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How we helped a bakery reduce production waste

Sheffield Hallam University worked with family-owned business Fosters Bakery in Barnsley to find out how they could reduce production waste.

What we did

Work on tracking the waste had already been carried out, but the figures were inconsistent and showed no obvious trends to help explain the causes of the waste generated.

Following initial discussions, Emma Johnson from the Innovation Futures team advised that the project should be split into two elements. The first element was to identify key waste drivers throughout the various parts of the factory. The second was to determine actions targeted at reducing this waste with the involvement of the factory floor team.

Emma worked with the factory production team to collect data of the various waste streams over different production shifts. This data was then used to understand the key drivers of waste. She produced a report containing actions for waste improvement that would allow Fosters to focus their efforts on the key areas to reduce their production waste.

The result

Fosters have now implemented a number of changes based on the recommendations provided by the Innovation Futures team. Some were around the retraining of personnel, whereas others required engineering work to correct or modify machinery and equipment.

Making these changes is predicted to significantly reduce waste and will save the company £30,000 per annum. Other recommendations are still to be implemented and therefore waste figures at Fosters bakery should reduce even further.

They say

Michael Taylor, operations director at Fosters bakery said

The way in which the project was undertaken, based on observation and asking questions, was great. Of all our activity with Sheffield Hallam, the report produced for this project has been the best.

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Project supported by Innovation Futures

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