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International efforts and fresh bread
continue to
drive a sense of normality for Ukrainian locals

Two years since on and with help from Zeelandia UK, Bake4Ukraine continues to provide support and purpose for the Ukrainian bakery sector.

Situated in the east of the capital Kyiv, Zeelandia Ukraine is a leading supplier of bakery ingredients to commercial bakery businesses in Ukraine, and part of the global Royal Zeelandia Group.

Following the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and significant disruption to the Ukrainian bakery industry, Andriy Vasylenko, Managing Director of Zeelandia Ukraine, created Bake4Ukraine, a project intended to ensure a regular supply of bread and soup to families with disabilities and the elderly who had remained in the local area.


Re-purposing existing site equipment such as jam kettles and machinery used to make cream alternatives, over 600L of soup was produced daily alongside fresh bread. Once word spread, the initiative found further support from local farmers donating vegetables.


With operations in over 31 countries, sister companies of the Royal Zeelandia Group, including Zeelandia UK, pooled together to drive international awareness and support, from additional supply of ingredients, cash injections, and the donation of equipment and furniture.


Working at the heart of the UK commercial baking industry, Zeelandia UK helped drive these support efforts, using an extensive network of close partners and suppliers, including Tesco , Montana Bakeries, Fine Lady Bakeries, and others to seek redundant bakery equipment that could be transported by lorry to the team in Ukraine.


To date, we have had a variety of equipment donated, including industrial ovens, provers, and mixers with two lorries recently departing Zeelandia UK’s Colchester Technical Centre for Ukraine.


On arrival, Zeelandia Ukraine’s specialist team of engineers repair and re-purpose the donated bakery equipment to make it suitable for use in the local communities, including adjusting gas run equipment to using electric and wood pellets.


Initially, donations were used to support the operations of 10 smaller bakery businesses in towns and villages often impacted by damaged infrastructure and disruptions to ingredient supply, ensuring that all Ukrainian people could buy fresh bread.


Broader uses of furniture and equipment donations from Zeelandia’s Netherlands site have also been used to support Ukranian charities setting up shelters and refugee camps.


As the war in Ukraine progresses, efforts continue to support existing bakery businesses while encouraging initiatives to open smaller bakeries to ensure a regular supply of bread to those in need whilst also providing employment and a source of income to people who have been displaced by the conflict.


Andriy Vasylenko, Managing Director of Zeelandia Ukraine, said;

“On behalf of my team, on behalf of the local people who have found comfort and normality in the fresh smell of bread, on behalf of the Ukrainian commercial bakery industry and those within it, we would like to thank both our international colleagues at Zeelandia and industry partners that have come together to show their continued support.”


Zeelandia Ukraine is now working on a programme to support creating restful homes in local villages for the troops to have some R&R away from the front line, before re-entering the conflict.  


In 2024, efforts continue to seek donations of second-hand bakery and cookery equipment, including microwaves, refrigerators, and bakery tables, as well as cash donations for raw materials.


Zeelandia UK will continue to support equipment donations while running Ukranian-themed bakery events throughout the year to continue driving support for the Bake4Ukraine campaign.


David Amos, Managing Director of Zeelandia UK, said;

“We are incredibly grateful to all our close partners who have and continue to donate and offer support, giving Andriy and his team the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of local Ukrainian people. This demonstrates the power and importance of international communities working together to create a thriving commercial baking industry. If anyone in the industry wishes to provide equipment or other donations, please get in touch with me.”

Learn more about the Bake4Ukraine initiative here.

International efforts and fresh bread continue to drive a sense of normality for Ukrainian locals