The team at fine food distributor Cotswold Fayre is celebrating today after achieving a score of 107.8 in its B Corporation Recertification.

According to B Corp, there are now nearly 500 B Corps in the UK, across 48 industries, with 22,000 employees and combined revenue of £4.3billion. 54 of these B Corps are in the food and beverage sector.

In 2015, Cotswold Fayre was one of the first companies in the UK to certify as a B Corporation and the company has just completed the rigorous recertification process.  Recertification is an element of the B Corp process which encourages businesses to continually improve, over the five main categories, governance, community, environment, workers and customers.

To certify as a B Corporation, a company must score over 80 points on the B Impact Assessment. Cotswold Fayre currently has a B Corp score of 107.8 rising from 83.5 at its last assessment (the median score for an ‘ordinary business’ is 50.9!).

Paul Hargreaves, CEO of Cotswold Fayre, and B Corp ambassador says: “As a B Corp we believe that profit should never come at the expense of people and planet and at Cotswold Fayre this always impacts our decision-making. We make less profit by doing the right thing, such as our move in August 2019 to become carbon neutral, probably our highlight of the year!

“In 2015 when we first certified, we had a score of 83.6 and two years later at our first re-certification our score was 83.5. We were a little disappointed at the time as we had done so much work to improve, but I was reminded that the bar gets higher each year.  Fast forward three years, and we have achieved an amazing score.  This demonstrates just how far we have come as a company and is a real credit to the work of the whole Cotswold Fayre team! To put the score into perspective, we are now in the top 10% of FMCG B Corps in the UK.”

“For us, business isn’t just about making money for the shareholders, yes, it is about making profit, but also changing people’s lives and making the planet more sustainable too.  The assessment process for B Corp involves looking at every area of the company and seeing how good they are for the world, they look at the culture of the company, and the governance and how empowered people are, feeling part of the company, and essentially what the company’s DNA looks like.

“The assessment looks at how good you are for the planet in terms of the environmental piece, so there’s lots of work done with our suppliers and logistics, on reducing our carbon footprint.  It’s certainly not an easy process, but it certainly drives us all forward.

“And at Cotswold Fayre, a lot of this change, and the strategic shift, is now being driven by our people, the DNA of the business – whether that’s recycling, doing good in the local community, or benefitting from more holidays, sabbaticals and a company share scheme.” 

“By focussing on people and planet, the profit follows!  Focussing on the numbers doesn’t generate income, that comes from a happy team, who are doing some good for the world. There has been data from the first companies who certified along with us in 2015, which showed that the average growth per year of the initial B Corp companies, was 14%.”.

In 2020, Cotswold Fayre sold more than 35,000 cases of B Corp suppliers’ products, accounting for more than £750,000 in value sales – that’s a 75% increase in sales value of B Corp products on 2019!

Find out more at: Certified B Corporation.

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