First created in US law in Maryland in 2010, the Benefit Corporation is a new legal status of incorporation that requires organisations both to make profit and to serve a greater societal purpose. Crucially, they have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders on both counts, not just on profit, and so must state and report against a measurable public benefit. Baby food brand Plum Organics was among the first to adopt this status, committing them to raise awareness and advance solutions for childhood hunger and malnutrition in the United States – not just sell baby food – and committing their shareholders to hold them to it. The associated voluntary certification system, the B Corporation movement, arrived in the UK in 2015.
Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. Although not food specific, they do include UK food brands, and there is inspiration to be drawn from the community of pioneers they are building, how businesses support one another and learn from each other, whether it is from their online forums or in-person events.
What we love about them:
We love that the B-corporation community has an online platform for different departments to share knowledge, help one another and provide mentoring support for employees of the member organisations.