5 episodes

Building Better Business explores how we can all take a step towards creating a more sustainable and socially conscious world through enterprise. Hear John Steel CEO of Cafédirect talk to those leading the way and uncover how business can be an instrument for positive change for shared and durable prosperity.

Building Better Business Cafédirect

    • Business

Building Better Business explores how we can all take a step towards creating a more sustainable and socially conscious world through enterprise. Hear John Steel CEO of Cafédirect talk to those leading the way and uncover how business can be an instrument for positive change for shared and durable prosperity.

    Achieving best-in-class business as a social enterprise, with John Philips, global business leader

    Achieving best-in-class business as a social enterprise, with John Philips, global business leader

    The leadership of any business is critical for its success – but what does that look like for a social enterprise? What challenges and advantages can be harnessed by a business with purpose, to compete in a competitive marketplace? And what should be an absolute priority to be a best-in-class business?

    John Philips has over 30 years of experience in building successful global businesses and brands including DIAGEO, Barcardi and Fosters.


    In recent years, John joined as Chair of Cafédirect where he has been instrumental in modernising the business. He shares his wisdom on the fundamentals to get right, both externally and internally, so that the business can deliver on people, planet and profit.

    • 26 min
    The difference we can all make, with Paul Chandler, Co-op Board Director

    The difference we can all make, with Paul Chandler, Co-op Board Director

    In an incredibly inspiring episode, Paul Chandler shows how the small actions of individuals can make big changes. And that we all hold the power to make positive change in our own way.

    Paul is the previous Chief Executive of the online fair trade organisation, Traidcraft and former President of the European Fair Trade Association. He is a Board member of the Co-op Group amongst other Board positions within other ethical companies.

    We discuss the need for the right guardianship in any business with purpose, to ensure it stays true to its values – and how credibility and diversity is critical for this.


    Paul reflects on the growth of Fairtrade movement over his career, from a time when big corporations thought it had no future, to customers demanding Fairtrade products in their supermarkets.

    • 29 min
    The ripple effect of trading directly, with Richard Hide, coffee trader

    The ripple effect of trading directly, with Richard Hide, coffee trader

    Richard has dedicated the past 30 years to connecting coffee farmers to markets that have the most impact on the communities they come from. He pioneered the UK's direct coffee trading in the early 1990s for Cafédirect.

    It’s taken him to remote farming communities across the globe in search of small coffee cooperatives. He’s had tremendously exciting and challenging journeys, the greatest reward being the pride farmers took in having their coffee and hard work recognized and rewarded for the first time. Through discovery and development, the cooperatives realised the potential of their coffee.


    He explains how this relationship worked for both sides – better income and market knowledge for the seller and better coffee for the buyer.

    • 29 min
    How and why business models must change, with Bob Doherty, academic

    How and why business models must change, with Bob Doherty, academic

    As an academic Bob has published extensively on social enterprise business models including Cafédirect and is a trustee on the board of the Fairtrade Foundation. Before his life in academia Bob worked as Head of Sales at social enterprise, Divine Chocolate.

    Bob explains why the traditional pursuit of business profit is destructive and offers advice to businesses and consumers on what we can do in our daily lives to do better and make change.

    He explores where our food comes from and comments on the fragility of a food system under threat and how beneficial it is for academia and business to work together in finding solutions.


    And we also gain insight from Bob’s marketing expertise as he tells us what’s important for a social enterprise to get right and how rewarding working in the sector has been.

    • 27 min
    Building Better Business - Trailer

    Building Better Business - Trailer

    The food and drink we buy has a monumental impact on the lives of farmers and their communities throughout the globe.

    Each week, join John Steel, CEO of Cafédirect, the pioneering social enterprise that works in direct partnership with the farmers that grow your coffee, tea and cocoa. We’ll be exploring extraordinary tales of 30 years of doing business differently, speaking with those that believe business is more than making money and looking forward to how we all can build better business.

    If you want to hear personal stories about the birth of a different business, the challenges of scaling a purpose driven enterprise and the impact this can have on producers, business and the environment, then this podcast is for you.


    Join us as we share the stories of those on the front line of social enterprise from business leaders, academics and farmers themselves and hear how we can all contribute to the evolution of sustainable 21st century food and drink production.

    • 1 min

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