A$72 million packaging plant to boost fresh-food exports

Oji Fibre Solutions (OjiFS) is a major supplier of market pulp, paper and fibre-based packaging materials. The company’s Japanese parent, Oji Holdings, jointly acquired the company in 2014 with its investment partner Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, and is introducing packaging technology that opens fresh prospects for foods exporters in New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

One way that Australian business benefits from inward investment is when overseas companies create new goods that prove game-changers in existing supply chains. Oji Fibre Solutions (OjiFS) is a typical example. The company’s Tokyo-based parent, Oji Holdings, is the fifth largest pulp and paper company in the world, and OjiFS’s new, A$72 million greenfield corrugated packaging facility at Yatala on the Gold Coast will use technology that is new to Australia and complement the company’s existing manufacturing sites in New South Wales and Victoria.

Queensland suppliers of fresh foods, meat and dairy are set to be the initial beneficiaries, with further plans to expand to northern Queensland and the Northern Territory. Oji Holdings’ manufacturing expertise, combined with characterised paper from OjiFS’s mill in New Zealand, enables it to create packaging that is tailored to suit the climatic conditions in which fresh produce is packed and transported. As a result, agribusinesses in Queensland will be able to despatch fresh foods to markets and consumers in Asia, confident they will arrive in pristine condition.

The company’s General Manager in Australia, Nick Molloy, says the new factory is a response to increasing demand for corrugated packaging in Queensland. ‘Oji Fibre Solutions is broadly recognised for our high-performance products – particularly for demanding supply chains,’ he says. ‘We look forward to offering customers more choice.’

World-class factory technology

With access to Oji Holdings’ network and its technical expertise around the world, OjiFS can also bring international best practice to factory design. The company’s new automated facility in Yatala will operate to a 5 Star Green Star environmental rating. It will also consume less water and electricity than comparable corrugated packing plants in line with the company’s future-focused approach to sustainability. OjiFS is committed to delivering innovative, environmentally sustainable products and aims to connect with customers and provide solutions that enhance their competitiveness.

OjiFS is one of Australasia’s leading producers of market pulp, paper and fibre-based packaging. The Australasian head office is based in Auckland, New Zealand and is an integral part of Oji Holdings, as both have origins in paper milling companies founded over a century ago. The integrated business group, which was acquired by Oji Holdings in 2014, was built by Carter Holt Harvey and has been one of the biggest paper-pulp and packaging businesses in the Australia–New Zealand market since the 1970s.

Announced in 2016, the new Yatala factory is the company’s first major expansion since the business was purchased by Oji Holdings and renamed Oji Fibre Solutions. It will add 50 employees. The plant gained support from the Queensland Government through the Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund, and the Gold Coast City Council, through the Investment Attraction Program.

Japan’s paper giant

Oji Holdings was founded in Japan more than 140 years ago. In 1873, one of the leading figures in Japan’s modernisation movement, Ei-ichi Shibusawa, established Shoshi Kaisha, the first company to mass-produce paper in Japan. The company was renamed Oji Paper in 1893, after the Tokyo suburb where the company’s first mill was set up.

By the early 1930s, Oji Paper had expanded and merged with two other companies – Fuji Paper and Karafuto Industries – to become the dominant paper manufacturer in Japan, with an 80 per cent market share.

Oji Paper’s first move into Australasia came in 1971, establishing Pan Pac, a forestry and pulp-manufacturing joint venture in New Zealand. From the 1980s through to the early 2000s, Oji Paper created subsidiaries in Germany, the United States, Canada, China and Thailand, and established Oji Holdings as a worldwide entity. Today, Oji Holdings employs 27,000 workers. It is the world’s fifth largest pulp and paper company with a six per cent global market share.

Oji Fibre Solutions is a company with fresh ideas, optimism and innovative thinking. A company built on a solid heritage.