Bakers Basco has invested in GPS technology to track the whereabouts of their equipment and has a dedicated team for recovering delayed, lost, or stolen items. The company is seeking collaboration with market traders and other industries to ensure that misplaced equipment found at market sites is returned to the supply chain, reducing the need for more plastic production to replace them.
To support this effort, Bakers Basco is encouraging anyone who comes across their bread baskets to report their findings, and will arrange for free collections. They can be reached via a recovery email. firstname.lastname@example.org
Bakers Basco, founded in 2006 by major UK bakery companies, manages a pool of reusable Omega Baskets and dollies as part of the circular economy. These items can be recycled multiple times, contributing to sustainability efforts and reducing the environmental impact of the bakery industry's logistics operations.
This poster campaign showcases Bakers Basco's commitment to minimising the environmental footprint of the bakery industry's operations and promoting responsible use of equipment across various sectors and will be distributed across market sites nationwide.
Bakers Basco is a joint venture set up in 2006 by five of the UK’s leading plant bakers, including Allied Bakeries, Fine Lady Bakeries, Frank Roberts & Sons, Hovis and Warburtons - representing more than 55% of the bakery market in the UK - to buy, manage and police the use of a standard basket for the delivery of bread to retailers and wholesalers.
Our current pool of equipment includes approximately four million baskets and 500,000 heavy-duty wheeled dollies, which are used by bakers to deliver bread to their customers on a daily basis. A cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solution, our bakery equipment is custom designed, sturdy, reusable and recyclable, contributing in a positive way to the Circular Economy, as part of our commitment to reduce our impact on the environment.
Bread basket theft (or conversion) is the Achilles’ heel of the baking industry. It’s an issue that has plagued bakers for many years - with typical losses in excess of 60% and, in extreme cases, in excess of 100%.
In anticipation of 2024, I want to reflect on the current and future landscape of the food logistics industry. Amid the undulating economic terrain marked by the ebb and flow of inflation and fuel prices throughout 2023, signs of recovery offer a glimmer of hope. However, the lingering fallout from additional costs absorbed by businesses implies a protracted journey back to profitability.
The defining challenge of 2023 has been the pervasive high costs experienced by suppliers, brands, retailers, and consumers alike. As the year concludes, the focus shifts to one of the industry's most substantial challenges—the Government's Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT). I contend that instead of burdening businesses with additional costs, the emphasis should be on instigating change.
The PPT, introduced in April 2022 and augmented in the Autumn Statement, imposes a £217.85 per tonne charge on plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled content, reflecting the UK's commitment to combating plastic waste. However, a critical challenge surfaces—the strained supply chain's inability to meet the demand for recycled plastic. Businesses find themselves caught between the necessity to incorporate more recycled content and the scarcity of recycled material.
This scarcity poses far-reaching implications, causing manufacturing delays across sectors dependent on plastic packaging. Our experience with our reusable Omega bread basket, designed for a circular economy, exemplifies the challenges of securing the required 30% recycled plastic for seamless production.
I definitely advocate the need for government intervention to address challenges faced by businesses transitioning to recycled content and the accountability for imported recycled material and associated carbon emissions. Allocating a portion of tax revenue to fortify domestic recycling infrastructure could pave the way for a sustainable future.
Looking ahead to 2024, the industry faces the ongoing challenge of keeping pace. Bakers Basco has streamlined operations, revised strategies to enhance efficiency, and intensified efforts towards a circular economy. Noteworthy initiatives, such as a national poster campaign, underscore the commitment to raising awareness outside traditional industry spheres.
The challenge now is to sustain this momentum, fostering industry collaboration and vocalising long-term concerns tied to legislation. Our industry is calling for an active role in reshaping the circular economy narrative to drive increased production of recycled plastic. As we move forward, the emphasis should extend beyond legislation, recognising that strategic actions are the bedrock of a resilient and circular plastics industry.
- Paul Empson, General Manager, Bakers Basco