Surplus equipment initiative needs your backing

Two major manufacturers have renewed calls for the industry to back a recently-launched campaign to donate surplus catering equipment to UK charities.

Hobart and Meiko have joined forces to encourage other manufacturers, suppliers and distributors to identify redundant and quality second-hand catering equipment that could benefit cash-strapped charities.

The FCSI, CESA and CEDA have all agreed to support the initiative, which was launched last month with the aim of facilitating the transfer of surplus or redundant catering equipment to UK charities that receive little or no public funding.

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CEDA chairman, Jack Sharkey, said it fully endorsed the initiative and urged members to offer redundant equipment or their engineering skills to install the equipment if needed.

“The issue of wastage and the reclamation of machinery is widespread in this sector. This pledge will ensure we are acting as one to address the sustainability challenge and to minimise waste in terms of equipment and landfill.”

Nick Oryino, chairman of CESA, also backed the campaign: “With the economic downturn continuing to bite, these types of organisations need our help more than ever. We applaud the efforts of Hobart and Meiko, therefore, in getting the wheels in motion and call upon our members to do all they can to get involved and show the very best of the catering equipment industry.”

As founding members of the charity, which has yet to have a formal name, Meiko and Hobart have contributed £5,000 to help with the start-up costs.

But Hobart’s commercial director, Dave Riley, said the charity needed others to pledge their support to make it viable.

“The time is right for an industry initiative that gives deserving charities access to catering equipment that is not being used but is still perfectly serviceable,” he said. “The campaign is growing in awareness but more still needs to be done. Our vision is to create a pool of second-hand catering equipment that charities can access for their own needs — we’re calling on the industry to help make this a reality.”

The initiative originated from informal discussions between Hobart and Meiko with a view to establishing a central database of available equipment with the administration to be handled centrally and funded by contributions from supporters.

Both companies have accorded that time is right for the catering equipment fraternity to stand united and help to make a difference to those charitable organisations that have been hardest hit by cuts to their funding.

Meiko’s managing director, Bill Downie, said: “Many UK catering equipment suppliers and distributors already support charities, of course, but we want everybody involved in equipment supply to come together to create a professionally run, nationally recognised service.”

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