Label Industry Global Awards
Baker Labels crowned Converter of the Year 2023
The award is given to a printing/converting company who has encouraged a diverse and inclusive work environment, developed a comprehensive training programme and contributed to community/charity initiatives.
On the first night of the 2023 Labelexpo in Brussels, Baker Labels were announced as winners at the Label Industry Global Awards finals. In a shortlist that included Italian based Pilot Italia and Singapore based Honsen, the UK based independent family business triumphed.
“The judges were impressed with the culture of the company which encourages among its 112 staff a passion for continuous learning, inclusivity and an active participation in a wide range of charitable and local community initiatives.”
The Converter of the Year Award is awarded to a label printing/converting company that best meets the following criteria:
Introduction of innovative products or programs contributing to customer satisfaction
Encouragement of a diverse and inclusive work environment
Community & Charity
Contribution to community/charitable initiatives
Development and Training
Development and training programs for individuals within the company
Initiatives on sustainability within the company
Innovation & Collaboration
Our business philosophy has always been to be as versatile as possible. Always re-investing in the latest quality equipment and being at the forefront of label printing technology. As a trade supplier we are not focused on end users but rather the services we can offer our trade customers to be able to provide their end user customers the best possible products and services.
Flexible Packaging for Trade Label Customers
Opening this whole new market up to our customers without them having to make the financial investment of buying the new equipment and training operators. To share our knowledge and expertise we have provided factory tours, virtual tours, online workshops, artwork guidelines and sales toolkits.
The digital flexible packaging market is an exciting area to be growing in and we are providing our trade customers an opportunity to grow their market share
Different to conventionally produced flexible packaging, customers can now order:
• Very low MOQs – so less waste in the first place
• Fast turnarounds – can be as little as a few days but 10-12 days as standard
• High quality print across multiple types in one order
• Addition of spouts and valves, with the same MOQs and fast turnarounds
• Range of sizes to suit weight and product
• Range of sustainable materials – compostable, kerbside recyclable, recyclable and biodegradable
Bakers currently employs 112 staff, with 38% of them being under 35 years old and 36% being female – both higher than the industry average. We have achieved top Level 3 Wellbeing Accreditation by showing how the company values staff health, wellbeing and development. By listening to staff through the team of workplace health champions and a staff survey we put together a program of events, workshops and training
Looking after staff wellbeing is both valuable for the staff but also makes good business sense.
It reduces time off for sickness and increases loyalty and staff retention. Over 18 months period we have helped 12 employees receive just over 40 private counselling sessions. We regularly signpost the EAP (Employee Assistance Programme)providing free advice and support for medical, financial, legal and other matters. We have staff trained as Mental Health First Aiders or completed MHFA courses as well as suicide awareness training. We also arranged for an on site NHS Health check visit for all staff
Diversity and Inclusion
Bakers Academy was created towards the end of 2020 and has been developing ever since.
The Academy was originally created to be a launch pad for all new members of staff and a place of resources for current staff to use.
It now covers all training that goes on in the business.
• Active development within an employee’s role – monitored by evaluation cards
• Ad-hoc training sessions – presentations or discussions about any element of the business
• Structured training modules
• External training providers
Active Development and Ad-Hoc Sessions
In 2022, we built a training database to help us evaluate the skills of our staff and record any training going on in the business. The goal of this is to make sure that people are improving in their role and are getting the right support. It also gives people more opportunity to cross-train and learn different roles in the business. This lines up with our ultimate goal for the Bakers Academy which is for everyone to not only understand their own role but also the stages before and after them. This makes people more efficient in their own role and they also have more appreciation for the challenges that their colleagues are facing & are more willing to support.
Over £150,000 was donated to around 20 different charities by Bakers in the last financial year.
Some of the good causes that have been supported this year were nominated by staff, while others were through customers or suppliers. Employees at the company have also had opportunities to support charities directly through volunteering. This has had a positive effect on them gaining a better understanding of what the charities do. For SNAP we volunteered at their SIBS4FUN event, while at Kids Inspire we have wrapped Christmas presents for their Christmas Appeal and for the Foodbank we have helped deliver and unload huge loads of groceries.
Bakers is always happy to support local events in the Brentwood community.
A few examples of what we have supported in the last year include:
• Brentwood Theatre – funding performances for children and adults with PMLD (profound and multiple learning difficulties)
• Sponsorship and organising of Brentwood Half Marathon & Try-a Tri
• Sponsorship of both a local rugby team and a women’s football team
• Local school Christmas Santa’s Grotto and sports kit.
Specific initiatives we have focussed on in last 12 – 18 months.
- Energy saving project to map and highlight all appliances and equipment that are switched off but in sleep mode so still draw power. Now all PCs are automatically turned off fully every night and weekend.
- Created a “switch off team” for everything that cannot go on a timer.
- Investment in our front-end workflows to compliment paperless production and also synchronising this with our new colour management system to reduce makeready raw material waste on a job by job basis
- Recycling all our flexible packaging waste and have increased the number of recycling bins for staff.
- Installed EV charge points for staff and visitors
- Regularly send the cardboard cores to wildlife parks for animal enrichment.
- We instigated the establishment of Brentwood Environmental Business Alliance (BEBA) with Brentwood Borough Council in 2021. This is now an established alliance of local businesses and organisations striving to improve their green credentials
- Became Platinum Corporate Members of Essex Wildlife Trust
- Gained FSC Accreditation
Bakers have been a market leader in the uk label industry for decades. Not only do they provide fantastic products to their customers but they care deeply about their employees and their community. A real life poster company that we should all aspire to and learn from!
Global Graphics Software’s technology is used by many thousands of printing companies around the world. We’re committed to innovation. In order that we can continue to innovate it’s important that our developers understand the challenges faced by those companies in the printing industry. I wanted to take our team to an environment where the code they have written might be used.
I set out to find a printing company that shared our values in innovation and would be happy to show us around their facilities. My research led me to Baker Labels, a leading UK print provider for the label and packaging market, who embraced the idea of welcoming us and showing us round. The thing that struck me immediately about Bakers, was the pride they had in their business and the culture they had built, which clearly radiated as soon as you walked through the door. It was also a bonus to learn that they use PACKZ™ and CLOUDFLOW™ from our sister company, HYBRID Software, to automate many of their processes.
Bakers also work very closely with HP Indigo in both their label printing business (3 x HP Indigo 6900), and BakPac, their flexible packaging business (HP Indigo 20000). This meant that our Harlequin RIP engineers could see presses working that used the technology they had developed deep inside the HP Indigo digital front end. This gave them a sense of real purpose and pride. Bakers’ domain expertise was clear for our team to see: Jamie Godson did an incredible job of explaining the application of technology and challenges that they face within the industry; Jamie Doogan provided important perspective on commercial considerations; and Simon Chandler shared his perspectives on technical infrastructure necessary to stay competitive in the market.
Feedback from my team was overwhelmingly positive and the energy that they got from the visit will be something that I am confident will continue to resonate within our engineering team, spurring on new ideas to solve challenging technical problems. Bakers’ willingness to engage in such conversations will no doubt help us all to do what we do better and facilitate solutions which may well have a broader market application.
On behalf of the Global Graphics Software and Hybrid Software Group PLC, I would like to express my gratitude to Steve Baker and his team for their incredible hospitality and willingness to collaborate. It’s meeting people at companies like Bakers that makes getting out of bed in the morning exciting, and it’s no surprise to me that they are as successful as they are. Long may it continue.”
“We have recently had the chance to work with Baker Labels’ team at the creation and printing of one of our new sample packs. Their Marketing team have listened to our needs and thoughts, and they immediately understood what we were looking for. They gave us so many ideas to create multiple samples that could enhance the various capabilities of our equipment.Their technical team was also involved. Their high knowledge of our machines has allowed them to guide the project in a way that we could show each application without having to compromise on creativity.
I’ve found working with the Baker Team so easy because they are real experts in creating and printing self-adhesive labels which made the project taking shape quickly and effortlessly. They even took part in our online presentation and put themselves and their knowledge at the complete disposal of our customers worldwide. I couldn’t hope for a better partner to fulfil this multifaceted project.
Thank you Baker Labels!”