Pro Bono Australia interviewed me about why Whole Kids became a Founding Member of B Corporation Australia, and the first Australian food company to acheive B Corp status. Here’s Part One of the interview:
Why B Corp Certification?
There are many benefits to become a B Corp unlike other types of business accreditation or certification. Firstly, B Corp certification is a clear, credible and transparent way to let the public know a business’s commitment to generate “profit with purpose”. Unlike other third-party certifications, B Corp certification assesses a business’s complete business model and operating systems, including its impact on employees, suppliers, communities and the environment. It is a higher standard of proof of a company’s impact on the world.
Secondly, the B Corp logo is now globally recognised as evidence that a business has undergone a strict assessment and, at Whole Kids, we have found that this increases consumer and supplier trust in our business. It provides confidence to external constituents that this business is genuine and not “greenwashing” its activities.
Thirdly, B Corp status is a powerful way for firms and companies to differentiate themselves from competitors. More and more people want to buy goods and services from businesses that are making a positive contribution to the world and that also share their personal values.
For Whole Kids, we operate in an industry where we see many questionable practices by our larger ‘conventional’ competitors, including the use of harmful pesticides, toxins and other food additives, marketing unhealthy foods to kids, and selling products that contribute to community health issues such as obesity and diabetes.
The B Corp logo is a compelling way for us to communicate to customers that we are different to our competitors, and that we making decisions based on fulfilling our core purpose rather than solely maximising profit at every opportunity. It’s also a highly effective way to attract enthusiastic, committed and fully engaged employees who share your values.
And finally, being a B Corp means we are part of a growing global community of like-minded, values-based socially and environmentally responsible businesses. Being part of this larger community, and particularly being active in growing the B Corp movement in Australia, provides opportunities for Whole Kids to connect with other progressive and innovative businesses so that we can partner together and collectively address social and environmental issues.
How important is it for the public to know about your B Corp certification?
As one of the Founding Members of B Corporation Australia, and part of the small number of businesses to be first certified here, we believe it is very important to communicate to our customers, our suppliers, our retailers and our communities about what a B Corp is and why it matters to us.
In our industry, there are a lot of claims made by food companies about whether a particular product or ingredient is made or sourced to accepted ethical or environmental standards. With over 300 eco-labels in use worldwide, customers face a confusing landscape as to which label they trust for particular products.
One of the reasons Whole Kids is a certified organic food company is to provide confidence to customers that all our products meet strict organic standards. For us, B Corp certification is another layer of, what we like to call, “trust mark” and applies to our whole business not just the products we make.
The overwhelming support from our customers and interest from other companies wishing to become a B Corp, has been amazing. It has also energised our staff and suppliers, and helped crystallise our focus on the ways we can make the largest impact through our business on the social and environmental issues that matter most to us and our customers.