A combination of creativity, aesthetic sensitivity and excellence has enabled Italy’s Fiorini International Group to establish itself as a European leader in the production of paper shopping bags. It is also a company with a strong focus on minimising its environmental impact.
Giovanbattista Fiorini founded what would become Fiorini International with his father-in-law in Senigallia, in Italy’s Ancona province, in 1946. The company, then Sacart, produced 50-kilogram paper bags for cement. That same year his son Luigi Fiorini was born, with, as he says, “paper in my blood”. In the mid-1970s, Fiorini diversified to make smaller bags for supermarket use, making the consumer the end-user.
In 1993, with Luigi at the helm, Fiorini bought a company that made shopping bags in both paper and plastic. “We decided to focus exclusively on paper and eliminated the production of plastic bags,” he recalls. Corporate environmental policies increasingly favoured paper over its non-biodegradable alternative.
Consumer trends led to the development and production of bags directed towards the consumer and fashion sectors. In 1996, a new office was established in Milan with a Paris office opening in 2003. Expansion continued to include a new HQ in Trecastelli, Italy, together with facilities in the Czech Republic and Shanghai.
Today, the Fiorini product mix includes small bags of one- and two-ply material, with windows and sealed bottoms as well as ‘special’ bags with look-through windows, net windows, film coating, gold hot foil stamping and easy openings. The special bags, in particular, have become a vital part of many well-known luxury brands. These solutions require high-quality paper and in anticipation of this, Fiorini switched from Italian to Scandinavian paper suppliers. “What matters most in our business is the quality of the source material, so we went to Scandinavia,” explains Luigi Fiorini.
BillerudKorsnäs entered the picture in 2012 when the company acquired UPM-Kymmene’s packaging paper business. Fiorini was one of the existing customers and BillerudKorsnäs has since then worked hard to maintain and develop the relationship.
“This kind of client and relationship is very important to us,” says Marcus Lager, Business Segment Director at BillerudKorsnäs. “They have a high demand for quality and are aiming to expand their business. A co-operation like this helps us to open new markets and develop new business.”
“We worked closely together in the first years with meetings and exchanges, back and forth to ensure its success,” adds Fiorini. The result he says “is mutually satisfying, fair and open”.
During the selection of suppliers for raw materials, Fiorini International is very careful to take the environment into account and is one of the founding members of COMIECO (National Cooperative for the Re-utilisation and Recycling of cellulose packaging) and is also registered to CONAI (National Cooperative of Packaging) with PEFC™ and FSC® certifications.
BillerudKorsnäs, is the main paper supplier to Fiorini, confirmed by their numerous certifications PEFC™ certification and FSC® certifications.