Eagle Protect started in New Zealand over 12 years ago and currently supplies 80% of NZ’s globally recognized primary food industry. Protecting workers and meat products at the same time is something we are dang good at.
This Kiwi really knows his stuff. Most of his working time is spent on NZ and US meat processing plants, and he is more knowledgeable than most when it comes to glove and food handling products that improve processors work. We sat down with Kyle (after promising him a stiff cup of coffee) and asked him a few questions.
How do meat processors usually respond when you start talking about disposable gloves?
“It's not an overly exciting discussion, until we talk about the potential risks with bad choices in hand protection. Our products, nitrile gloves, is the last line of defense before their meat goes into its nice box or packaging, so they have to be safe and clean. In the main, I have found the US industry has used the same product for many years. Similar to a product used in NZ and Aussie years ago. Eagle Protect has provided specialist glove products for the meat industry by being present on facilities, involving production teams, and workers - the folks who work with these products everyday. Gloves tend to be the very last pages of a PPE catalog, but it’s all we do. So we not only offer something new, but something that's a better fit and in most cases reduces costs. We have introduced new nitrile glove technology, like our Blue Diamond Textured and Double Tough nitrile gloves. And already they're being used in some major US facilities with great feedback - mainly around fit and durability.”
"One thing I've noticed, is that the meat industry here in the US was, or is, ready for change."
Can Eagle gloves make an immediate impact?
“Absolutely! An easy example is most US meat processors use a green or blue 11 mil household rubber-type glove because that’s what they’ve historically used. We can replace it with our strong 9 mil Blue Diamond Textured glove, which is significantly, and I mean significantly, cheaper! Safer, cleaner and just as durable at about half the cost. This is a great conversation starter.”
“We have the attention of some big players in the meat game and have been getting great feedback about the gloves.”
Durability & price are obvious factors. What are other benefits to using Eagle disposable gloves meat processors may not think of?
“The sustainability aspect, I think, is unexpected by most in the beef industry, but now becoming a focus for some plants. Our gloves are ambidextrous so less gloves are ordered, used and tossed away. They are also a high-quality strong, glove with a unique grip design which has been a real talking point, specifically in harvest and fabrication. The reduced glove weight increases efficiencies in packing and shipping and can considerably reduce glove waste.”
“Our gloves are more sustainable as well because they don’t require washing, which is a costly water, time and labor intensive process.”
What makes Eagle gloves different?
“A huge part is our 12+ years of experience with meat processing. Not many suppliers can walk through the plant and make suggestions to make your plant more efficient or safer. And we won’t put a glove on a worker that's simply not fit for purpose - nobody wins that game. Gloves are a tool of trade and need to assist the worker.”
“I also feel Eagle Protect is unique with our transparent supply chain. We ethically source each glove from single factories, personally visit and audit them, ensure no slave or child labor, allow no raw material substitutions and make sure they are manufactured to the highest standards.”
And that’s just gloves! We have a huge range of disposable clothing designed specifically for meat processing - like our disposable poly smocks, sleeved smocks and aprons - These are new to the US Industry but have been used in NZ and Australia for many years. Like our gloves, the meat industry here will be very interested in this range.
Have a question or want to chat with a glove expert? Click below!