As food and drink businesses have sought out direct ways of selling to their customers during the Coronavirus crisis, one of the UK’s leading independent cardboard packaging companies has had to take on more staff and machinery to meet the rapid increase in demand. Atlas Packaging, based in Devon, saw dozens of enquiries for its specialist veg boxes from farmers and distributors who were looking to deliver their produce to customers’ homes. The firm also increased production of produce trays and has created its first ecommerce shop to be able to sell the trays online by the pallet as Sales Director Mark Leverton explains:

“We had anticipated that lockdown may well make it harder for smaller growers and distributors to sell fresh produce but the demand for our veg boxes went beyond what we could have imagined. We had already invested in further machinery and have been setting up a new unit for veg box production which is ready to increase our output anytime soon. But to help meet customers needs we began making a stock line of sturdy produce trays which are perfect for a range of items from veg to bread and all manner of other fresh items. As we hold these in stock we created an e-shop to sell direct by the pallet of 250 trays. This is new for us but we’ll deliver the trays the next day if they’re bought by midday.”

Atlas Packaging is well known for its veg box and the firm supplies Riverford Organic Farmers who are one of the market leaders in this sector. The cardboard boxes are designed to be reusable if left out for return as they have a thin waterproof layer. To make the packaging stand out they can also be printed and come in small, medium and large sizes. Atlas’s produce trays are printed black and are made from double walled corrugated cardboard so that they can hold up to 10kg in weight. The firm has also taken on around a dozen additional staff as demand for fully enclosed boxes as well as shelf ready packaging for supermarkets also increased rapidly according to Mr Leverton:

“As supermarkets saw massive demand on their supply chains, our food and drink customers had to quickly react and ramp up their own production. This in turn meant that they needed packaging as soon as possible. It’s of great pride to us that we were able to help as best we could while introducing our own safe working solutions and be able to offer jobs to more than twelve people at a time when other businesses were making redundancies.

“Atlas Packaging is one of only a handful of packaging companies in the UK to be an ASDA approved printer and producer of its own brand cardboard packaging as well as also supplying most of the major supermarkets and discounters. The firm has structural and graphic design teams inhouse to be able to provide custom made packaging and is regularly amongst the nominees at industry awards. More details about the firm can be found at