Certified B Corporations (or B Corps) are the new age business, operating their day-to-day activities to meet the highest ethical standards. In January 2018, Victoria’s Red Gum BBQ became the first Australian restaurant to earn the B Corp certification. Red Gum’s managing director, Melissa Goffin, shares her expert insights into what it means to be B Corp certified and why the certification sets them apart from others in the industry.
From conception Red Gum was established to be a business that prioritised purpose over profit. Our purpose was always to be a different kind of business, with strong emphasis on authenticity, nurturing connections and being ethical across the whole of the business. Our B Corp certification reflects our commitment to ethical business and ensures we are living up to the highest standards of practice. We believe that PEOPLE matter, that ETHICAL FARMING matters and that being KIND matters.
Red Gum’s ethics and morals were the driving force behind securing a B Corp certification. We’ve found that customers are more interested than ever in supporting companies with strong ethics. The ethics of businesses and their supply chains is very much in the spotlight these days. There is much greater transparency and knowledge around food and how it’s sourced than in the past. People want to know what they’re eating and where it’s from. This continues to be a growing movement but we know that our customers care. Using produce such as free-range and grass-fed meat, along with serving local and independent wine and beer, helps to support other businesses and communities, and ultimately creating a tight knit family that is unique to being a B Corp.
One of the many positives that comes from working as a B Corp certified company is being involved in the B Local initiative, which is a program that helps foster a community feel between suppliers. It sees the B Corp community in our local area working together to support, learn and create opportunities for promotion of the ethical business sector. The B Corp community is strong in providing support for those wanting to learn and experience the difference.
As one of the few restaurants to hold the certification, we work hard to provide advice to other businesses attempting to gain certification. I have a few tips for businesses looking to become a certified B Corp:
Search and move toward value-aligned businesses – never work with a business or a person that compromises your ideals – no matter what.
Connect to your suppliers and find out how you can support one another.
Connect to other businesses – across industries and find out what they’re doing and how they’re doing it.
Most people enjoy sharing their journey and what they’ve learned – reach out and ask the question.
Red Gum BBQ continues to be a leader in the B Corp space and hopes to educate others to create a more sustainable and ethical landscape. Red Gum is a proud customer of SilverChef – Australia’s only dedicated hospitality equipment financier – which has helped more than 30,000 customers achieve their dreams over the last 30 years.