Bakers Basco bread baskets stacked 2100x1400

Source: Bakers Basco

Bakers Basco has officially extended investigative and recovery operations of its bakery delivery equipment to Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The expansion is said to mark a significant step in the membership scheme’s ongoing efforts to curb the mismanagement and misuse of its equipment pool, which includes bread baskets and dollies.

Bakers Basco – a cooperative venture established in 2006 by Allied Bakeries, Fine Lady Bakeries, Frank Roberts & Sons, Hovis, and Warburtons – has appointed dedicated investigation teams in the two new regions to conduct site visits and locate missing Omega baskets on behalf of its members.

Working in tandem with audit teams, their primary focus will be addressing illegal activities, such as instances where equipment is taken and resold on social media platforms, as well as misuse of equipment by bakers, third-parties or retailers.

Last August, it created a team to tackle such illegal online sales, and more recently uncovered a criminal operation in the West Midlands that was illegally turning its bread trays and wheeled dollies into plastic chipping.

GPD tracker devices embedded in the stolen equipment helped alert Bakers Basco to the location in West Bromwich, with use of this technology boosted by 50% last year.

In emphasising the importance of its latest regional expansion, Bakers Basco national investigations manager Stacey Brown said: “Our commitment to managing and policing the use of our equipment extends beyond England. By establishing a presence in Northern Ireland and Scotland, we aim to strengthen our efforts in preventing misuse and ensuring the longevity of our equipment and to keep it in the circular economy.”

 Read: A day in the life of a national investigations manager at Bakers Basco

Significant findings were reported from the Bakers Basco team’s initial outing in Northern Ireland, which covered Belfast, Antrim, Londonderry, Cookstown, and Bangor – a total of 1,328 baskets (mix of Omega, Allied, and Hovis) and 675 dollies were recovered from unsecure locations and bakeries where the equipment should not have been present.

Legal teams at Worthingtons Law and Livingston Brown will be handling cases in Northern Ireland and Scotland respectively.

Bakers Basco currently manages an equipment pool of approximately four million Omega baskets and 500,000 dollies with each unit potentially reused up to 400 times, playing a crucial role in the circular economy.