United Kingdom

Bidfood UK was acquired into the group in 1999, known as Booker Foodservice whose name was then changed to 3663 First for Foodservice. For more than 20 years as a leading foodservice wholesaler, Bidfood UK has supplied fresh, frozen, ambient food, beers, wines, spirits, catering essentials and catering equipment. Bidfood UK is now the largest business in the group, delivering excellent results for the year ended June 30 2019. An amazing job of restructuring and repositioning this business, resulting in almost every metric trending in the right direction.

Bidfresh, previously known as Seafood Holdings, was acquired in 2011. Bidfresh supplies fresh produce, fish, meat and dairy products to chefs throughout the UK, from specialist businesses local to the customer. Bidfresh has a national footprint made up of the fish brand, Direct Seafoods, being 12 nationally spread fishmongers; the national meat brand Country Farm Butchers is made up of three butchers, with greengrocers around the UK enabling nationwide delivery of fresh produce and a dedicated cheesemonger business supplying dairy across the UK.

These two businesses make up the Bidfood UK Division.

United Kingdom

Bidfood UK team pulling together.
  Rudy, a forklift driver, Bidfood UK.
Foodshow demonstration, Bidfood UK.   Rudy, a forklift driver, Bidfood UK.
  Bidfood UK truck.
Oliver Kay Wednesbury site, Bidfresh.   Bidfood UK truck.


Human capital

Bidfood in the UK is committed to empowering their people through providing a positive, healthy and safe working environment which facilitates gender equality and economic growth. Engaging with employees in sustainable ways of working, facilitating flexible working where possible and encouraging apprenticeships, training and development. Successful initiatives in the past year include the internal health and well-being programme, as demonstrated through the results of our employee engagement in our strategy.

Note: Prior year numbers have been restated to exclude discontinued operations.

Dr Andrew Kemp awarded MBE Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Birthday Honours List

Having spent over 40 years dedicated to the foodservice industry, Andy has demonstrated passion and commitment to a number of important issues, including improvements in standards of children feeding and the importance of maintaining Universal Infant Free Schools Meals (UIFSM). Andy has worked with many charities including The Springboard Charity and Hospitality Action and currently sits on the All Party Parliamentary Groups focusing on child feeding, nutritional standards, holiday hunger and more latterly, nutritional feeding of the elderly. He has also worked closely with The One and All Foundation, focusing on the importance of diversity, racial inclusion, disability and gender equality.

Dr Andrew Kemp,
Group Sales and Marketing
Director, Bidfood UK.

Employees training spend   Payroll spend (Rbn)
Employees training spend



Gender pay gap reporting

Gender pay gap legislation was introduced in the UK to encourage employers to focus on the differences in male and female pay across organisations regardless of job role. The legislation is applicable to employers who have more than 250 employees and has been introduced to support the government’s objective to reduce the gender pay gap in a single generation.

Bidfood UK’s gender pay gap review results brought to our attention the higher proportion of men than women in our workforce who undertake roles attracting higher rates of pay, bonuses or allowances. This is indicative of the industry in which we work, which is traditionally male dominated. We have always believed in appointing the right person for the role, regardless of gender or other characteristics, however the impact of having more male colleagues in senior roles creates a significant challenge in closing this pay gap.

Bidfood UK has voiced their commitment to developing a diverse workforce and addressing this gender pay gap. The plan includes initiatives to address:

  • review and benchmarking of roles as part of a pay simplification process
  • strategic recruitment review to explore our gender mix across the business to attract and support more women
  • training to develop skills to manage gender diverse teams
  • developing strategic partnerships with external organisations to encourage more women engagement within the foodservice industry.

Read the full Gender Pay Gap Report on Bidfood UK site:

Financial capital


Despite “Brexit’’ fatigue in the United Kingdom, revenue rose 10,1% to R33,3 billion (F2018: R30,3 billion) while trading profit increased by 20,3% to R1,7 billion (F2018: R1,4 billion).

Foodservice continues to deliver excellent results, with Bidfresh continuing to make steady progress.

Bidfood UK performed strongly, with sales and trading profit well ahead of F2018. Top-line gains and intense margin management enabled a good performance in view of persistent cost pressures in wages, fuel and energy prices. Business improvement initiatives continue to deliver and ecommerce penetration is growing.

The independent and multiple freetrade categories showed solid growth, both in margins and volumes. As expected, National Account volumes fell with our focus on exiting non-profitable business, but margins improved.

Our new liquor brand Unity Wines continued to strengthen its market position. Own brand product growth was buoyant and the importing of an exclusive range of brands is developing.

Further investment into increased distribution capacity remains a key focus to cater for anticipated growth. The acquisition of Punjab Kitchen, rebranded as Simply Food Solutions (niche ready-meals business), in February 2019 will bolster the UK’s manufacturing capability and value-add products’ offering. An acquisition of a small independent foodservice business was concluded in early July 2019.

Bidfresh’s performance was below the previous year, impacted by a “stressed casual dining” customer base. Trading became particularly tough in Q4. Supplier bankruptcies were disruptive.

Seafood grew and margins improved. Meat recorded losses, however, these are reducing as the top-line gains scale. Produce struggled to cope with change following its new depot expansion and IT implementation. National Accounts are holding up as customers look for savings but independents face challenges with both drop-size and spend falling. Overall costs were well controlled.

Manufactured capital


Ten year anniversary of Safari customer loyalty programme, Bidfood UK.

Reducing miles by staying local

Many businesses consolidate and centralise operations but we love to ‘stay local’. We know this improves customer service because customers value the personal contact with our award-winning telesales teams. Our emphasis on staying local also means we are closer to our customers, reduces mileage to their sites, meaning fewer vehicles on the roads, lower mileage, reduced emissions, and provides local employment opportunities.

A typical Bidfresh customer is:

  • Food focused
  • Inspirational and willing to experiment with food
  • Individually crafted and specialist
  • Mostly restaurants & caterers but can also exist in other sectors
  • Driven by experts who demand expert suppliers

Expanding our manufacturing offering

The launch of Punjab Kitchen (now Simply Food Solutions) products in Bidfood has been extremely well received by customers across the healthcare sector but also with interest across the traditional ready-meal range with our other customers. A limited range was officially launched in July with 60 texture modified products but with customer interest growing, this is expanding with further texture modified and traditional meals. August 2019 will see our first set of results with a fully stocked range.

Bidfresh – transport & logistics

Bidfresh ensures the delivery vehicles are fully maintained, efficiently routed to reduce mileage and driven carefully to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Using a monitoring system we improve our drivers' safety and efficiency. We also operate a bonus scheme to motivate responsible driving, e.g. discouraging hard braking and accelerating.

Responsible sourcing: circular economy

Bidfresh endorses the circular economy concept, that is recognising that the earth is a closed system with a finite amount of resources, and that the current prevailing linear economy ('take > make > waste') goes against this - and is therefore not sustainable. The circular economy challenges us to keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and material at the end of each service life.

Bidfood UK IT investment

Significant focus and spend in the year under review included the migration of Bidfood UK's Catering Equipment business to Reflex and Bidfood Direct, and the implementation of payment cards to BidDirect. The delivery of IT infrastructure for our new Liverpool Depot, which included the installation of voice picking, has been delivered to support the depot go-live in early July

Bidfood UK set their sights on growing freetrade volume, maximising National margins, growing our own brand offering, driving more business through ecommerce solutions and delivering operational and business support efficiencies. This was achieved, delivering record breaking results for the year ended June 2019.

Bidfood UK has committed to offering healthier and sustainable choices. This is actualised by increasing the responsible sourcing credentials of the offered product range, with particular focus on plastics, palm oil, seafood, aquaculture and modern slavery. Through meeting the diverse and ever-increasing needs for products which offer enhanced nutritional and dietary/allergen criteria and do our part to help tackle obesity.

Intellectual capital

Own brand Farmstead Steak Range,
Bidfood UK.
Customer mix   Product portfolio
  Product portfolio

We are continuing to support the business wide operational efficiency programme. The first pilot of the Driver App and Delivery Performance Management system has been completed in Chepstow Depot. This pilot has identified a number of additional developments which will be delivered in advance of any further roll-out. The design and build of our route planning system has been slightly delayed but testing is now underway. The project to upgrade of our existing voice picking system is underway and we are aiming to begin the roll-out in November 2019. The extended use of WMS Automation, to include goods in, replenishment, put away and pi, is currently in development.

  Investment in IT

Natural capital

United Kingdom’s
carbon emissions1

89 108  7%
2018: 95 837












Scope 1 emissions (tCO2e)
(excl refrigerants and aircon gases)

65 892  5%
2018: 69 084

Scope 1+ emissions (tCO2e)
(only refrigerants and aircon gases)

7 588  26%
2018: 10 244
Fuel (kilolitres)
25 512 24 372
Gas (tonnes)
194 175
Aircon gas (tonnes)
4 3

Reducing our engine idling – While a certain amount of idling is inevitable, such as in slow moving traffic, a lot is up to individual drivers, and a driver can turn the ignition off during a prolonged delay. We're targeting a reduction of 5% and have achieved an overall reduction of 11% this year.

Refrigerant emissions

None of the owned or leased fleet has been fitted with diesel fridges, meaning we generate no additional emissions through our mobile refrigeration units.


Scope 2 emissions (tCO2e)

15 216  7%
2018: 16 362
Grid Electricity
57 802 767 59 531 070
Non-grid Electricity
705 969 745 981

Reducing energy demand with LED replacement

One of the ways we’re looking to reduce our energy consumption is by piloting an upgrade to LED lighting. We plan to trial this at our Banbury site and if it’s successful, we will roll this out across all our sites.

Depot investment for the future

Bidfood UK is currently investing in a 61 000sqft bespoke multi-temperature depot, in Speke Liverpool. Designing the building to minimise its environmental impact, with special consideration devoted to refrigeration, lighting, building design, structure and envelope, office design and finish, waste recovery, and employee travel.

Bidfood UK has prioritised:

  • taking action to minimise our impact on climate change through reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and food waste
  • demonstrating responsible consumption and production, especially in areas such as sustainable sourcing and our plastics footprint
  • supporting good health and wellbeing for our employees, and providing healthier food choices for our customers
  • partnering with other organisations to support the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“plate2planet.co.uk” home of Sustainable Foodservice

Bidfood UK is the driving force behind plate2planet.co.uk, our leading online initiative dedicated to creating positive change for sustainability in foodservice.



Scope 3 emissions (tCO2e)

412  180%
2018: 147

Food waste (tonnes)

2 240

Waste recycled (tonnes)

7 744

Waste to landfill (tonnes)

2018: 6 103 tonnes


Bidfood UK has signed up to the WRAP Courtauld Commitment 2025, which aims to reduce the resources needed to provide food and drink in the UK by 20% in 10 years. As well as pledged to Target, Measure and Act on food waste, as food that goes to landfill decomposes and generates greenhouse gases.

In February 2019, Bidfood UK signed up to WRAP’s Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, and to this end have continued to work closely with FareShare, and other smaller organisations, so that the food donated is not wasted. FareShare redistributes unsold food to food kitchens, charities and other initiatives operating in the community, helping those in need.


Disposal is a last resort. Bidfresh is aiming to achieve a Zero-to-Landfill policy, where waste is either recycled, reused or turned into energy rather than being disposed. This effectively means that the bottom layer of the waste hierarchy, Disposal, would be eliminated. Our sites already separate waste streams at site into food waste, cardboard, polystyrene and general waste and many are already achieving zero-to-landfill.

1 Bidfood UK carbon emissions comparative (2018) has been restated to exclude discontinued operations. The discontinued operations total carbon emissions for 2019 is 49 249 tCO2e (2018: 60 796 tCO2e).


Water (kilolitres)

149 287  4%
2018: 144 033


Bidfresh – sustainable future

We realise how much waste the food service industry produces and want to lead by example in helping to reduce this. We have introduced a screw press which removes water from fruit & veg waste to reduce the density of the load by 90%, leaving only organic waste behind.

Bidfood UK – setting the standard in sustainability reporting


Social and relationship capital

Engaging our communities in the UK, we use our relationship with food to address hunger, improve nutrition, and reduce poverty by engaging with the most disadvantaged communities in the UK. In developing countries, we will contribute to improve the provision of clean water and sanitation.

We will also support charitable causes at corporate and local level through both financial giving and volunteering. Key areas of focus include the redistribution of surplus food, supporting our key charities at a national level (The Springboard Charity, The Prince's Trust, Hospitality Action and Holiday Hunger initiatives) and supporting our sites and employees at a local level in their involvement with local community projects and charities through local fundraising or volunteering opportunities, particularly in relation to food poverty.

Fit, Fed and Read

Fit, Fed and Read

This scheme, a partnership between Bidfood UK, the Hertfordshire Catering Ltd and Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue service, is a national StreetGames UK project, which runs during summer holidays. Its aim is to counter the triple inequalities of holiday hunger, social isolation and physical inactivity amongst some of the county’s most disadvantaged young people.

Up to 200 schools attend local fire stations in Hertfordshire and children enjoy a nutritious meal along with a range of physical activity programmes and literacy sessions. This example of a joint, community-based effort has made a real difference to the children involved. The initiative was recognised with an award win for Partnership of the Year in the National Excellence in Fire & Emergency Awards held in London in 2018.

CaterED holiday hunger initiative

This summer, Bidfood UK has been busy supporting those who need it most, through its nation-wide ‘Action Against Holiday Hunger’ campaign. The campaign running across nine depots, aims to help thousands of children across the UK by engaging with local communities and supporting their holiday provision projects; fuelling them with supplies, nutritious meals cooked by Bidfood chefs, and volunteering support from depot employees.