CATER OILS a family business

The first lorry, trading then as R.Howell & Sons

Cater Oils today has evolved through 4 generations of the Howell family.

It was all started a long time ago by my great grandfather R.Howell. In those days our family had a pig farm and we would collect food waste from restaurants and factories to feed the pigs. The food waste would be cooked up and on top of the tanks there would be a layer of oil and fat. This oil would be skimmed off and barrelled up and sold.

Our first processing plant in the late 80's

Eventually the pig farming came to an end, due to European competition & modern intensive farming methods. Leslie and Peter Howell (my father and grandfather) decided to pursue further into the oil markets, collecting oils and fats directly from caterers. The oils and fats were melted down in our processing plant near Windsor and sold by bulk tanker to Harris and Tobias commodity traders for animal feeds.

1995 Partial ban of oils and food waste in animal feeds

2001 Full ban of oils, fats and food waste in animal feeds

Peter Howell outside Benugo's BFI after being called in by head chef Richard and Olga to collect 50+ cans of oil.

After research by MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture Foods and Fisheries) into BSE and CJD waste oils are banned from animal feeds.

In this period, there was a lack of demand for waste oils. Wholesale tanker prices dropped to below £100 PMT meaning waste oil companies had to charge to collect used oils.

Restaurants were struggling to dispose of cooking oil correctly.


It took a few years for the waste oil markets to recover, but eventually bio diesel became economically viable to produce from vegetable based oils and fats and created demand once again for this waste product.

Today our company provides a professional fresh cooking oil & waste cooking oil collection service.