Festival and Bakery Bodies Urge Catering Kit Clean Up

Paul Empson, GM at Bakers Basco

Bakers Basco, the membership scheme set up by Allied Bakeries, Fine Lady Bakeries, Frank Roberts & Sons, Hovis and Warburtons to provide and manage an industry-wide bakery equipment solution and the Association of Festival Organiers (AFO) are calling out to the events industry and caterers to raise awareness of misplaced bakery equipment that often ends up left behind on sites at the end of festivals and events.

As festival season approaches, Bakers Basco and the AFO are encouraging anyone involved in managing, running or attending events and festivals to be vigilant towards its bread baskets and dolly equipment, which is being taken out of the bakery logistics supply chain, unintentionally or otherwise, and contributing negatively to the environment.

As part of this campaign, Bakers Basco has been working with the AFO as part of its push to raise awareness of this issue among the festival and events community.

In a message to members, Steve Heap, general secretary of the AFO, wrote: “We are very aware of this problem as I myself have seen these baskets left at the end of festivals so I am delighted that we can work closely with Bakers Basco and the caterers to ensure that this vital equipment is returned to their rightful owners. So, our message is simple: If you have any of these trays or you come across them lying around then we urge you to report them to Bakers Basco by calling the helpline: 08000 327323 or email:enquiries@bakersbasco.co.uk or myself sh@festivalorganisers.org

Bread basket theft (or conversion) is the Achilles’ heel of the baking industry. It is an issue that has plagued bakers for many years – with typical losses in excess of 60% and, in extreme cases, up to 100%. Since it was formed in 2006, Bakers Basco has worked tirelessly to crack down on the potential abuse and misuse across its pool of five million bread baskets and associated wheeled dollies. This equipment is designed for the sole purpose of transporting bread safely, cost-effectively and in an environmentally-friendly way from bakeries to grocery retailers across the UK on a daily basis.

The equipment has a significant value from an environmental and monetary point of view. Misplaced baskets often end up mistakenly in landfill, which is impacting the environment and the green credentials of the events and other industries.

In an effort to repatriate its equipment, Bakers Basco has invested heavily over the past few years in GPS technology to track the whereabouts of its bread baskets and dollies. It also has a dedicated national investigations team tasked with identifying and reclaiming any equipment which has been delayed, lost or stolen. 

“We’re all excited to be back to live events again but unfortunately event caterers are some of the worst perpetrators, but whether they know they are doing something wrong or not is questionable,” says Paul Empson, general manager, Bakers Basco. “If only people realised the true value of our equipment, the cost of its loss to the industry and the potentially serious consequences of abuse, I’m sure it would be less prevalent. By working together, we can help the environment by ensuring the equipment returns to the supply chain and reduces the need to produce more plastic to replace them. We are extremely grateful to Steve Heap at the AFO for his support for this campaign” For anyone in the festival and events industry who comes across these baskets, please contact the Bakers Basco team, who are willing to arrange collections for free. You can report via the recovery helpline: 08000 327323 or email: enquiries@bakersbasco.co.uk.