On the surface, RH Amar are importers and distributors of fine foods. Scratch the surface and you will find a family owned company that is passionate about everything that it does. The company proudly takes its name from the founder, Raoul Amar who set up the business back in 1945.
The business is now run by the third generation, Rob Amar and coinciding with their 75th anniversary last year they marked the milestone with more donations to good causes. Paul Andrews spoke to Rob to find out more.
As Rob explains, “Since 2013, the business has committed to donating 10% of profits to charity each year, donating more than £1.2m since then to some 70 charities. Last year, the company celebrated its 75th anniversary with a £75,000 draw, inviting its customers and brand partners to nominate charities to receive one of five donations ranging from £5,000 to £50,000.”
“Our 75th anniversary draw was an opportunity to contribute to some of our trading partners’ favourite charities when those charities arguably needed it most.”
Each year a formal process is undertaken whereby colleagues are invited to nominate the charities the company will support in the following year. Typically this generates 10-15 nominations, and then those colleagues who haven’t nominated are invited to vote for their preferred charity.
As Rob adds, “the process is completely democratic, and means we end up supporting a wide range of charities we might otherwise not have supported.
“One of our five core values is integrity – as a family business it’s not just what we do that matters, but how we do it . Charitable giving is at the heart of our culture and who we are.”
This will resonate with many other families in business. As Rob adds, “there are a few ever present causes and other new causes each year. We get really good colleague engagement during the process and it is great to see their buy-in to support causes that are important to them too, often for personal and heart-felt reasons. It has become a real point of difference for us and something that helps to define who we are as an organisation too.”
In addition to the charities nominated by colleagues, the company supports a few other charities each year, including a couple of local charities, as well as some food charities.
Rob also appreciates the corporate social responsibility angle to the donations they make. As he adds, “To me personally, I think that it is part of our duty as a successful family business in the commercial world that we share the benefits and make a difference to the communities in which we operate. We have taken a stand such that business is not run solely for the shareholders by way of financial return and that giving back is something that sits in the core of RH Amar. Our commitment to this ongoing programme of supporting good causes is what prompted us to formalise the contribution from annual profits back in 2013,” concludes Rob.