Sustainability

The rise of the B Corp: Cotswold Fayre’s Paul Hargreaves interviewed

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A certified B Corp is a businesses that meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to  build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

Cotswold Fayre has been a certified B Corp since 2015. In this episode of Table Talk we join Founder and Chief Executive Paul Hargreaves to find out more about B Corps, and why he’s so passionate about Cotswold Fayre being part of the B Corp movement.

About Paul Hargreaves, Founder and Chief Exec, Cotswold Fayre Ltd

Paul Hargreaves is a well-known character within the speciality food world for both for his insightful views on the sector and general business “know how”. Paul’s blog “Speciality Bites” is widely read by retailers and producers alike, and he is often asked to contribute to debates and articles within the industry. His background includes an M.A. in Zoology and 10 years working in the charitable sector in inner-city London. He became involved in the Bala Children’s Centre seven years ago, as a way of giving back to the wider world community. Since then Cotswold Fayre has become the key partner in starting business projects in Kenya associated with the children’s centre with the goal of making the centre completely self-sufficient for its day-to-day running costs.

Paul is the Founder and Chief Exec of Cotswold Fayre Ltd, a speciality & fine food wholesaler supplying nearly 2,000 retail outlets throughout the UK. The business grew from the cellar of his house in London to become the leading wholesaler to farm shops and delicatessens in the UK. The company’s ethos of working in partnership with its suppliers makes it the most sought-after wholesaler for the many new brands launching in the sector.

Cotswold Fayre has been certified as a B Corporation since 2015. B Corps are companies that meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance and will become the “listened to” voice of business in the future as many realise that capitalism as we knew it is dead and the best objective of a business is to help change the world for better. Paul has had a book published recently on purpose-driven business called ‘Forces for Good’.

About Cotswold Fayre

In 2015 Cotswold Fayre became one of the 60 or so founding UK B Corporations. Paul is currently a UK B Corp Ambassador. Cotswold Fayre is reported to be the first carbon neutral fine food wholesaler. “Cotswold Fayre has always had the planet as equals with people and profit, but we have recently declared a climate emergency. There are 10 years left before potential environmental meltdown occurs is businesses and people do not change their habits. The government’s target of being carbon neutral by 2050 is far too long and businesses must show the way and act more quickly. Their customers are demanding it, their employees are desiring it and the planet may die without action. I feel that it is important that Cotswold Fayre, as a speciality food wholesaler, leads the way amongst the much larger mainstream food and drink wholesalers and I believe that we are the first wholesaler to announce carbon neutrality.”

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