Our History

Our History Body

Rusty AshworthRusty Ashworth is the founder of Associated Labels and Packaging, opening the doors to our first location at 765 East Cordova Street in Vancouver on July 1st, 1980. Formerly operating under the name Associated Printers for half a century, the previous owner was retiring and so Rusty, with no printing experience, took a gamble and purchased the company.

Associated Labels and Packaging began with a 1500 square foot manufacturing facility and two press operators, with Rusty working alongside his employees on the four presses that came with the business. Over the next 32 years, our growth was exponential; some highlights being the birth of our art department in 1982, branching out into our Equipment Division in 1988, our move to our present location in Coquitlam in 1992, and our expansion into Flexible Packaging in 2009.

In 2012, Rusty's son, Shaun, took over as President of Associated Labels and Packaging, bringing Associated into a new era. Find out more about Shaun on Our People page.

Associated Printers sign A young Shaun Ashworth working

40 Years of Innovation

  • 1980
    • The Journey Begins

      Rusty Ashworth acquired Associated Labels and Packaging (previously known as Associated Printers). Its doors opened on July 1st, 1980 at 765 East Cordova Street, Vancouver.

  • 1982
    • Let There Be Art

      The birth of our Art Department with the purchase of the innovative Barco Graphics System.

  • 1988
    • Well-Equipped

      Our Equipment Division was created allowing us to manufacture label application and packaging equipment with unique designs and custom software.

  • 1992
    • Moving On Up

      A pivotal year for us, we expanded into our current home in an industrial park in Coquitlam.

  • 2003
    • Picking Up the Pace

      Introduction of CTP (computer-to-plate) imaging and FAST thermal workflow to increase speed of in-house plate production by up to 75%.

  • 2007
    • Branching Out

      After year perfecting the quality of labels and application, it was time to diversify into flexible packaging! At firs this started with film such as shrink, stick packs, bar wrappers, and sachets.

  • 2009
    • On to Bigger Things

      Bursting at the seams, we acquired more buildings to house even more machines and our new Digital Division.

  • 2012
    • Two Generations

      After working his way up through the ranks, Rusty’s eldest son Shaun took over the family legacy in 2012 and brought the company into a new era with his charismatic leadership style.

  • 2015
    • King Kong

      We acquired a Windmoeller & Hoelscher 52” MIRAFLEX AM 10 Colour Flexographic Printing Press, a.k.a. King Kong. Designed for the highest quality printing of flexible packaging, the advancement increased our flexible packaging abilities greatly.

  • 2018
    • Next Level

      In January 2018, we made a huge addition to our team in the form of the HP 20K Digital Printing Press, which expanded our digital printing capabilities extensively.

    • Food Safe & Beyond

      In March 2018, we became International Featured Standards (IFS) PACsecure certified, meaning that we became “food safe” in the most vigorous global standard one can achieve.

  • 2019
    • Hitting 100

      With the acquisition of yet another building, we have officially reached the 100,000 square feet mark!

  • 2020
    • Branching Out

      We acquired a Hudson Sharp ARES 400-SUP to reduce lead times and expand our sustainable packaging options into recycle-ready bags.