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Biffa Lends Support to Tackle Slavery in Football

03 • June • 2021

Biffa Lends Support to Tackle Slavery in Football

Biffa is continuing its work to raise awareness of Modern Day Slavery by sponsoring The Premier League & Euro 2020 Cycling Tour.

3 June 2021

Biffa Lends Support to Tackle Slavery in Football

Biffa is continuing its work to raise awareness of Modern Day Slavery by sponsoring The Premier League & Euro 2020 Cycling Tour. Sponsoring this tour will enable Biffa to support education around a particularly harrowing practice of Modern Day Slavery, where young people are targeted and encouraged to come to Europe with promises of better lives and trials with professional football clubs. Within Europe’s football industry, it is estimated there are a staggering 15,000 human trafficking victims each year[1].

The event is run by Ride for Freedom, the social enterprise which undertakes inspiring cycling challenges to raise awareness of Modern Day Slavery, and is led by Guinness World Record holder and anti-slavery advocate Gordon Miller. Biffa takes a zero-tolerance policy towards slavery and has set itself a target to become an acknowledged industry leader in anti-slavery practises.        

Biffa has made significant efforts to raise awareness of human trafficking and is a founding member of the Slave Free Alliance, recognised by the SFA for making significant strides year on year and adopting a proactive stance to mitigate risks. ‘Biffa also works closely with Hope for Justice, the international anti-human trafficking charity, promoting awareness of this important global issue. This is on top of the extensive work Biffa carries out within its own organisation to prevent and tackle Modern Day Slavery, including extensive training and guidance to employees to help spot the signs and report concerns. 

Mel Flogdell, Divisional HR Director for Biffa, said: “This sponsorship is the latest initiative by Biffa to raise awareness of Modern Day Slavery, an issue that is a high priority for the business as we strive towards achieving our self-set target to be a recognised leader in anti-slavery practises. It is appalling that children and young people can be trafficked under the pretence of opportunities in football and campaigns such as this cycling tour are vital to ensure there is broader awareness of the issue, not just in sport but also more widely.”

Gordon Miller, anti-slavery advocate, said: Many of those trafficked in sport are youths. They are lured to Europe by promises of better lives and the opportunity of trials with professional football clubs that may lead to untold riches. It’s an under-reported crime that needs a light shining on it. I’m honoured to be leading this cycling tour to engage with the Premier League clubs and the wider football and sports communities with the ambition of supporting initiatives that give child trafficking in sport the red card.”

About Premier League & Euro 2020 Cycling Tour

The tour will cover approximately 1,000 miles, visiting the 20 English Premier League football clubs, starting from 27 June-11 July 2021, during Euro 2020. It will start and finish at Wembley stadium with simultaneous events happening at key Euro 2020 tournament host cities, starting with Munich and also featuring Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Glasgow.          

The Premier League & Euro 2020 cycling tour is one of three cycling challenges that Ride For Freedom is carrying out in 2021. Biffa has partnered with Ride For Freedom 2021 as a ‘Podium Partner’, which will enable Biffa to continue raising awareness of human trafficking as well as sharing the psychological and physical benefits that cycling can have in supporting people who have previously been victims of modern slavery.


Notes to Editors


With a history of leading the UK’s waste management industry for over 100 years, today Biffa is an established enabler of the UK circular economy.

Our team of more than 9,000 colleagues carry out essential operations every day to support the UK circular economy including collection, surplus redistribution, recycling, treatment, disposal and energy generation.

Our purpose is ‘to change the way people think about waste’ and sustainability has been at the heart of our business strategy for many years. We have already made huge strides in our sustainability journey by investing in plastic recycling and energy from waste infrastructure, surplus redistribution and low carbon collections, leading to a 70% reduction in our carbon emissions since 2002. Our sustainability strategy ‘Resourceful, Responsible’ will see us unlock £1.25bn of investment in vital green economy infrastructure by 2030, while further reducing our carbon emissions by 50% by 2030. We aim to have net zero emissions no later than 2050.

We understand that we must lead by example and are committed to further improving health, safety and wellbeing in our sector. We are proud to have been awarded a 5 star grading by the British Safety Council. We have also made strong progress in making sure Biffa is an inclusive place to work where diversity is championed and our >9,000 strong workforce feel valued and understand the positive contribution they make to enabling the UK circular economy.

Our long-standing Biffa Award programme supports sustainable projects across the UK which deliver environmental benefits while making a valuable contribution to local communities. Our partnership with WasteAid helps countries in the developing world with managing their waste more sustainably.


Ride for Freedom

For further information, visit #RideForFreedom2021

Fact file


The Route 


[1] The Trafficking in Persons (TIP) 2020 Report