By Kate Mortimer, Olleco Group Marketing and Communications Manager

As the UK’s leading supplier of premium oils and fats and collector of used cooking oil and food waste, we at Olleco are hugely dependent on people throughout the UK hospitality sector. Having built up close working relationships with so many people in the industry (we currently service over 50,000 establishments across the UK) we were all too well aware of the unique challenges faced by people working in hospitality and the difficulties they can lead to. Raymond Blanc, one of Hospitality Action’s leading patrons, puts it brilliantly here.

Giving back to people that we work alongside

We were determined to give something back to the people who are central to our business, so in 2013 we partnered with Hospitality Action and committed to make a donation each time a restaurant or food business uses Olleco to supply them with oil and collect their used oil and food waste. Five years on, we are really excited to have reached our first £100,000 milestone.

Jason Atherton, another Hospitality Action patron, summed it up perfectly for us by saying: “To raise and donate £100,000 is an astonishing gift, one which the whole team at Olleco should feel very proud of. The fact that they are doing so by collecting and recycling foodservice waste makes this a win-win for the industry.”

Hospitality Action is the natural choice

Hospitality Action is an amazing charity. Founded in 1837 as the London Coffee House Keepers Association, its original purpose was “relieving aged and decayed members of the trade, their widows and orphans” and protecting them from the workhouse. Things have moved on a bit since then but the charity’s activities are no less worthy.

Hospitality Action helps people right across the hospitality industry in a whole host of ways

From drug and alcohol seminars, alerting new generations of food service professionals to the dangers of addiction, to providing social activities for people who have retired from hospitality and find themselves lonely and isolated. However, Hospitality Action’s most intensive work involves supporting people suffering from life altering illnesses or experiencing poverty, bereavement or domestic violence. We are proud that our donation has been deployed to help over 540 families facing these kinds of challenges.

Securing better outcomes for people.

It was our privilege to meet one of the charity’s beneficiaries when Hospitality Action joined us to celebrate our £100,000 milestone. Simon Holwell worked as a pastry development chef for Maison Blanc until he was paralysed by a spinal injury. When he needed a lightweight wheelchair, Hospitality Action were there to step in and help give Simon back his freedom. Simon told us that his new chair means he can now start leading a normal life again and is looking forward to being able to get back to work.

To hear Simon tell his story, watch our video: https://youtu.be/ONa3O9ml0Xs

We’re determined to help even more people like Simon and his family and our commitment to Hospitality Action is ongoing. We see this as just the first £100,000 of many and, as we grow, so will the amount we can donate.

Securing better outcomes for the planet.

Olleco’s decision to support Hospitality Action was not a commercial one. It’s about doing the right thing – Olleco was created to have ethical and sustainable principles right at its heart. We go to great lengths to process everything that we collect from our customers’ foodservice businesses in the most efficient and sustainable way possible. This ensures that we recover the maximum value from these resources.

Finding sustainable solutions

Our state-of-the-art Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant in Aylesbury uses food waste to create biomethane, electricity and heat which powers a zero carbon milk processing facility with any excess being fed into the national gas and power grids. At Olleco we take real pride in the fact our work is bringing thousands of food businesses into the circular economy. Some of our most sustainability-focused customers are even using the renewable biofuels we produce to run their vehicle distribution fleets and heat their buildings – reducing their carbon footprint further still. We’re always looking to partner with businesses who share our vision for a sustainable, circular economy and are keen to ensure they are operating in the most resource efficient way possible.