Greg Gorski has broad experience in the returnable packaging, agri-business, renewable bio diesel, and consumer products industries.
Editor: How long you have been with Tosca, and where did you work before that?
Gorski: I’ve been at Tosca as Vice President of Operations for five years. The functions of plant management, engineering, asset management, food safety, and purchasing all report to me. Before joining Tosca, I was at Sanimax, a company that reclaims byproducts from the food industry, renews them, and returns them to the market in a new form. And before that, I worked at Kimberly Clark for 21 years, leading many areas including manufacturing, engineering, research, and product development. I’m a graduate of University of Wisconsin and also a SME certified Green Manufacturing Specialist.
Editor: Give us an overview of what Tosca does.
Gorski: Our headquarters are in Atlanta and Green Bay. We focus primarily in the perishables market and have product lines and services for the 640 cheese industry, beer, fresh produce, and meat industries. We provide what’s needed, at every turn, to get product from the farm or field to the shopping cart. We pride ourselves on delivering a total supply chain solution.
We have both standardized and customized containers to meet the customer’s unique needs. In addition to developing new containers, we reuse and repair many of our containers, keeping them in service longer. When a container is eventually taken out of use, the plastic or wood cheese boxes are repurposed into another form.
Editor: Describe some of the challenges you see that impede companies from implementing reusable packaging.
Gorski: One of the biggest hurdles is having the dialogue and understanding of the total delivered cost of their system. There are a lot of stakeholders and decision makers involved, and there needs to be a solution that will work for everyone. Tosca is really good at helping companies understand their supply chains and at identifying opportunities, like reducing product shrink, to improve it.
Editor: Describe some of the successes that Tosca has had in the market.
Gorski: We work in a lot of different markets, and have outstanding relationships and a track record of innovation with many great companies. In our Protein segment, we’ve been pretty innovative with Kroger on several RPC offerings and Oscar Meyer on bulk applications. We helped Kraft and the cheese makers and cutters reduce their costs without sacrificing quality by using our cheese box and patented stretch wrap system. In our Beer Segment, we’ve worked closely with MillerCoors on projects that have allowed them to focus on their core competencies while improving their machine throughput and key quality. There are many more projects, but those come to mind.
Editor: What is on the horizon for the reusable market?
Gorski: There will continue to be a lot of emphasis on food safety. The new FSMA guidelines and expectations of government are real game changers. There will be a lot of discussion about who is responsible for what, and how do partners in the supply chain work together to deliver the best and safest quality to the customers. Also, fuel costs are going to remain high. That’s the new norm and companies need to figure out, with the right partners, how to manage that.
Editor: Why did you join the RPA’s RPC Food Safety Standards Committee?
Gorski: Individual companies are stronger when we align our thinking and support, and speak with one voice. That’s one of the key benefits of the RPA.
Editor: You also joined the board of the RPA this year. What prompted you to do that?
Gorski: Compared to Europe, reusables are still a relatively new and growing business in the US. I want to help shape the direction of the industry; we are just scratching the surface right now.
Editor: Is there a particular challenge or issue that you think the RPA should address?
Gorski: The RPA has had some success tackling some key problems, but we need to find more of those common issues and come up with tangible results that are meaningful to everyone. The problem of plastic pirates who are stealing containers and selling them to re-grinders is one opportunity.
Editor: What do you do for fun when you are not working?
Gorski: I’ve been married 24 years and have three great kids so we spend a lot of enjoyable time at soccer and band events. We love living up here in Wisconsin and all the outdoor opportunities it brings. My wife is an accomplished Ironman and has run more than 50 marathons. I love spending time hunting, or in a canoe in the remote wilderness between the Minnesota/Canadian border.