How an earth did a small company like us get B-Corp certification? I must admit that we’re still pinching ourselves as we’re all so very proud; but I can assure you it was a determined effort. Albeit with a touch of irony, in that our gift of time was delivered within the unpleasant packaging of the Corona Virus.
Here’s the short story…
Our ambitions are bold. After all, we launched a start-up into one of the most competitive sectors in the world.
Coffee is big business and dominated by big businesses in which the shareholder usually reigns supreme.
We are side-stepping the ‘race to the bottom’ with price and the impact this has on quality, sustainability and service. Our existence demonstrates that it is possible to create a win-win where our clients’ coffee experience is exceptional and the coffee farmer is paid fairly and remains centre-stage in the environment where their coffee is being enjoyed – the boardroom, reception area, office bean-to-cup machine etc.
We’ve eliminated single-use foil-bonded plastics that are suffocating more than just the coffee sector – all of our coffee is distributed in either returnable containers or compostable bags.
Our commitment to the environment extends to solar energy production, purchasing 100% green energy, a complete ban on commuting mileage and we recycle, reuse and reduce waste wherever possible.
The amamus operational model was created to work in partnership with the best independent coffee roasters across the UK. We enable them to do their best work; which is roasting beautiful Specialty grade coffee for our clients.
We knew our approach was different and brought many benefits; but this can be hard to explain. Particularly when you’re a small team and you’re super busy.
We’d read about B-Corp and realised that their philosophy around interdependence chimed perfectly with our ambitions.
We would have loved to work towards this but there was absolutely NO WAY we had the time to undertake all that was required to achieve accreditation. After all, our small team is running about installing coffee machines, tasting new coffees for clients, writing stories about our coffee farmers, quality testing etc.
Then this very odd thing happened on 23rd March – our business screeched to a halt. Most our clients slammed shut their office doors to protect themselves and their staff from COVID-19. As we don’t have a direct-to-consumer business and we all work remotely anyway, we sat for a day wondering what to do….then swung into action and started work on B-Corp certification.
On the morning of 29th April our B-Corp Standards Analyst with whom we’d been closely working gave us the great news that amamus had made the grade.
We have excitedly joined a community of less than 300 UK companies who meet similar environmental and social standards – businesses who are a ‘force for good’. We will of course be seeking our future customer and supplier partnerships from this like-minded bunch of forward thinkers who have given us a lovely warm welcome to the club.
The world continues to change and we believe values-led companies will prefer to buy coffee from companies who uphold the B-Corp values and meet these high standards. The era of buying cheap coffee at the expense of the grower communities and the environment with a compromised drinker experience must surely be coming to a close.
As the global economy slowly gets back to its feet, we know that working arrangements will certainly change. But the office will remain a focus for teamwork, a client hub and an experiential show-piece a demonstration of a firm’s culture. Ethical, environmental and delicious coffee will be an essential ingredient for the modern workplace and companies like our will be well-placed to meet these needs and flourish.
But the most important thing to remember is that as interdependent companies like ours flourish, so do all our stakeholders: the coffee farmers, the brilliant roasters and other suppliers, our staff team and most importantly…our clients. Truly better coffee for better business.