The Association of Festivals Organisers (AFO) and bakery equipment company Bakers Basco have made a call to the events industry and caterers to raise awareness of misplaced bakery equipment that ends up left behind on sites at the end of festivals and events. 

The pair have encouraged those involved in managing, running or attending events and festivals to be vigilant towards its bread baskets and dolly equipment, which they said is being taken out of the bakery logistics supply chain, unintentionally or otherwise, and contributing negatively to the environment.

AFO general secretary Steve Heap said, “We are very aware of this problem as I myself have seen these baskets left at the end of festivals so I am delighted that we can work closely with Bakers Basco and the caterers to ensure that this vital equipment is returned to their rightful owners.”

Bakers Basco is a membership scheme set up in 2006 by Allied Bakeries, Fine Lady Bakeries, Frank Roberts & Sons, Hovis and Warburtons to provide and manage an industry-wide bakery equipment solution.

Bakers Basco said bread basket theft (or conversion) is the “Achilles’ heel” of the baking industry and an issue that has plagued bakers for several years – with typical losses in excess of 60% and, in extreme cases, up to 100%.

The company has invested in GPS technology in recent years to track the whereabouts of its bread baskets and dollies. It also has a dedicated national investigations team tasked with identifying and reclaiming any equipment which has been delayed, lost or stolen.

Bakers Basco general manager Paul Empson said, “We’re all excited to be back to live events again but unfortunately event caterers are some of the worst perpetrators, but whether they know they are doing something wrong or not is questionable.

“If only people realised the true value of our equipment, the cost of its loss to the industry and the potentially serious consequences of abuse, I’m sure it would be less prevalent. By working together, we can help the environment by ensuring the equipment returns to the supply chain and reduces the need to produce more plastic to replace them.”

Heap and Empson have asked those who find leftover trays to report to Bakers Basco by calling the helpline: 08000 327323 or by or