, its Superseal technology has remained a popular choice for some of the most prominent businesses in the tea market since its introduction in the 1990s. “The development of this product has given our customers the ability to rely upon consistently high-quality paper and, in most cases, to improve efficiency through higher and higher speed conversion,” Chris comments.

“In 2019, we also launched Puri Seal Green – a 100 per cent biodegradable heat-sealable filtration paper. It has been designed with the help of a new technology to combat the issue of microplastic pollution from regular filter papers often used in tea bags and coffee pods,” he also reveals. “One of our core aims was to ensure Puri Seal Green’s seamless interchangeability with existing tissue. Following detailed trials, we managed to achieve that. Without giving the game away, we have successfully combined some of our technologies to produce a paper, which is pretty close and will often convert to an existing machine setup with no changes. From what we have observed so far, market feedback suggests that it is this specific property of Puri Seal Green that sets us apart from the competition.”

As environmentally-friendly alternatives are becoming prevalent and their adoption from customers more and more widespread, Union Papertech is actively trying to respond to these market trends. Unsurprisingly, green technologies are at the centre of the company’s R&D work, but Chris clarifies that it is not just these alternatives the business is presently exploring. “It must be said that we are also very much interested in the evolution of the biodegradable technology. In any case, our team is working on a number of ideas, which will allow us to hit the ground running when they become commercially viable.”

Spread the word
Owing to its innovation in the single-serve coffee papers segment, Union Papertech has also succeeded in opening a host of business opportunities abroad. “We export over 50 per cent of our production into Europe and the US,” Chris reveals. “To us, the overseas success we have enjoyed is down to our pedigree in developing the original applications for the three most used products within the single-serve coffee market – K-Cup, Tassimo, and Nespresso compatible pods. The activities we have undertaken in the field, show our agility and ability to work on projects from infancy to the mainstream.

“With us trading in different regions, we have a worldwide network of representatives who are incredibly helpful in negotiating any difficulties caused by the varying business practices in individual countries,” he continues. “On top of that, we have long-standing relationships not just with these representatives, but also with our local customers directly. This enables us to give our products a local touch, which is a trait we cherish deeply, because it covers all options and allows our clients the freedom to openly express their changing requirements at any time. After all, our conviction is that a satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all and we go to great lengths to keep our clients happy. It is much more the rule than the exception to keep 100 per cent of our customers pleased year-on-year and this is a great source of pride for everyone at the company.”

Chris’ vision for 2020 involves, as he calls it, “making a few splashes with some major brands worldwide” to raise market awareness for the Union Papertech brand. “We have sometimes been a bit guilty of keeping our successes to ourselves and it seems right that we should start spreading the word about our capabilities, going forward,” he reasons. “Therefore, I am certainly focused on improving the visibility of the company. We are pleased that our customers have endorsed this idea, so we look forward to making a few announcements in the new year. Watch this space!”

Regarding Union Papertech’s medium-to-long-term ambitions, Chris admits that, due to the variety of projects the company is currently involved in, it is difficult to picture exactly where it might be in five years’ time. He concludes: “We are trying to take advantage of opportunities that have emerged outside of our traditional markets of food and beverages. This being said, it is likely that we will have a more diversified portfolio in the coming years. This is an extremely exciting prospect for us and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for the business.”