Roberts Bakery, the Cheshire-based firm, has agreed a deal with logistics provider Bibby Distribution, which will allow it to supply customers further afield than ever.

Fresh products from Roberts’ Northwich (Cheshire) and Ilkeston (Derbyshire) plants will be picked and packed at Bibby’s Scunthorpe site before being distributed through the company’s extensive nationwide depot network to supermarkets and convenience stores as far away as Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

The contract comes after a 12-month trial during which Bibby, which has previous FMCG experience with companies such as Kellogg’s and First Milk, delivered 25,000 loaves a week to 160 customers in Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster.

Mark Owen, logistics director at Roberts Bakery, said: “By working with experienced logistics partners we can focus on our core strengths, which are baking high-quality bakery products and making deliveries from our main site in Northwich. The model is also scalable, which could help provide national distribution capability in the future.

“As far as food miles efficiency is concerned, the partnership is already proving its worth. We have already saved over 700km a day by using their South Humberside base to reach our customers.”

Ten jobs have already been created by the 12-month contract in Scunthorpe - in picking, warehouse supervising and driving roles. More are expected to come as the relationship between the companies develops.

Ian Firth, divisional development director at Bibby Distribution, said: “We’re pleased to help support Roberts’ growth. Our systems and processes mean we deliver on a day zero basis, with no stock rollover, ensuring the bread we deliver is as fresh from the oven as possible. We will also be leveraging the capacity of our network to keep the cost of delivery low.”