More than one billion cement bags made from Mondi sack kraft paper for Constantia Afripack

Publication Date:

30 March 2017

Pioneering the cement bag using two-ply Mondis Advantage Select sack kraft paper – just one milestone within more than 40 years of collaboration between Mondi and Constantia Afripack

Vienna, 30 March 2017 – The story of Mondi, the international packaging and paper group, and the South African packaging and bags producer Constantia Afripack spans more than 40 years. In the sack kraft paper business, the two companies have been doing business since 1993. That is when Constantia Afripack took the strategic decision to put its supply chain management on a broader basis by opening up a supply alternative to local sack kraft paper production.

“In 1993 the South African market was emerging and fast developing, therefore, we decided to go new ways in terms of supply chain management to follow the market demand for high-quality cement bags and to increase production security,” explains Arnold Vermaak, Chairman of Constantia Afripack. With a supply potential of four mills, seven paper machines producing a full range of high-quality sack kraft paper, and a well-established international logistics chain, Mondi Sack Kraft Paper has since become Constantia Afripack’s principal supplier.

The Chairman continues, “Alongside security of supply, we were looking for alternatives to satisfy our customers’ growing demand for strong, high-quality sack kraft paper grades to produce our cement bags. The bags had to be suitable for rough handling and fast, dust-free filling, and offer value-added benefits, such as material and cost savings. Mondi Sack Kraft Paper was and still remains the perfect partner. In addition, Mondi Sack Kraft Paper’s technical experts support our team not only with their innovative spirit, but also by supporting us to find the right set-up and performance parameters for our converting machines.”

Partnering with customers to develop innovative solutions

Mondi Sack Kraft Paper also supported Constantia Afripack with setting up a new supply chain management system, which coordinates administrative functions more efficiently, and facilitates the fast and flexible exchange of data and planning information between the companies. Apart from their pioneering approach to the supply chain, Mondi Sack Kraft Paper and Constantia Afripack also initiated innovation in the production and use of cement bags in the South African market. “Partnering up with Mondi in the sack kraft paper business proved to be the cornerstone of further innovation within our own company. The paper grades’ performance and quality are great, which has enabled us to further raise the speed and consistency of production. The tangible benefits include better runnability and reduced waste. Together with Mondi Sack Kraft Paper, we took innovation a step further when we migrated from three-ply to two-ply cement bag production, which triggered additional material and cost economies without compromising quality or strength,” comments Vermaak.

From three plies to two – lighter weight for improved economy

The year 2011 brought a milestone in the history of the partnership between Mondi Sack Kraft Paper and Constantia Afripack with the adoption of the two-ply high porous cement bag by the South African cement industry. According to Vermaak, “Mondi Sack Kraft Paper brought a lot of expertise in two-ply high-porosity bags from Europe and shared this knowledge with us at Constantia Afripack. Most important, they had Advantage Select. We were keen to lead this innovation in South Africa and to make the move to two-ply packaging for cement, and Mondi Sack Kraft Paper helped us on every step of the journey. Advantage Select sack kraft paper allowed us to use only two plies and dispense with perforation, thus significantly reducing paper consumption and dust on our clients’ premises – to mention just two of the benefits. The bag is lighter and easier to produce, yet the paper and bag are stronger than the previous three-ply construction. The bags are better able to withstand the filling operation at our clients’ cement mills, as well as the sometimes rough transportation and handling conditions that prevail in the local building industry,” explains Vermaak. “Together with Mondi Sack Kraft Paper and our clients, we are constantly examining opportunities for further product improvements and innovations that can benefit the end user.”

Conny Josefsson, sales director Sack Kraft Paper, Mondi Europe & International, remarks, “We are immensely proud that Constantia Afripack, the biggest cement bag producer in South Africa, puts its faith in our sack kraft paper for its cement bags. We can look back on a long partnership that has developed and grown in the South African industrial bag market. I value this customer relationship and look forward to further milestones and prosperity for Constantia Afripack.” 



Elisabeth Dock, Communications Manager Packaging Paper
Tel: +43 (0) 664 8446520
Email: [email protected]  

About Mondi


Mondi is an international packaging and paper Group, employing around 25,000 people across more than 30 countries. Our key operations are located in central Europe, Russia, North America and South Africa. In 2016, Mondi had revenues of €6.7 billion and a return on capital employed of 20.3%.

We are fully integrated across the packaging and paper value chain - from managing forests and producing pulp, paper and compound plastics, to developing effective and innovative industrial and consumer packaging solutions. With over 100 products customised into more than 100,000 solutions, we offer more than you may expect. Leading brands around the world rely on our innovative technologies and products across a variety of industries such as agriculture; automotive; building and construction; chemicals and dangerous goods; food and beverages; graphic and photographic; home and personal care; medical and pharmaceutical; office and professional printing; packaging and paper converting; pet care; retail and e-commerce; and shipping and transport.

We believe sustainable development makes good business sense. It’s integral to our responsible and profitable growth, and embedded in everything we do, every day. We continue to look for ways to do more with less, promote the responsible management of ecosystems, develop and inspire our people, and enhance the value that our sustainable product solutions create.

Mondi has a dual listed company structure, with a primary listing on the JSE Limited for Mondi Limited under the ticker code MND and a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange for Mondi plc, under the ticker code MNDI. We have been included in the FTSE4Good Index Series since 2008 and the JSE’s Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Index since 2007.