The FIBC industry is continually evolving in response to the changing requirements of end users. As the industry evolves, so do the products offered by vendors. At National Bulk Bag, we are continually excited by the new and refined products entering the market. Many of these product innovations offer promising benefits for specific industries and use cases.
We get a ton of questions when speaking to current and potential customers at National Bulk Bag. One of the most common questions is about what a “standard FIBC” is. When it comes to the bulk bag industry, beyond FIBCA, there is no central bag authority that defines standards. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t commonly used construction types and use cases. What is a standard FIBC? Does the industry have defined standards?
As the market for FIBCs has grown and matured over the years, we at National Bulk Bag have learned that different industries use bulk bags for different purposes. However, no matter what your industry or application and/or product, controlling insects in and around your facility can often be a challenge. This is especially true for the food industry where insects and other pests can ruin product produce millions of dollars in damages.
Bulk bags are a versatile, flexible, lightweight, and durable storage and/or transportation vessel. Because of this, there are thousands of various applications across a plethora of industries. However, there are certain industries where it almost seems like FIBCs were made to be used. One of those industries is the supplements industry.
If you’re working with a quality FIBC distributor, chances are they have an available in-stock bag that will work for your product and application. This is generally a fantastic option as it is usually a cheaper option, offers significantly reduced lead times (time from bag purchase to delivery), and can deliver large quantities quickly. However, there are circumstances where an in-stock bag may not be compatible with your operation and/or facility.
At National Bulk Bag, we are constantly striving to help our current and future customers stay safe while using FIBCs in their workplaces and/or production facilities. Part of this effort is a continuing dedication to releasing educational materials (be sure to check out our Official Safety Guide) and promoting other materials from our partners.
As the FIBC industry grows and expands into different industries, the use cases expand as well. This is a testament to the flexible nature of bulk bags and the various construction types that are available. This flexible nature allows bulk bags to be used in applications one could never anticipate 5-10 years ago.
As 2019 came to an end and 2020 was just beginning, the world saw a drastic de-escalation in the ever-changing trade war between the United States and China. We wrote about the potential impact the trade war could have back in early 2019 with this post (“Impact of the USA-China Trade War on the FIBC Industry”). At that time, it was impossible to know just how far the trade war would escalate and which products the tariffs would ultimately impact the most.
If you’re reading this and haven’t been disconnected from the outside world for the last 60-days, then I don’t need to tell you that the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has completely flipped the world on its head. Global markets, supply chains, manufacturers, and financial markets have all come to a turtle paced crawl in the last 30 days with the impacts being felt in every corner of the globe – and the FIBC industry is no exception.
Companies and users are constantly finding new ways to use bulk bags as the FIBC industry continues to develop and expand into new markets and industries. At National Bulk Bag, we are continually amazed at the conversations we have with current and prospective customers about their innovative product and/or application uses. It’s a testament to not only the ingenuity of end-users but also the flexible and versatile nature of woven polypropylene bags.
As new industries emerge, new opportunities emerge with them. Previously regulated industries like hemp and cannabis are suddenly open for business in the United States and have become large users of products like FIBC bulk bags. However, with these new opportunities have also come plenty of new challenges – especially inside industries that while legal, remain heavily regulated with guidelines and laws often being completely different state to state.
At National Bulk Bag, we address a variety of industry applications and product needs. The organics industry which includes but isn’t limited to food, hemp, and other agricultural products category presents perhaps the greatest set of unique requirements and challenges. This is primarily driven by the fact that these materials are grown in the ground and when harvested have shelf lives. The longer these perishable items spend between harvest and processing, the greater the risks for contamination and spoiling.
As the hemp and biomass industry continues to grow in the US, a diverse field of growers and farmers is also emerging. With this diversity comes different needs, challenges, and day-to-day operations. One of the more defining characteristics of each individual operation is the size. The size of an operation impacts so much of the other parts of the business. Everything from growing, processing, storage and transportation – all of these things are impacted by the size of an operation in some way.
The hemp industry in the United States is growing fast and creating tons of new jobs and opportunities in the process. With that rapid growth has come with a rush of new entrepreneurs, growers, and processors. However, specific challenges related to the handling, packing, transportation, and storage of hemp as a product have also come with this rapid industry growth.
GFSI is at the center of all things food grade in the FIBC industry. As the largest food safety organization in the world, their ability to recognize and certify the various food safety programs is critical to any products involved in the production, distribution, or processing of food. This is why at National Bulk Bag we only distribute food grade bags that have been certified by GFSI recognized organizations. Five of the many GFSI recognized programs most impact the bulk bag industry – we wrote about them in this post (click here to learn more).
In 2018, the revamped Farm Bill directed the US Department of Agriculture to establish a national regulatory framework for hemp production in the United States – essentially clearing the path for the legalization of growing hemp across the country. The USDA took that direction and established an interim final rule that outlines provision for the USDA to approve plans submitted by the states for domestic production.
At National Bulk Bag, we pride ourselves in maintaining up-to-date industry knowledge and information, especially as it relates to food grade FIBCs. The food industry is particularly sensitive given the large regulatory environment – and rightfully so. Having the trust of the food processors and producers we sell to is extremely important to our reputation as a distributor.
We talk a lot about food grade FIBCs on this blog. At National Bulk Bag, we believe (especially in the food grade industry) it’s extremely important to build an educational database for our customers and potential customers. The food industry is a heavily regulated industry where mistakes can be extremely costly. Contamination, regulatory violations, and improper food handling are unacceptable and can be downright dangerous.
BRC (British Retail Consortium), now recently rebranded to BRCGS (British Retail Consortium Global Standards) has recently updated the guidelines for their standards with their Issue 8 release.
We at National Bulk Bag take a lot of pride in our ability to be a spot-need filler of FIBCs. However, as the industry has transformed, so have we – and part of that process has been becoming more of a solutions provider in the industry as opposed to just a spot-need filler. Dealing with businesses looking for larger and more complex solutions has also drastically changed the product offerings we deliver to our customers as a distributor.