It’s been quite a year! The last few years have brought ‘ups and downs’ for the business community, from the economic fall-out from the pandemic and Brexit to rises in energy prices, but as we look back over the last 12 months, 2023 was when we perhaps began to see light at the end of the tunnel.
Of course, there are still challenges ahead, but at Woolcool® we are now looking forward to 2024, developing new products and identifying exciting opportunities. In every challenging time, there are also opportunities, after all Woolcool® was born out of the chaos of 2008!
So, what were the stand-out moments of 2023? As always, we continued to develop our award-winning product range. There was the first reveal and soft launch of FreightGUARDIAN®, our innovative pallet cover, which we expect to launch officially next year.
We saw a re-focus on LifeGUARDIAN®, our established game-changing temperature-controlled packaging solution for the Pharmaceutical sector, to raise the bar further in passive packaging performance. We also began exciting new work in other sectors, such as protective packaging, and continued to grow our Hortiwool® range into Garden Centres across the UK.
Our Woolcool® family of clients, suppliers and customers grew with the addition of new partners, including KatKin 100% Real Meat Cat Food, and exciting new partners in the pharmaceutical sector.
And, of course, we were delighted to continue nurturing relationships with the many long-standing and cherished partners who have been an essential part of the Woolcool® success story.
2023 saw that success story spread around the world, as we accepted our first orders from as far afield as Singapore, Israel and Kenya. Next year, we have ambitious international growth plans into existing and new territories.
It was a great privilege to be asked to take part in conversations on how business can evolve to contribute to tackling the climate crisis.
As true pioneers in the science of sustainable packaging, our influence also went global as our Managing Director, Josie Morris MBE, appeared on a panel at COP28 in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, representing the MSME community for the ICC and WTO.
As a business that was founded on an ethos of sustainability, it was a great privilege to be asked to take part in conversations on how business can evolve to contribute to tackling the climate crisis.
But, while these exciting global developments have provided some of our highlights for 2023, Woolcool® remains a close-knit family business, that is embedded in its community and supported by a broader family of cherished partners, some of whom have been with us for many, many years. We have continued to engage with local charities and community groups, as well as feeding into vital local policy for the area.
We have also proud to have added a couple more awards to our cabinet, including Highly Commended in the Staffordshire University Business of the Year Award and the titles for the Midlands & Central region and Innovation & Sustainability Family Business of the Year. Our founder Angela was also awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for her incredible achievements over her long and successful career.
In 2023 our team grew again as we took on new team members, and some of our colleagues welcomed new arrivals to their own families, with the birth of a number of new Woolcool® babies… the future of Woolcool®! Succession planning in full force.
As we look back at 2023, and look forward to 2024, it is that sense of family that we reflect on, whether it’s the team that creates our award-winning products, the community of clients and suppliers who share out success, or the global community that share our sustainable ideals.
From everyone at Woolcool®, have a Happy Christmas and happy, prosperous New Year.