Britain’s wrapped bread supply is at risk if baskets and dollies are not returned, according to Bakers Basco, which manages the use of baskets in the UK.

The company, which was founded by five of the UK’s largest plant bakeries, said its equipment played a vital role in ensuring supermarkets received a continuous supply of bread and baked goods.

With the coronavirus pandemic pushing up demand for bread in supermarkets, pressure on the supply chain has increased.

As there was a risk of demand outstripping supply, it was more important than ever to ensure bakers had access to the equipment they needed to maintain the regular delivery of bakery products, stated Bakers Basco.

The business has urged consumers and local businesses to report any bread baskets and dollies that can be recovered by Bakers Basco teams to ensure continued supply. Equipment often went missing because people and other businesses took it and used it without permission, added the company.

It  has already put an additional £1m worth of equipment into the system, but warned that, if existing stock was not returned, bakers soon wouldn’t be able to get their bread onto shop shelves.

“We are issuing an urgent plea to everyone across the nation to be vigilant and report any bread baskets and dollies,” said Bakers Basco chairman Joe Street.

He asked that people look out for abandoned or misused bread trays and dollies, and to call Bakers Basco using the telephone number on the equipment.

“Often people don’t realise that this equipment is clearly marked as the property of Bakers Basco and provides one of the most environmentally friendly distribution systems, as trays are returned to bakeries where they are washed and then reused many times.”