South Wigston based pie and pizza manufacturer RF Brookes, part of Premier Foods, has announced it is to shed up to 200 jobs, following the loss of its pie contract with Marks & Spencer (M&S).A spokesperson for M&S told British Baker that RF Brookes had been supplying the retailer with pies, pizzas and battered foods, however it recently took part in a competitive tender process for its pie business, in which it was unsuccessful. He said the pie contract was awarded to Samworth Brothers, but added that RF Brookes is still supplying M&S with pizza and battered foods.A spokesperson for Premier Foods told British Baker that after intensive negotiations to mitigate the impact of this decision on the workforce at RF Brookes in Leicester, the contract will transfer in two stages, in September 2011 and June 2012. “Regrettably, this could lead to the loss of 200 jobs from the site which currently employs 720 people. Consultation with the workforce over these plans will begin immediately,” he said, adding that RF Brookes still remained a “significant supplier” to M&S for other food lines.“The company remains committed to Leicester and will continue to invest in the site to make it more efficient and better able to compete for new business and safeguard the 520 jobs that will remain.”
Source: Bakers BascoBakers Basco has reported a 54% increase in the number of its Omega bread baskets recovered in the second half 2020 compared with the previous six months.The company, which supplies bread baskets and dollies to the baking industry, put an additional £1m worth of equipment into the system in March to address pressure in the supply chain caused by panic buying at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.During the first lockdown, many household waste and recycling centre locations temporarily halted the collection of some or all recyclable materials, leading to blockages and a build-up of equipment in the supply chain. This left Bakers Basco’s baskets and dollies exposed for longer periods of time, increasing the chances of theft or misappropriation of the equipment.As lockdown restrictions started to ease, however, the organisation’s recovery team were able to recover 54% more Omega baskets in the second half of 2020, as well as 41% more Omega dollies.At the same time, Bakers Basco saw a 53% increase in the total number of visits made by its dedicated recovery team, resulting in improved attrition rates towards the end of last year.“While it was encouraging to see business getting back on track towards the second half of 2020, clearly we are facing another tough challenge in these uncertain times with the latest lockdown in place and must continue to be vigilant of the immediate impact this will have on our business,” said Bakers Basco general manager Paul Empson.Bakers Basco was set up in 2006 to create an industry-wide solution for transporting bread and morning goods, and to tackle the persistent problem of bread basket attrition.Originally backing the venture were plant bakery giants Allied Bakeries, Hovis, Fine Lady Bakeries, Frank Roberts & Sons and Warburtons. Over the past 14 years membership has increased to cover 21 user members, accounting for the dispatch of more than three million baskets each week.