All Good Organics enjoyed a stonking big win today as the first (and only) New Zealand company to be named one of the world's most ethical companies by New York's Ethisphere Institute.
Think tank Ethisphere has compiled this list annually since 2007 and it has grown every single year. For 2013, it reviewed nominations from companies in more than 100 countries and 36 industries, studying codes of ethics, litigation and regulatory infraction histories, investment in innovation and sustainable business practices, and activities designed to improve corporate citizenship.
“Not only did more companies apply for the World's Most Ethical Companies recognition this year than any year in the past, which demonstrates that ethical activity is an important part of many of these companies' business models, but we are also seeing more companies be proactive and create new initiatives that expand ethics programs and cultures across entire industries, such as industry-based ethics associations and other activities,” said Alex Brigham, executive director of Ethisphere.
All Good Organics, a small Kiwi company with 10 employees operating out of a Grey Lynn shed, put Fairtrade bananas on the map in New Zealand when it started importing the country’s first Fairtrade fruit three years ago.
In addition to Fairtrade fruit, All Good recently launched Fairtrade organic Karma Cola, made with cola nut sourced from farmers in Sierra Leone with a contribution from the sale of every bottle going back to the village, followed by a Fairtrade organic Ginger Ale called Gingerella released last week.
Chris Morrison, founder of Phoenix Organics, his brother Matt Morrison and former 42Below marketing director Simon Coley founded All Good Organics first met at a beach in West Auckland and decided they wanted to create a company that would raise the bar for ethical and sustainable business.
“We started this business to help support small farmers in developing nations whether it be our neighbours in the Pacific, banana growers in Ecuador or cola nut farmers in West Africa,” director Chris Morrison said. “At All Good believe we can’t ignore the consequences humane or environmental, of growing the food we eat and enjoy even though it may happen a long way from New Zealand.
“An ethical approach is woven into every aspect of what we do, it’s not just part of a policy or CSR strategy. It hasn’t been an easy journey, especially when competitors have tried to jump on the ethical bandwagon with self-certification. But being recognised like this helps to cement that we’re on the right track.
"New Zealand has a whole range of emerging small ethical businesses that show you can have ethical, sustainable approach and be financially successful too – it’s the new face of business and we’re proud to be highlighting this country on a world stage.”