Wilsam – Supplying customised baking and pastry packaging
Supplying customised baking and pastry packaging. Wilsam is the leading supplier of customised bakery and pastry packaging in South Africa.
In 1931 when my grandfather started importing paper from Norway they loaded the reels into the vessels using fishing nets and loose packed them in the bow of the boats.’ says Jeremy Samson a third-generation paper converter and trader.
Originally they had planned to set up a business in Singapore when they travelled from Norway but ended up taking a break in Cape Town and never left.’ That was 89 years ago, the business has undergone a few permutations and changes since then but remains true to its original ideal which was to convert highly specialised papers for food industry.
My family back in Norway run a chain of bakeries in Oslo and work with baking papers, greaseproof papers and presentation packaging daily. We bring papers in from Scandinavia and print, cut and convert it to all sorts of sizes and shapes. We have an ISO and Halaal accredited factory in Wetton employing around 40 staff as well as a warehouse where we carry hundreds of tons of reel stock for customers.
The Scandinavians are considered the worlds most ethical supplier of paper. Their raw materials are FSC certified and slow grown in the colder climate creating paper that is stronger than Asian papers. For every tree that is harvested two are planted. The Scandinavian forests are bigger now than they were twenty years ago.’
Demand for hygiene and food related packaging has increased substantially in the last years with an added impetus from the recent Covid-19 pandemic.
We’ve seen a move to unbleached / brown papers as well as reel stock for smaller bakeries and household uses. People need to be assured that the product they are using is ethically produced and will align with the values of their bakery or bistro.
The paper helps reduce the amount of cleaning required and saves water which was a big theme here in Cape Town a year or two ago. Now the focus is on hygiene and the importance of reduced human contact with the product.
‘I remain very upbeat about the prospects down here, there is always something to keep you on your toes in Africa and the growth prospects are good. I expect the business will still be around in another 89 year time and my current prediction is that it will outlive Eskom.’
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