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Profiling Zimele Packing Solutions

Translated from Xhosa, Zimele means to be independent, or to represent oneself, and this is exactly what Janine Roberts, founder of Zimele Packing Solutions, is doing.

Fulfilling a need for customers who require a niche, hand-packed service Zimele contract packs dry food and pharmaceutical products, as well as gifts and promotional packs.

‘I became aware of the many businesses that require smaller packing runs for products needing specific attention to detail, that cannot be processed in large, automated factories,’ Janine responds when asked about her motivation to launch Zimele.

Now, just six months later, and on the verge of acquiring its HACCAP accreditation, no job is too big, too small or, indeed, too complicated for the focused attention of the versatile team at Zimele. The factory is already Kosher and Halaal accredited.

Janine believes that this business is about a personal touch and a strong focus on customer care. ‘Each account is managed on an individual basis with the utmost care and attention, and strict adherence to food safety standards,’ explains Janine.

Anthony Posemann of Universal Vision and Janine Roberts with his latest order of Himalayan Crystal Salt that is hand packed.
Zimele Packing

Besides contract packing, Janine also offers to store and/or distribute products for small and medium size businesses from her 220m2 factory in Westlake Business Park, Cape Town.

Janine has vast product development experience from her consultancy work for her previous business, Pigs Can Fly, so product development solutions are part of the service she offers. ‘My aim is to partner with like-minded businesses that are producing natural and organic products that retain their intrinsic properties,’ Janine enthuses.

Ethical is a word that clearly sums up Janine and the philosophy behind Zimele: ‘My aim is to support small business by sharing knowledge and ideas. I’m also sensitive to the impact of packaging on the environment and consciously support recycling and “greener” packaging alternatives.’

From a staffing point of view, Janine has established an empowerment programme to create opportunities to uplift and develop unemployed women. ‘By doing this, I’m enabling these women to build their confidence and skills which, in turn, helps to positively influence their communities,’ Janine explains.

Besides the long hours and sleepless nights, which anyone who has started his or her own business will know only too well, Janine is well on the road to success. ‘It’s been tough and exhilarating but I firmly believe in what I’m doing and am passionate about Zimele, its team and the service we offer our customers. I can’t wait to get to work every day and make a difference,’ Janine comments happily.

Anthony Posemann of Universal Vision has been a customer since Janine opened her doors in September last year. ‘The friendly, well-trained team at Zimele is focused on ensuring that our requirements and high standards are consistently met and our products packed perfectly every time,’ Anthony says.

Zimele’s flexibility and willingness to accommodate special requests, for large and small packing runs, have also made a marked difference to his business: ‘Janine’s expertise in packing and product development has been valuable for Universal Vision and her advice and innovative suggestions for
tailor-made packaging solutions are excellent. I would highly recommend Zimele to any business looking for that extra care and attention to detail when it comes to packing and developing their products,’ he concludes.

Zimele Packing Solutions
T +27 021 7011159

First published in PACKAGiNG & Print Media, February 2011

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