Paper and flexible packaging company James River Corp. of Richmond, Va., plans to expand output of polyethylene bakery bags at its food bag plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico, early next year. In addition, according to Joe Moran, sales and marketing vice president of the group's flexible packaging business, the company hopes to add a film printing facility there.
The plant, 300 miles north of Mexico City, began operating last year after James River reached an agreement with several Mexican bakery firms to supply bread bags. Most prominent among the client firms is the Bimbo group.
The 50,000-square-foot plant, equipped with three bag-converting lines, processes PE film produced and printed by James River in the United States. Currently, the unit, which employs about 50, operates two shifts, five days a week.
James River hopes Bimbo, which manufactures some bags itself, will become its biggest customer.
The Aguascalientes plant is James River's first venture into production in Latin America and the beginning of an expansion effort in the region, Moran said.
Before the Mexican plant opened, James River sold several food packaging products into the region, including HDPE cereal carton liners and coextruded and laminated products. Those products were manufactured in the United States.
Today James River also sells flexible packaging to Colombia and Venezuela and has paper business in Central America, Moran said.