PEI Bag Company Ltd., Central Bedeque
Since 1935, the PEI Bag Company has supplied packaging to industries such as agriculture, aquaculture, food, and construction.
The company has almost 40 employees. “On the production floor, we have many people with 10 to 20 years of experience, and one staff member had 55 years of service before she retired last summer,” says Thane Smallwood, who is a Mechanical and Industrial Engineer by trade.
“Our long-term staff are the heart and soul of the company. However, we are always looking for new employees as well. Typically, our new staff start in entry-level positions and if they prove themselves, we try to advance them as opportunities present themselves.
“We do more than $10 million in sales annually. Roughly 40 percent of our sales are finished products brought in from India, China, and Halifax. Sixty percent of our sales are products manufactured in Central Bedeque by our own employees. Atlantic Canada is our primary market, with about 20 percent of sales delivered to US customers.
“Part of the PEI potato crop is shipped in large 2,500 totes into larger markets such as Boston, New York, Quebec, and Ontario. Those potatoes then are graded, weighed and placed into consumer packaging. We sell final packaging to some of those customers as well.
“The next opportunity will be in Quebec and Ontario, where we will be competing against China. We can’t compete exactly on price, but we are willing to fill a need for small orders, offer a quicker turn-around, and buyers don’t need to wait four months for their product to arrive in large containers.
“Our biggest barrier to expansion is workforce resources. We are training business development resources in-house with education and knowledge, and we are also trying to hire expertise to assist as we expand sales.
“It has been a challenge to find sales people who have the expertise to be off and running within six months. We need to train current employees who can grow their knowledge of our business, help with our export growth, and ramp up our sales revenue.”
For more information, visit www.peibag.com.