Tray sealing specialist Proseal UK has marked its 20th anniversary year by winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of International Trade. The company received the honor in recognition of its outstanding continuous growth over the last six years.

Based in Adlington, Cheshire, Proseal designs and manufactures high quality automatic tray sealing machines, conveyor systems, and sealing tools for the food industry and other applications. The award comes after a period in which Proseal achieved strong sales in both its home and export markets, creating many new jobs in the process that have increased the number of employees to over 300 in the UK to nearly 400 worldwide.

This impressive growth has culminated, in the last year, with the company’s best ever performance in international trade. The Proseal USA and Proseal Australia subsidiary businesses along with a growing network of thirteen global distributors have helped Proseal gain an impressive 52% of sales in export markets in 2017. The company also enjoys strong business in mainland European countries such as the Netherlands, Ireland, Germany and Spain, and has developed new markets in Southeast Asia, China, Turkey, North Africa, South Africa and South America.

As a result of these successes, Proseal now has a presence on every continent except Antarctica.

“We’re honoured and delighted to have received the Queen’s Award for International Trade – and the fact that it comes during our 20th anniversary year makes it all the sweeter,” comments Steve Malone, Proseal’s Director, who together with Robert Hargreaves founded the company in 1998. “Early on we identified that expanding our presence overseas would be critical to our continued growth and the award is testament to this strategy.”

Proseal’s impressive performance has been supported by the company’s ongoing investment in research and development, which has seen the introduction of models that have broken new ground in tray sealing technology and opened up new applications. For example, the company developed the first machine to erect, fill and seal cardboard skillets for sandwiches, which has facilitated the move away from plastic packs for many leading retailers. Its advanced sealing technology has also been behind the move in the soft fruit sector from clamshell and clip-on lids to simple thin top sealed film for plastic punnets, reducing packaging materials by as much as 33%. More recently, Proseal has worked with tray manufacturers to develop a sealing system for a new generation of board-based MAP-capable food trays produced from sustainable cardboard that delivers optimal conservation of the packed product.

Just as important has been Proseal’s continuing investment in its people. Training has been a key element of the company’s operation from the very beginning, with comprehensive programmes that have seen many recruits promoted to senior positions over the years. In addition, Proseal has established close links with local colleges to offer work experience and has recently opened its own dedicated training centre to bring on the next generation of engineers. A friendly and open working environment has also underlined this people-centred approach.

“We have always prided ourselves on being a warm and welcoming company in which any employee, no matter what their position, can contribute ideas,” continues Steve Malone. “Sometimes this idea will be just the solution we were looking for – so we benefit as a company from this approach and our ongoing commitment to training. People are at the heart of Proseal – and as this has now led to the Queen’s Award, I’d like to thank everyone for their contributions. Our success will only encourage us more to keep innovating and exploring new opportunities.”

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