A supporter’s perspective: why helping HA makes sustainable sense for suppliers

When I launched this blog last month, I wrote that we’d created it to enable us to bring to life the many and varied ways in which Hospitality Action helps people who work or have worked in the British hospitality industry; and to tell the stories of the thousands of individuals and companies who give up precious time to fundraise for us.

Here’s the story of one of our staunchest supply-side supporters, Olleco.

Olleco are in the business of supplying premium quality cooking oils to the foodservice industry, collecting used oil and food waste and recycling it or converting it into renewable energy. It’s what they call ‘total resource recovery’, and it’s all about ensuring that nothing is ever wasted by foodservice businesses.

Since 2012, supporting HA has been central to Olleco’s values. Tellingly, we are listed on the ‘About Us’ drop-down menu on their homepage.

Olleco understand that supporting HA creates a virtuous circle: by supporting our efforts to keep hospitality professionals happy, healthy and work-ready, they are helping build sustainable businesses around the sector – and therefore future-proofing their own business.

I spoke to Kate Mortimer, Olleco’s Group Marketing and Communications Manager, about their support of HA, last week.

How did Olleco decide to support Hospitality Action?

In 2012 we embarked on a journey to find a charity partner who could help us extend our ethos of care. 
Individuals working within the catering and hospitality sector are key to our business. The very people the charity helps are the people that we deal with on a daily basis, delivering cooking oil and collecting organic waste streams.

What exactly do you do to support HA? 

Every time we sell cooking oil and collect used oil from our customers we make a donation. To date, we have raised over £85,000. We also regularly attend some of the fantastic fundraising events the charity organises and employees from across Olleco regularly volunteer to coordinate its vitally important regional Golden Friend Lunches for retirees from the industry.

Do you benefit from supporting HA in promotional terms? 

Each time we reach a fundraising milestone, Hospitality Action will use their PR connections to promote our achievement, which we appreciate. Olleco has 50,000 customers who we regularly communicate with and also a selection of blue-chip major accounts. Our support of Hospitality Action is always a part of our communications with our customers.

And what do you do on social media? 

We use various social media platforms to promote our support and with a high presence on our website.

What are the benefits in terms of team morale and engagement? 

Our values drive our business. All employees are aware of our support of Hospitality Action and consider it to be an important part of our community programme to give something back. HA is ingrained in the human ethos of our business.

Here’s Kate talking about Olleco’s support of HA, early last year. Thanks Kate and the whole team at Olleco; many hospitality lives have been transformed due to your generosity.

Would you like to benefit from the virtuous circle of supporting HA? Drop me a line at mlewis@hospitalityaction.org.uk or call me on 07919 324978.