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Laoganma – Change to PVC-free closures

Laoganma – also known as Old Godmother – manufactures the most popular chili sauces in China. But not only in China: these products are also exported to the USA, Australia and more than 30 other countries around the world. The company produces and seals no fewer than 1.3 million bottles per day and currently employs more than 4,000 people. And anyone going into a supermarket or restaurant in China is familiar with this brand as it is practically impossible to avoid.

The chili sauce was first developed and launched onto the market in 1984 by Mrs. Huabi Tan, who has owned the Laoganma Special Flavour Foodstuffs Company since 1997 when she started off with 40 employees. Her son, Li Guishan, is the company’s first president and his assets were estimated to amount to 190 million USD (1.3 billion Yuan) by the “Woman of China” magazine back in January 2011, rising to 540 million USD in 2013. Huabi Tan, who was crowned the “Spiciest Woman of China” by social media in February 2014, has meanwhile retired. Born in 1947, she never went to school or learned how to read or write, but made it onto the Forbes Rich List.

“Food safety, premium quality and sustainability are the key terms” in the corporate philosophy “which we value most”, claims the company on its website. Hence the decision to change over entirely to PROVALIN®.

Not least due to the corresponding EU guidelines (incl. EU 10/2011 and PIM), PROVALIN® was developed, tested and refined around ten years ago, gradually reaching market maturity as of 2010, and has been a commercial product since 2011. Meanwhile, the PROVALIN® family has grown to include a variety of models in compliance with various contents and filling processes (e.g. for the cold chain, for oily ingredients, for sterilization and pasteurization, for P/T caps etc.). Now accounting for more than one billion seals a year in the European market, there is no alternative to this PVC-free solution which will also continue to gain additional market share in the future.

After the PVC-free sealing ring has very successfully asserted itself in glass jar lids in Europe, it is now enjoying increased demand on the Asian market. Following extensive tests, some of the major filling facilities and food producers have opted for PROVALIN® as a compound which is free of PVC and phthalates. And now the world's largest producer of chili sauces – Laoganma – is using PROVALIN® in its seals and has opted to change its entire range over to PROVALIN® sealing compounds.

There are two reasons why filling companies and food producers on the Asian market are also gradually starting to use PVC-free sealing materials: for one thing, food producers are subject to a special “recycling” tax levied by the EPA (Environmental Protection Administration) in Taiwan if they use PVC in their packaging. Secondly, these countries want to export to the European market where strict statutory guidelines need to be observed in terms of the composition of sealing materials, their properties and migration into contents (EU Regulation 10/2011, the so-called PIM). For exporting companies in particular, it is vital that they meet the regulations which apply here. Besides, PROVALIN® is the only possible choice where there is a demand for PVC-free solutions as there is no other adequate one available.

Strict quality criteria are applied for the product range which has meanwhile grown to include a wide variety of products and flavors (chili oil, hot and spicy chili sauces, soy sauces etc., more than 20 varieties in total), documented by HACCP quality controls and ISO certificates, for example. Furthermore, and for the sake of food safety and consumer protection, the company attaches maximum importance to collaboration with the most important industrial associations, statutory institutions and decision-makers, as well as test institutes in order to offer the best quality at all times. This is yet another reason why Laoganma is a suitable partner. After all, both quality management and environmental management play a key role at ACTEGA DS. Conserving resources, avoiding pollutive waste, reducing emissions, optimizing processes, and saving time and money are important goals which are consistently implemented.

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