John Blessing
Regional Sales Manager

Irish industry and customer requirements have changed over the past 30 years. It’s what makes John Blessing’s job so interesting, adapting and responding flexibly as new needs arise.

John has worked at Kingspan – and now Inokor - for 27 of the past 30 years. He joined the company in 1993 and then left six years later to broaden his experience - first within an injection moulding company and then working for an industrial furniture manufacturer. These three years outside the company gave him a wider perspective while affirming to him that Kingspan was where he really wanted to be. He returned in 2002 and has been here ever since. 

Over that time, he’s seen the industry change as Ireland’s manufacturing base has changed. In the 1990s, for example, global electronics manufacturers needed high-volume packaging solutions. Today, John still looks after product manufacturers, but the high-volume requirements have been replaced by more high-value, complex and customised solutions required by food and pharmaceutical industries, for example. 

John thrives in this environment, driving forward the business with enthusiasm. A big part of that comes down to the people: “I love the interaction with customers and have made long-term friendships and business relationships,” he says, adding that the nature of the job is important too. “We are problem solvers and I love to find the best possible solutions for customers. It requires a lot of autonomy and flexibility in my job - also from colleagues.”

We feel a responsibility to society to develop new technologies and innovate to make high-value materials that are future-proof and lend themselves to export.

John Blessing, Regional Sales Manager

New developments on the horizon

John sees further changes on the horizon. “The demand for sustainable materials is growing and we want to play a leading role in providing solutions. We see regulations and consumer perceptions changing fast. Thanks to the strong relationships and trust that have built up over the years – as well as our ability to innovate - customers are approaching Inokor for alternatives,” he explains.  

“I can source new materials for customers, but none currently offer the performance of our existing products,” he adds. “That’s why we have a strong focus on bringing in our own new materials and technologies. It is where our future opportunities lie. It’s not just about the business, we feel a responsibility to society to develop new technologies and innovate to make high-value materials that are future-proof and lend themselves to export.” 

It will be no surprise that the breakthrough innovation he would most like to see is a sustainable packaging solution which offers the same benefits of those he currently works with. “We need to be innovative and take risks,” he says. “If, through trial and error, we can come up with one or two, we will be at the forefront of the packaging revolution.”

Widespread recycling would be a dream

John is also keen to see widespread recycling. “Expanded Polystyrene is fully recyclable. It offers other environmental benefits as it has a small environmental footprint with superior performance, and reduces wastage of food and fish products during transportation.” 

Ireland provides a good example in respect of recycling and he would love to see its polystyrene collection scheme replicated elsewhere. “Practically all the fish boxes are recycled in Ireland. Ironically, these typically come from Scotland and the Faroe Islands where the fish are caught. Our own fish boxes are mainly used for export to countries which have no similar schemes. We can share these examples of good practice and, at the same time, we want to play an active role in making the dream of a more widespread sustainable reality come true.”

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At the heart of our business are people who care about the needs of our customers. We’ve done this for a long time, we understand the technology and we take pride in helping customers to find the right solution. This is what sets us apart.