The Certified Supplier: Corporate Connect AB
Corporate Connect AB was established in 2010 by David Liddiard, with the purpose of linking the corporate sector with Indigenous enterprise and employment opportunities. David has been involved with Supply Nation since its inception and was looking for a product to help fund the initiatives of Corporate Connect AB. He came upon the idea of Indigenous themed coffee cups, featuring artwork created by his family members. “Coffee, obviously, is one of the biggest products in the food and beverage industry so it was a perfect fit,” David explained. “I can’t hold a paintbrush for my life, but most of my family are amazing painters and artists so we’ve been able to tap into this at a local level.” The artwork for the first Indigenous coffee cup was designed by David’s uncle Keith Brown. "He's done really well. I’ve got other cousins and family members that are great artists, some contemporary, some traditional,” he continued. Supply Nation Member Bunzl, plays a lead roll in distributing the cups, while Huhtamaki are the manufacturer. The cup is made from pulp and is fully biodegradable. David hopes the messaging on the cup will help to spread the word about supplier diversity and encourage other corporates to open their doors to Indigenous business and communities.
The Member: Compass Group
Compass Group has been a Supply Nation Member since 2009. The business relationship between Compass Group and Corporate Connect AB first began in 2012, following an introduction at Supply Nation’s premier annual event Connect. General Manager for Indirect Procurement at Compass Group, Shaun Hodgins was immediately impressed by the product when he spotted it at Corporate Connect AB’s Tradeshow booth at Connect. “When we saw this particular cup, we realised that it fell within our core business and aligned with our comprehensive Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), and in particular our Indigenous business participation objectives, ” Shaun explained. “Because we’re in the hospitality game, obviously for us, a product like this, a disposable cup, is essential to our business. The non-branded cups we were using were just plain so we trialled this particular Indigenous design cup at the Australian Museum, one of our key sites operated by Restaurant Associates, one of our operating brands. Coffee sales went up by double digit percentage growth and the client was delighted,” he said. The Indigenous design cup is now available for order on Compass Group’s internal ordering platform, and will be utilised widely by flagship sites such as Chevron’s Barrow island gas project in WA and the newly established Mannigur- Ma village, supporting the Inpex gas project in Darwin.
The Opportunities and Outcomes:
Since engaging with Compass Group, Corporate Connect AB's Indigenous designed coffee cup has become available for purchase at all non-Lavazza branded Compass Group sites across the nation. David believes he wouldn’t have had the success he has had thus far without Shaun’s passion and commitment to the cause. “We knew there would be excitement about this cup and that’s why Compass Group was so important," he explained. "Shaun was true to his word and to his passion. We’re seeing it now. Compass Group and Shaun have been responsible for taking us from a trickle to a gush. It’s growing at an enormous rate.” Due to the success of the Indigenous coffee cup initiative, Compass Group is now pursuing another business opportunity with Corporate Connect AB. The next strand of their partnership has seen Compass Group trialling a unique new 'hot and healthy’ food vending machine. The initial trial phase saw the scheme rolled out at Gosford hospital in New South Wales.
How Supply Nation was able to help:
The successful partnership between Compass Group and Corporate Connect AB came about as a direct result of a meeting at Supply Nation’s Connect 2012 Tradeshow in Sydney. Shaun was so impressed by David’s Indigenous designed coffee cup that he initiated a meeting between the two parties within weeks. “Connect was the biggest injection of development and innovation to bring together two perfectly suited concepts,” Shaun explained.
David equally credits Supply Nation for providing the forum for Certified Suppliers to expose their products to the right people. “Shaun came up to our stand at Connect and said he loved the cup, and the story behind it. We had connectivity,” he laughed.
“Connect is a great name for it because it provides an opportunity for people to come together who wouldn’t usually have an opportunity to do so. It doesn’t cost you loads of money, it’s a really great forum. It’s a great time to explore other business ideas. You wouldn’t do that normally, you just couldn’t fit it in,” he concluded.