25 episodes

We all want a healthier planet and fairer future to look forward to. Building Better Business explores how business has a huge impact - and how, as informed customers, we can become part of a positive movement for change through our consumer choice.

The podcast features straight talking conversations with global thought leaders and professionals, asking: ‘What are businesses doing to protect our future and what more can be done?’

Hosted by John Steel, CEO of popular British ethical pioneer coffee brand Cafédirect.

Building Better Business Cafédirect

    • Business

We all want a healthier planet and fairer future to look forward to. Building Better Business explores how business has a huge impact - and how, as informed customers, we can become part of a positive movement for change through our consumer choice.

The podcast features straight talking conversations with global thought leaders and professionals, asking: ‘What are businesses doing to protect our future and what more can be done?’

Hosted by John Steel, CEO of popular British ethical pioneer coffee brand Cafédirect.

    The race to reduce food’s carbon footprint

    The race to reduce food’s carbon footprint

    Mike Barry, Director of Mike Barry Eco Ltd (former Director of Sustainable Business at Marks & Spencer)

    Mike Berners-Lee, author of ‘There is No Planet B’, ‘How Bad Are Bananas?’ and ‘The carbon footprint of everything’, professor and consultant.


    “The food industry is a huge part of the climate problem.” With predictions of dangerous global temperatures and failing government policies, two leading experts discuss how food businesses are tackling carbon emissions. They debate where obstacles lie, who should provide support, and how.

    • 41 min
    Why coffee is at risk of extinction

    Why coffee is at risk of extinction

    Guests: Jane Aldrige Managing Director of Coffee Nestlé UK&I + Erinch Sahan, Doughnut Economics Action Lab (DEAL)


    Jane and Erinch discuss their different approaches to tackling the issues facing the coffee industry. Jane provides an overview of the Nescafé Plan 2030 while Erinch argues that more significant change is needed to address the poverty that coffee farmers experience despite growing company profits and shareholder dividends.

    • 35 min
    Building Better Business - Season 2 Trailer

    Building Better Business - Season 2 Trailer

    We all want a healthier planet and fairer future to look forward to. Building Better Business explores how business has a huge impact - and how, as informed customers, we can become part of a positive movement for change through our consumer choice.

    The podcast features straight talking conversations with global thought leaders and professionals, asking: ‘What are businesses doing to protect our future and what more can be done?’


    Hosted by John Steel, CEO of popular British ethical pioneer coffee brand Cafédirect.

    • 58 sec
    Climate of crisis for farmers: Fairtrade Fortnight Special

    Climate of crisis for farmers: Fairtrade Fortnight Special

    Claire Rhodes (CEO, Producers Direct), Ed Gillespie (the Futurenauts podcast, Greenpeace Director) and Sir Tim Smit (founder of the Eden Project) join John for a live recording of this Fairtrade Fortnight special edition.

    Our guests delve into how climate change is affecting the farmers that grow our food, what that means for all of us and how we can all help.

    We cover:

    - The reliance on small-scale farmers for food and commodities and their vulnerability to climate shocks

    - The challenges facing small-scale farmers and who benefits from the trading system

    - The reasons behind monocrop farming and its consequences

    - Business greenwashing and the need to democratise climate data access

    - How and why we need to create resilient landscapes to grow crops


    See Cafédirect website for more information.

    • 47 min
    How Fairtrade tea began, Mike Brehme, founder of Clipper Teas

    How Fairtrade tea began, Mike Brehme, founder of Clipper Teas

    Mike Brehme took a leading role bringing good quality, ethical tea to the UK market and Clipper Teas is now the world’s largest Fairtrade tea brand.

    Mike established Clipper in the mid 1980’s and as Managing Director, he ran the business for 25 years until 2008. Mike worked with the Fairtrade Foundation in their early days and defined what Fairtrade looked like in the tea industry.


    He shares how he’s seen Fairtrade tackle the extreme inequality that exists in these tea communities, and how he’s witnessed the wildlife benefits of organic tea plantations.

    • 23 min
    Rethinking economics to save the planet, Erinch Sahan, Doughnut Economics Action Lab

    Rethinking economics to save the planet, Erinch Sahan, Doughnut Economics Action Lab

    Erinch’s career at Oxfam and then CEO of the World Fair Trade Organisation has led him to his latest endeavour at Doughnut Economics Action Lab (DEAL).

    Erinch tells us about doughnut economics – the theory by British economist Kate Raworth, which argues that 20th century economic thinking is not equipped to deal with the 21st century reality of a planet teetering on the edge of climate breakdown. The theory calls for a new way of business that will better serve our communities within the planet’s boundaries, rather than an endless pursuit of profit.


    Erich shares how DEAL is turning this radical idea into transformative action.

    • 26 min

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