An independent baker has accused BFP Wholesale of a lack of transparency in informing customers of its depot closure, meaning she was forced to source products elsewhere.
While Nick Harris, managing director of BFP, last week confirmed to British Baker that the Tamworth depot would close at the end of this month, it appears that its smaller customers have not been informed.
Palo Barker, director of Barker Bakes in Sutton Coldfield, first heard rumours of the closure last month and has “been trying to find out what is happening” since then. The bakery uses BFP mostly for icing sugar and icing paste, which Barker collects herself to the tune of around £4,000 a year.
“Everybody who, like us, is classed as cash sales will no longer be served by BFP,” Barker told British Baker. “So it’s fine if you’re one of the big boys, but everybody else will be left in the lurch. We are not important enough – they only care about the big companies.”
Barker is now faced with “desperately” trying to find another source for the ingredients she used to use BFP for. “It is hard to find another supplier and I haven’t got time to be chasing up and down the country. I could switch to Tate & Lyle, which I could get from Costco, but I don’t really want to do that as we have always supported British sugar and stick to the local economy.”
On asking workers at the depot, whom she is on good working terms with, she was told all BFP customers would soon receive a letter explaining what was going on, which has not yet arrived.
In response, BFP’s Harris said: “All customers will receive or have received notification of new delivery days.”