It was in 1998, that Joe Foster made the decision to leave the corporate world, with the intent of “flying solo’’, which saw the birth of Foster International Packaging out of a small back room in Cape Town. With a focus on the South African market, and by working closely with local converters, Foster Packaging began to build its foundation in South Africa, but Joe had the urge to broaden his horizons…
The early inclusion of the world “international” was prophetic. With an export program in place in 1998, a supply base established in China in 2001, and Joe’s relocation to Ireland to establish a market in Europe, saw Foster International Packaging at the forefront of the global market. The company saw exceptional growth in the European and South African markets from the year 2003 throughout the years until 2008, as well as a growth in company volume and in 2013 Foster International Packaging in South Africa saw an expansion with a new office in Johannesburg being established.
In 2009, Foster International Packaging was crowned the first business in the world to establish a dedicated short-run digitally printed flexible packaging facility, meeting short-run requirements for pouches, films, and bags. A dedicated short-run facility established in Ireland, allowed Foster International Packaging to supply short-run flexible packaging to its growing US, Irish and UK markets, as well as supporting the African market via the Cape Town office.
First Logo – (1998)
First Office – Cape Town (1998)
Joe Foster – Propak (2005)
First Products- (1998)
In 2012, an opportunity to start a packaging company aimed at start-up ventures arose, and Joe Foster and Chris O’brien took this opportunity to start The Pouch Shop. This enterprise helps businesses to get going and once they’re strong enough to have their own branding on their pouches, they’re passed over to Foster Packaging.
In 2010, Foster Packaging saw a further move- this time to Australia – where Foster Packaging Australia was established, among other things, breaking fresh ground by offering digital printing for short runs in flexible packaging. 2016 saw a key development – a merger between Foster Packaging Australia and Omniverse, resulting in Omniverse Foster Packaging. This followed some years of collaboration with the owners deciding to pool their resources, and expertise, creating a broader global footprint, better purchasing power, improved stock management, and more efficient supply chain logistics. The merger allowed for both companies to move out of the SME space, creating a mid-tier supplier as an alternative to major packaging manufacturers and importers. In 2019, Omniverse Foster Packaging saw an identity change and rebranded their name to “O F Packaging”, and this name has become widely recognized throughout Australia, and globally. https://ofpack.com.au/
Omniverse Foster Logo (2016)
O F Packaging Logo (2023)
In 2021, O F Packaging and Close The Loop merged to form and ASX list Close The Loop Group (CLG), which led to Foster International Packaging becoming a division of this group. The merger allowed for advanced innovation in product development, as well as end-to-end solutions across packaging to be created. As with becoming a division of CLG and sustainability becoming the core of their innovation efforts, we at Foster International Packaging realized that we were more than capable of targeting the South African and International sustainability markets, with the main goal of working towards a more sustainable future for packaging. https://fosterpackaging.com/sustainable-packaging/
Foster International Packaging’s 25-year journey has not been without its trials and tribulations, but it has been this that has molded the company into what it is today. With offices in both Cape Town and Johannesburg, a team with extensive experience in the packaging industry, storage capabilities, and housing the pouch shop, this shows that the company has most certainly grown from nothing into something but it would not be without the confident sales representatives, establishing relationships with customers and listening to their needs, or dedicated sales administrators, keeping customers in the loop from order placement all the way through until delivery, or driven management staff that ensure the constant smooth running of the business, that Foster Packaging would be where it is today. Anybody would be hard pressed to find a company that is as competent and as dedicated as us! Who would have thought that such an established company came from such humble beginnings?