Section 172 statement
As a Board we have always been committed to long-term sustainable growth and we have underpinned this with high standards of Corporate Governance. The Group’s purpose of ‘a co-operative business, owned by bakers for bakers, sustaining the British baking industry for future generations’ is at the heart of any decisions made. Our business can only grow, and our shareholders can only prosper if we understand and respect the views of our customers, colleagues, suppliers and the communities in which we operate.

Our customers
Customers are always front of mind when taking decisions. Customers have the opportunity to raise issues with each of the touch points they have with the Group namely, Field Sales Representatives, Telesales Representatives and Delivery Staff, all of whom can report feedback to the Group’s Executive Management Team. Any information that needs Board level attention is included in the Group Chief Executive’s monthly report to the Board. During the pandemic, our level of engagement with our customers increased as we kept them abreast of changes at BAKO. We will look to maintain this new benchmark for engagement.

Our colleagues
The pandemic has prevented us from holding physical meetings with our colleagues, instead we have engaged virtually via our recently launched ‘My BAKO’ platform. ‘My BAKO’ is an online platform which can be accessed by all colleagues and is used by senior management to post business updates. The platform also gives our colleagues access to mental and physical well-being support and access to discounts from major retailers.  We hope to reinstate quarterly colleague committee meetings where representatives from each department can raise any issues or initiatives as soon as it is safe to do so. Every person employed by the Group has an annual appraisal and anyone leaving the Group has an exit interview, both of which provide an opportunity for colleagues to discuss their views.

Our suppliers
The Group’s commercial team are the principal contact with our suppliers, and we are committed to building strong trading relationships with our partners. This is done through regular meetings with dedicated points of contact where all supply matters are discussed. We operate to a set of quality and ethical standards and, as a minimum, expect our suppliers to work to our terms of trade.

Our shareholders
The Group’s shareholders are also customers of the Group by virtue of the eligibility to become a shareholder as set out in the Articles of Association. Shareholder engagement is therefore frequent as part of their trading relationship with the Group. Shareholders also have the opportunity to engage with Executive Directors at industry events and the Annual General Meeting. The Board measures the success of its shareholder engagement by the consistent support received for all resolutions proposed by the Company in Annual General Meetings over the past three years.

Our communities and society
Contact with local communities is made by Group colleagues living in the locality of the depots. The Group will implement a new Corporate Social Responsibility strategy over the next twelve months, a key part of which will be to support local charities and encourage colleagues to volunteer for local communities.