Oil procured sustainability: Cookers Bulk Oil

Cookers Bulk Oil System explains how a push towards sustainability in the food services sector is seeing more organisations turn to its full lifecycle solution.

It’s critical that quality assurance systems are applied in the food services industry to ensure products are food grade.

While food safety is first and foremost a priority, conscientious consumers are increasingly calling for products that also meet rigorous environmental standards.

For nearly 20 years, Cookers Bulk Oil has placed sustainability at the core of its operations.

With this in mind, the company provides a complete oil management solution across the broader food services industry. Its diverse customer base ensures it is able to service small to medium businesses, right through to major corporations, with high-quality cooking oils meeting industry standards. This comprises, but is not limited to, restaurants, casual dining, cafes, takeaway, hotels and fast food establishments.

The two major products sold by Cookers are canola oil and a premium frying oil branded XLFRY Oil. In addition to a suite of other products, the company is able to manufacture blends according to its customers’ needs.

Cookers’ lifecycle solution sees it source fresh Australian oil that meets industry standards and delivering it to the sector through dedicated trucks. It then picks up regular used oil which is converted into valuable commodities such as biodiesel.

Garry Nash, General Manager of Sales at Cookers Bulk Oil System, says the business initially started out with a focus on kitchen efficiencies. Over time, Cookers increased its scope towards recyclable solutions for oil management as sustainability became a considerable focus for procurement.

“It’s really important for our customer base that they not only know where their oil has come from, but also where it’s going,” Garry explains.

“When we pick up customers’ oil, they know that it’s coming back to our depots to be refined and given a second life in the biodiesel industry, so that full circle approach helps a business understand and implement best practice.”

The company works with Australian oil manufacturers to refine products locally.

One of Cookers’ key offerings is the use of storage units instead of tins, preventing 300 tins from ending up in landfill for each truck of oil delivered. Garry says that this not only has an environmental benefit, but avoids the cost of disposal through gate fees.

Each delivery is accompanied with a certificate of analysis to support traceability for customers. Food service organisations are supplied with purpose-built storage units and a dedicated business development manager to meet their requirements.

“We batch track every drop of oil that we deliver knowing the date we delivered it, what the product was and what the batch was all the way back to when we received it.”

Cookers’ key point of differentiation in the food market is that it holds Safe Quality Food (SQF) accreditation for oil supply in Australia. SQF is a globally recognised food safety program that reinforces its commitment to rigorous safety standards in the industry.

Garry says SQF holds Cookers to a high account for its product traceability – an issue that has increasingly become topical with product recalls for consumer products such as strawberries and honey. He says product dilution is also another food industry issue that Cookers seeks to alleviate with transparent processes, with the company allowing unannounced audits.

“Our business policy is our doors are always open to our customers and that means if they were to knock on the door unannounced, our warehouses can be walked through and viewed by anyone at any time, and that is a requirement of SQF.”

“It’s one thing to have a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) certification, but we feel that SQF is one step above that.”

Cookers also holds an International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC), which covers comprehensive sustainability requirements to monitor greenhouse gas emissions and ensure products are traceable and produced in an environmentally responsible manner.

The used oil that returns to the depots is decrumbed, dewatered and heat treated to create a finished product sold off into biodiesel.

The company ensures its own operations are sustainable by harvesting and reusing rainwater at its sites, measuring and analysing its greenhouse emissions and using a wind turbine at its head office to supply 30 per cent of its factory power needs.

Garry says Cookers offers a national footprint with nine depots across Australia and the same service model and offering available around the country. He says that Cookers will continue to evolve its business to ensure it keeps pace with changing industry practices and expectations.

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