Self-adhesive materials: Fedrigoni strengthens its presence in the USA with the acquisition of Acucote, an American company.

The Italian group continues its growth strategy in ­­the promising premium self-adhesive products sector, strengthening its position as one of the global market leaders. It can now count on a new plant and a stronger commercial presence in North America (where it was already present with own operations in California and the distributor GPA), together with the Mexican company, Industria Papelera Venus, acquired in December

Milan, 22 June 2021 – Fedrigoni SpA, global group leader in the production of high value-added special papers for packaging, publishing and graphics, as well as premium labels and self-adhesive materials, has completed the acquisition of Acucote Inc., a company headquartered in Graham, North Carolina, which develops, manufactures and distributes self-adhesive materials, with a leading position in the US market, a turnover of over $70 million and 142 employees.

Acucote was founded 34 years ago by John Leath, who owns it together with his family. With one plant and 4 distribution centres, the company is an excellent opportunity for Fedrigoni, which intends to extend its presence in the United States, an extremely interesting market in which the Group is already well known and appreciated for its label materials for fine wines.

With this third acquisition in 18 months, after the Italian Ritrama and the Mexican IP Venus in the self-adhesives sector, Fedrigoni further strengthens its position as the third global player for self-adhesive materials, where it operates through numerous brands such as Arconvert, Manter and Ritrama. The Group is a global leader in wine labelling and plays a leading role in high-tech self-adhesive labels and films for food, household, logistics, pharma, beverage and personal care. Acucote also holds an excellent position in the pharma, architectural graphics, retail and logistics segments, making strategic production, distribution and procurement synergies possible.   ”

The acquisition of Acucote represents a further step in the growth strategy in the increasingly promising self-adhesive materials sector, where we are determined to expand our position as market leader,” stated Marco Nespolo, CEO of Fedrigoni Group, “and it is in line with our wish to diversify our geographical penetration, strengthening our position across the Americas and in particular in the United States.””The new entry to the Group will allow us to increase production capacity directly on site and to distribute throughout the United States, also thanks to the integration with our subsidiary company, GPA, to create excellent procurement alliances and to count on cutting-edge technologies, including in terms of environmental sustainability” added Fulvio Capussotti, Executive Vice President of the Fedrigoni Self-Adhesives division.

John Leath, founder of Acucote, also expressed great satisfaction with the acquisition. “I am leaving my company and my people in good hands, which was my main goal. Fedrigoni is an international group and a solid, rapidly expanding industrial reality, in which I am sure Acucote will be able to grow and consolidate significantly in the coming years.”

Since 1888, Fedrigoni has always meant excellence in the production of special papers. The Group is one of the major European players in the production and sale of different high value-added papers for packaging and graphics, as well as premium products for labelling and other self-adhesive materials. With over 4,000 employees in Italy and internationally, and 25,000 products, Fedrigoni Group sells and distributes to over 130 countries. Amongst its brands, Fedrigoni counts Cordenons and the historic brand Fabriano in its Paper division, with Arconvert, Ritrama (since February 2020) and IP Venus (since December 2020) in its Self-Adhesives division, which, thanks to recent acquisitions, has become the third largest global player for self-adhesive materials. The American distributor GPA is also part of Fedrigoni Group.

Flexibility drives long-term relationship with Nova Label


“Acucote rarely says no to helping us develop an application. So with any new opportunity that comes along - we check in with them first!” – Alan Rich, President, Nova Label Co., Inc.

“Acucote rarely says no to helping us develop an application. So with any new opportunity that comes along – we check in with them first!”
– Alan Rich, President, Nova Label Co., Inc.

Located in Cheverly, MD, Nova Label Company has commercially manufactured quality printed pressure- sensitive labels since 1982. A family- run company, Nova Label was founded by Sandy Bernstein, who had already been in the label business for 25 years. Sandy and his wife, Florene, semi-retired in 2000 and their son-in-law Alan Rich took over day-to-day operations.

With over 50 years’ experience in the label industry, Nova Label has broad expertise in packaging, direct marketing, and variable data label needs.

Today they produce labels on rolls, cut sheets and continuous forms. Their primary customers are in direct mail and consumer packaging for a variety of industries. Labels can be any size or shape and they offer a variety of printing technologies including digital as well as a wide assortment of facestocks and adhesives, making the process easy and ideal to create a solution for their customers’ applications. Whether a customer needs 100 or 1,000,000 custom labels, Nova Label can fulfill their specific needs.


Nova Label also produces decals for a variety of applications such as bumper stickers or windows. Decals can be any size or shape and printed on either a white or clear material with permanent or removable adhesive, or on clear static cling.

The Challenge

20200326_163054Many years ago, Nova Label began looking for a substrate provider who offered flexibility with custom coating as well as stocking a large portfolio of products. Alan recalls that, “We were always considering what we could offer to be different from the competition. We needed quick solutions for challenging applications.”

He adds that for some applications that needed developing, cost was definitely a factor. “We also needed a provider who would offer us value at a cost-competitive level.”

These challenges became the basis for a long-term relationship with Acucote.


Nova Label has now been purchasing from Acucote for 19 years and both companies place great value on the longevity of this relationship. Alan notes that Acucote’s “flexibility in providing custom coated material and their large portfolio of products makes it easy to buy from them.” He also appreciates the fact that Acucote meets the needs of a standing order of material that is “at the ready for slitting and shipping.”

The top feature, however, which he enjoys is Acucote’s eagerness to innovate together. “Acucote rarely says no to helping us develop an application. So with any new opportunity that comes along – we check in with them first! Acucote takes the time to learn all the details to see if they can develop the application.”

According to Earl Curran, VP, Business Development, Acucote, “Alan and Nova Label are a perfect fit for Acucote. They take great advantage of the capabilities of our Application Development Team and turn to us with difficult applications that can help them grow their business. We appreciate each opportunity and the long-term trust they have put in our team.”


2021-04-09 11.46.59 (1)Today, Nova Label prints decals and roll labels that are machine affixed with material from Acucote. Alan looks forward to penetrating additional opportunities in beer and wine and spirits with the help of Acucote.

Alan was one of the very first Members of the Flexo Label Advantage Group (FLAG) which he joined in 2010 and Acucote became a FLAG Vendor Partner last July. Alan adds, “Although we had been using Acucote long before FLAG came along, I was hoping Acucote could become a FLAG Vendor Partner. Once it happened, it’s just icing on the cake — a win-win for everyone.”

Lastly, consistency remains a key aspect of Alan’s ongoing trust in Acucote. This was particularly relevant during challenging supply chain issues as a result of the pandemic and storms which disrupted the chemical industry in the late winter of 2021.

And at the end of the day, Alan notes that “they are just nice people to work with!”

Acucote Expands Sustainable Portfolio with Line of Water Dissolvable Labels

Acucote has continued to expand its portfolio of sustainable products with the introduction of a water dissolvable adhesive and two dissolvable paper stocks.

These new products are designed for any type of application requiring a temporary label. They are ideal for the food service industry, and more specifically food rotation labels.

DS1 is a water-based acrylic emulsion adhesive designed to disperse in either cold or hot water, leaving zero residue. DS1 adheres to metal, HDPE and other LSE plastic containers.

Acucote’s newest dissolvable papers — 40# Water Soluble Litho and 47# Water Dissolvable Direct Thermal — dissolve completely when immersed in water. The combination of DS1 with these dissolvable papers sends less material to the landfill and consumes less energy because the label does not need to be processed in a recycling facility.

According to Earl Curran, vice president business development, “The Acucote Sustainability Team has developed these new products in response to demand from converters and their brand owners for increased sustainable label options. We’re very pleased to expand our portfolio with products that are well suited for the booming food service industry.”

40# Water Soluble Litho and 47# Water Dissolvable Direct Thermal paper are both available with the DS1 adhesive at 45” x 5,000’ with a 5-7 day lead-time.

Acucote’s Application Development Team can source additional dissolvable facestocks if your application requires a custom paper.

Click here to view the full line of Acucote Sustainable options including FSC-approved, biodegradable, recyclable, recycled content and post-consumer waste facestocks. We also offer recyclable, repulpable, environmentally benign, wash off, compostable and biodegradable adhesives as well as FSC-approved, recycled content and post-consumer waste liners.

Acucote Expands Acucote Insights Educational Program

Acucote has expanded its popular Acucote Insights program with two additional educational blogs.

As brand owners are looking for long-term sustainable solutions, customers have turned to Acucote for sustainable materials. Acucote Insights #2 provides a brief description of what constitutes FSC®-certified material and how Acucote can support converters with these materials.

Acucote Insights #3 focuses on commonly asked questions surrounding pattern coating adhesives. Pattern adhesive coating is the process of creating lanes of adhesive coverage and lanes with no adhesive coverage across the web of pressure-sensitive paper or film facestocks.

Both of these recent Insights articles also include short video blogs which highlight key points.

According to Earl Curran, vice president business development, “We’re very pleased to expand our Acucote Insights program with these two articles. They are a direct result of common questions posed to our Customer Service and Application Development Teams. Putting them all in one easy-to-access place on our website is an efficient way for converters to gain knowledge that helps grow and operate their businesses. ”

For more information, view the Acucote Insights articles here.

Acucote Expands FSCⓇ -Certified Portfolio

Acucote has continued to expand its Forest Stewardship Council(FSC)-certified product portfolio and now offers over 30 FSC-certified materials.

Acucote stocks dye, pigment, UV, HP and Laser digital stocks along with over 30 prime label materials. The portfolio includes gloss and matte papers, foils, mail tabs, a variety of boardstocks, thermal transfer and a handful of liners including layflat. By choosing these products, converters are supporting responsible management of the world’s forests.

According to Earl Curran, vice president business development, “We were honored to pass our Q4 FSC audit and be able to offer this expanded portfolio. Over the past year, we have seen growing demands for sustainable material from our customers who in turn need to meet the requirements of their brand owners.”

If a material is not offered in the standard portfolio, Acucote’s Application Development Team will source additional materials certified by the FSC.  Acucote can also help converters attain Chain of Custody (CoC) certification, by connecting them with printing alliance groups who lend assistance throughout the certification process.

For more information, view the portfolio here.

Pricing, Speed and Flexibility Attracts New Customer to Acucote

Joe Sirak, Director of Finance, ALL-TAG

Joe Sirak, Director of Finance, ALL-TAG

Prototypes for custom samples typically took 3-4 weeks to arrive.  Now, I can call my rep and get something in less than a week”

Here’s a scene that plays out daily across the world. A shoplifter grabs a tee-shirt, stuffs it into his backpack and makes a beeline for the exit. As he nears the door, the activated RF label on the shirt triggers the alarm system and the would-be thief is thwarted. Ever wonder who is behind this process?

Meet ALL-TAG® — a Boca Raton, Florida-based manufacturer of Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) products and services designed to help retailers protect their merchandise from shoplifting. ALL-TAG source tags hard goods and apparel, and manufactures custom EAS products tailor-made to help loss prevention professionals reach their specific goals.

Known as the “Source Tagging Experts”, ALL-TAG works directly with stores to develop their specifications and then produces and sells the tags directly to manufacturers. That means that when the product arrives at the store it’s already tagged and ready to activate. ALL-TAG prides itself on helping stores manage their anti-shoplifting programs and getting their requirements directly to packagers and manufacturers. Logistics and distribution expertise clearly differentiate them from off-shore resold tags. And this appeals to their end-use customers in super stores, retail shops, hardware chains, pharmacies and grocery stores as well as to the manufacturers who purchase their labels.

Clear Silver RF Label - Black SpeakerALL-TAG primarily manufactures RF (radio frequency) tags. These tags are simply small electronic devices consisting of a chip and antenna. They emit a loud beep sound when someone attempts to leave a store without paying for the product. RF tags on a product have been proven to reduce theft – which is why many retailers include them on their product packaging.

The company was formed in 1992 in Manage, Belgium and the US subsidiary was opened by current majority owner Stuart Seidel in 2000. It quickly took off, and by 2013, the US operation had outgrown its parent company and become the global headquarters. Today, with 50 employees, offices in the United States, Europe (UK & NL), Mexico and Asia (HK), and a wide array of specialized, proprietary equipment, ALL-TAG has become the second largest global RF label manufacturer. Their innovative and cost-effective EAS solutions are compatible with Acousto-Magnetic (AM) Radio-Frequency and (RF) systems made by Sensormatic®, Checkpoint® Systems and others. ALL-TAG owns over 20 international patents and offers its customers on-hand inventory for fast deliveries – most products ship within two days.

The Challenge

For many years, ALL-TAG had purchased the transfer tape material they needed for their EAS labels from major global manufacturers. Although these companies could supply the product that ALL-TAG needed, they were usually left with the perception that they weren’t big enough to be a key customer for these large substrate suppliers. According to Joe Sirak, Director of Finance, “We couldn’t get answers, samples or prototypes quickly enough.”

Over the years, Sirak attended many trade shows and talked to “…everyone in the industry. They’re always eager, but at the end of the day they can’t seem to meet our requirements for great turnaround and improved pricing.” An industry colleague described Acucote as a fast mover and Sirak decided to give them a test project of a transfer tape with a colored adhesive. He notes that, “We wanted a blue adhesive on the back of most of our labels to distinguish our brand on the shelf.”

The Solution

With that challenge, Acucote’s Application Development Team jumped into gear and quickly sent ALL-TAG a variety of options. The final product (UNIVERSAL TT / SX78 BLUE / 40#N) would ultimately be placed on the majority of ALL-TAG RF labels. Sirak notes, “We were thrilled at the speed of the custom samples. We got everything we needed in just a couple of days.” Production Director Patrick Champion adds that, “ It was a very smooth changeover and took only a couple of rounds of smaller tests – no issues. Acucote reps even came down to Florida to make sure everything ran smoothly.”


Since that initial order, ALL-TAG has sent around six additional projects to Acucote. Sirak notes that, “In the last several years security labels have become more customized – and our customers are requiring special printing, colors and adhesives ” That has set the stage for Acucote to provide a variety of customer-specific anti-shoplifting applications.

image4Sirak describes the smooth process as, “I typically get a project, provide them with the gist and in an overnight package I’ll receive five different adhesive samples to play with – and usually something works.” The customized projects have included an aggressive adhesive, a dry adhesive and a VOID tamper-evident label. He adds that, “prototypes for custom samples typically took 3-4 weeks to arrive. Now, I can call my rep and get something in less than a week”

“Additionally, in true partnership mode Acucote developed unique inventory solutions to help with the demands of our higher volume transfer tapes.” Sirak appreciates the fact that “as soon as I need something it’s as simple as sending an email, and they ship it out overnight and I have it in 2 days.”

ALL-TAG definitely views Acucote as a key contributor to their future growth. With Acucote as a supplier, ALL-TAG has been able to explore new applications that come in daily on their website and put to ease potential supply issues by replacing an off-shore manufacturer.

When asked about the keys to this successful relationship, Sirak quickly mentions “price, flexibility and speed.” He concludes that Acucote is “nimble enough to jump through any hoop to keep us delighted. If I ever have a problem, I can get the president of the company on the phone right away and talk through it. How many other substrate providers can say that?”


Acucote Introduces Wash Off Adhesive

Acucote has introduced WOff, a Wash Off Adhesive. This water-based formula provides debonding of non-recyclable label materials from PET and glass containers – making them recoverable.

Debonding occurs when the container is processed utilizing a water temperature of 88 degrees C/190 degrees fahrenheit or higher with an alkaline solution. This sink/float recycling process cleanly separates the label from the container and PET flakes.

According to Earl Curran, vice president business development, “Brand owners are requiring creative solutions to support sustainability goals. Our WOff adhesive was designed to reduce their environmental impact and contribute to a circular economy through the separation of non-recyclable label materials. When used in combination with PET or glass containers, it provides a more pure recovery through separation of the label from the container.”

WOff can be paired with 2.6 mil White, 2 mil Clear and 2 mil Metalized Elite Polypropylenes or polyester facestocks. To further reduce environmental impacts, WOff can be utilized with .92, 1.2 or 1.5 mil PET liners that are manufactured with up to 50% recycled content.

WOff is recommended for beverage and household applications where the container will pass through its recycling stream and the PET flake process. It is APEO-free and has excellent clarity when used with clear films.

WOff is available in a custom coat master width x 5,000’.

Acucote Publishes Sustainability Commitment Statement

Acucote has developed and published  “Protecting our Planet:  Acucote’s Commitment to Sustainability.”

The commitment statement begins with this paragraph, “Acucote understands our corporate environmental responsibility. From the way we work to the products we offer, we’re committed to being stewards of the environment. We are actively launching and seeking raw material alternatives to build more sustainable product lines. We have joined environmental and regulatory committees to ensure we are up-to-date with our customers’ needs. Internally, we have teams dedicated to ongoing projects designed to reduce Acucote’s environmental footprint.”

According to John Leath, CEO, “I’m very proud of the progress that Acucote has made working toward a sustainable culture that resonates soundly with our employees, customers and suppliers. It’s important that all companies within the label and packaging industry continue to increase programs that implement processes and develop materials complementary to our global environment. I look forward to continuing this journey and augmenting our portfolio with additional sustainable product offerings in the coming months and years.”

The commitment statement details how sustainability has been incorporated throughout Acucote’s organization and plants and describes their participation in industry organizations.  It delves into product development and provides examples of Acucote’s sourcing of raw material alternatives and current and future development of products which will contribute to goals of reducing, recycling, reusing or renewing materials.

Acucote has dedicated a Continuous Improvement Project (CIP) team to furthering their progress in the sustainable movement. This team is reviewing 2020 and 2021 projects and will be adding measurements and timeframes to support the Acucote Sustainability Commitment.  These goals will be published on the Acucote website as they are finalized.

To read the complete Sustainability Statement, go to


Acucote Joins FLAG as Vendor Partner

FLAG (Flexo Label Advantage Group LLC) has announced that effective today they have signed a Vendor Partnership with pressure-sensitive manufacturer Acucote, Inc., headquartered in Graham, North Carolina.

Independent converters who belong to FLAG will now benefit from Acucote’s wide variety of custom capabilities which feature a diverse selection of adhesives, facestocks and silicone release systems and are complemented by a broad portfolio of stocked inventory products.

According to John McKay, FLAG President and Founder, “We are proud to welcome Acucote to our group of World Class Vendor Partners. We believe that their custom capabilities, backed by a streamlined application development process, will help our Members to grow their business in value add segments. Bringing on Acucote is an example of how FLAG strives to deliver savings in nearly every area of a label shop.”

Gene Lauffer, Chief Operating Officer, Acucote adds, “Over the years, many of our customers have asked us to join FLAG.  We’re thrilled to now be a Vendor Partner, and look forward to introducing our unique services and broad portfolio to all of FLAG’s converter Members and demonstrating how we can help them achieve solutions to the most difficult labeling challenges.”

For more information on the benefits of FLAG , visit

Acucote Further Expands Pressure-Sensitive Digital Portfolio

Twenty-one new products added to robust portfolio

Acucote has once again expanded its portfolio of pressure-sensitive media for inkjet (UV, dye and pigment), laser/toner and HP print technologies.

A highlight of the digital portfolio is the range of durable labelstocks including Kimdura Ultra film (for pigment printing) and Kimdura DualTech film (for pigment and laser/toner compatible printing). Both of these products are BS5609 Section 2 certified. To obtain BS5609 certification, labels need to withstand a three-month salt water submersion test in the English Channel. BS5609-certified labels are proven to meet the most stringent tests for durability in the industry.

The digital portfolio also features six new additions to Acucote’s Waterjet line of dye and pigment compatible stocks including 2 mil Gloss Clear Polyester and 4 mil Metallized Polyester/Polypropylene films. New to Acucote’s line are the 12pt Gloss and Matte Boardstock options for both dye and pigment printing. The portfolio expansion also includes Endura Inkjet Durable Papers for pigment, dye and laser/toner print technologies.

The laser and toner compatible portion of the digital portfolio has been expanded with 13 new products: seven new film combinations featuring 2 mil Clear, 2 mil Metallized and 2.6 mil Gloss White Toner Polypropylenes, 3.2 mil Clear Laser Vinyl and 3.5 mil White Laser Vinyl. There are also six new paper combinations utilizing 60# Laser Semi Gloss, 57# Laser High Gloss and Bright Silver Laser Foil.

According to Melissa Harton, product manager, digital media, “Specifications for labelstocks are increasingly becoming more stringent in terms of temperature range, environmental resistance, stronger adhesives and better printability. Over the past years, we’ve seen a gradual shift from strictly laser to pigment-based print systems for outdoor and drum labeling. We’re pleased to expand our portfolio to meet the needs of the fast-growing durables sector as well as support the variety of print methods constantly growing in today’s marketplace.”

Harton continues, “While our digital portfolio of stocked products, certified by leading OEMs, has continued to evolve, what truly differentiates Acucote is our renowned Application Development Team. This team specializes in custom orders – matching up the best facestock, adhesive and liner for the specific print technology and creating innovative and effective solutions to serve our customers’ most demanding digital requirements. And best of all, they will recommend solutions in days, not weeks.”

To view the complete Acucote digital label portfolio visit: