A leading biscuit company has agreed to pay nearly £40,000 to charity after realising it had overlooked compliance regulations for 15 years.
The Environment Agency (EA) has accepted an enforcement undertaking (EU) from Bahlsen, a multinational importer of biscuits and other foods.
The company contacted the EA after realising it had not conformed to rules about the use of imported packaging that it was legally required to observe since 1997.
Sanjiv Syal, EA environment officer, said: “Bahlsen submitted a proactive EU offer, which means the company voluntarily came to us to report the breaches when the problem was identified.
“This self-reporting means the company benefits from a deduction in the penalty which could have applied had the investigation gone to court, and allows the financial recompense to go to good environmental causes.”
The company has improved its operating procedures to prevent further breaches, and offered financial contributions totalling £39,800 to the Wildlife Trust and Woodland Trust, which exceeds the costs it would have paid had it registered in 1997.
The EA said Bahlsen was fully co-operative throughout the investigation: ”The company is keen to do the right thing and be fully compliant with packaging regulations in the future.”