Investor Spotlight


Gary Johnson - 250pxlsGary Johnson

President
Maritime Paper Products Ltd.


 

 

This month we talked to Gary Johnson, President of Maritime Paper Products Limited. Maritime Paper Products is proudly rooted on Canada’s East Coast, with four manufacturing facilities specializing in seafood, farming, beverages, brewing, and food products.

Tell us about Maritime Paper Products and the greatest opportunities/challenges that lie ahead?

"Maritime Paper Products, established in 1931, is a manufacturer of corrugated packaging products servicing Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Northeastern USA, as well as offshore exports to the Caribbean. The company’s main production facility and head office is located in Burnside Industrial Park with additional manufacturing and distribution facilities in Moncton, St. John’s, and Summerside (distribution only), employing approximately 215 full-time employees in total. We are predominately a B2B supplier of custom packaging services from a plain brown box (shipping and storage) to high graphic, retail-ready packaging and “Point of Purchase” displays. Our customer base is diverse in all aspects of business from the seasonality, to the vast array of products, to the various size and scope of individual accounts, and the ranging degree of custom packaging services required.

From our perspective, we see great opportunity in growing the manufacturing and processing sector in Atlantic Canada. Having a healthy manufacturing base is vital to the overall economic strength of the region. We are challenged by high inbound transportation cost and high energy cost. One way to lessen this burden is to become more relevant by growing our production and processing base. On a larger scale, we need to attract more people through immigration and retention strategies. People create markets, markets attract investment. I believe strongly that, as a region, we are well positioned to meet this challenge.

It is incumbent on us to invest in innovation, keep our operations modern, and improve productivity in support of this growth."

 

What do you see as the greatest advantages of operating a business in Halifax? 

"Halifax has every possible advantage to offer business. However, I truly believe that one of our greatest advantages is the availability and quality of our workforce. Halifax offers an affordable lifestyle and world class academic and technical expertise backed by a strong college and university system. And, from a manufacturing standpoint, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Halifax also offers the unique advantage of sitting on an ice-free deep-water port capable of shipping around the world."

 

Hiring youth is important to the economic growth of Nova Scotia. What is Maritime Paper Products doing?

"Maritime Paper Products, being in business for over 86 years, has gone through many cycles of hiring and retaining young employees. Young employees today want to be challenged and involved. Our focus is to provide stable employment that includes specialized training, opportunities for personal growth, family support, and comprehensive remuneration and benefit packages. To further support youth, we provide scholarship opportunities to employee families, we hire co-op students, and we commit to offering summer employment opportunities to post-secondary students every year.

We believe we have a responsibility and a role to play in providing opportunities for youth. When we hire a new young employee, it is with the intention of providing that employee with a long-term outcome that is mutually beneficial to both the employee and the company."