Being BCorp – Fair Food Forager makes the Grade.08 Jun 2017
So you run a business that wants to do good things for people, the community, animals and the planet, but you’re not a charity? Boo! Hiss! That’s evil! It’s all about the money! ...Not quite, but that is a common response, and even similar to my own thinking a while back.
Business practice that worked in the 80’s doesn't necessarily work anymore. Layoffs because a business failed to meet 'projections' are not only wrong, they're stupid. The core of a business is its people and the improvement that the business can make in the world. We can only get so far basing all our decisions on a financial projection, the 'guestimation' of profit. It’s time businesses gave back to the world, and people felt safe at work.
What is business actually about anyway? Starting a company with an end goal of solving a problem for someone, right? Patagonia, for example, solve the issue of quality clothing and outdoor accessories. Plus, they increase their value to the world by sourcing and manufacturing those goods without harming the planet. And what about Etsy, Ben & Jerry's, Australian Ethical Investment? An impressive list of changemakers on the BCorp roster.
All this is a kind of an overview which leads me to saying that nowadays there's a little more clarity around the issue, with words like ‘profit for purpose’ or ‘social enterprise’ being bandied around. It's become okay for a business to produce positive change in the world and make a profit.
Is money and the pursuit of it evil - and nothing else? This is a question I had to get over, and quickly. You can't model a business on doing great things and have great people working with you if you aren’t going to make any money. Not for long anyway! Businesses cost money! Staffing, registration fees, logos, stock, websites - they all cost money. Those great people you have, they will need to eat and pay their rent. If you don’t have a plan to make money, banks won’t lend and purpose - driven investors won’t invest in your purpose. Money is a tool. It's all about what you do with it.
Fortunately, for those of us wanting to create meaningful change through our business, there is something to help us achieve our goal. Its called BCorporation. Their motto is “business as a force for good in the world”. Sounds like the way it should be, right? Imagine a world where a portion of all business profits were reinvested into fixing something in the community or repairing an environmental problem.
“B Corporations are a way to transcend the contradictions between the ineffective parts of the social sector and myopic capitalism.” - New York Times
There are 2173 Certified BCorps in the world to date. They're in about 50 countries and come from all sectors. Getting certified is not an easy process. There's a strict series of assessment guidelines. The categories in this long and rigorous process include: community, team, suppliers, banking and, of course, environment and waste. For further details on the categories, checkout the BCorp website.
So here at Fair Food Forager we are incredibly proud to announce that we have been through this examination and passed with flying colours! We made the grade with 91 out of a possible 200 when 80 is the pass mark and the average.
It’s a huge achievement for a young organisation trying to earn enough to keep our great people and to reinvest in a better future.
We believe in ourselves and are finding our way - experimenting as we go.
And having a great time as we work towards 'changing the way the world eats'.
Paul Hellier - Founder
Join the Fair Food Movement - let's make ethical easy.
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