Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand. This week he’s joined by Simon Coley, co-founder of All Good and Karma Drinks.
Bananas are one of the most popular grocery items in New Zealand – we buy enough of them to eat 18kg worth per person, per year. But for years bananas were also a symbol of the kind of capitalism that saw companies exploit workers, overthrow governments and farm mono-crops until they failed. That’s why Simon Coley and a few old friends got together and started All Good to start bringing in bananas that were fair trade.
These bananas have been a hit, capturing 7% of the market and showing that people will pay a little more for something a lot better for the world and workers. This has also led to a wave of other fair trade bananas, which has to be a good thing. This month All Good is upping the ante by going carbon zero, offsetting emissions with permanent Amazon rainforest protected plantings.
But the really amazing thing is that bananas are only part of what the company does in the space. Along with All Good, Coley is also the co-founder of Karma Drinks whose work with growers of cola nuts in Sierra Leone is helping a community grow equitably and is now expanding around the world. To learn about changing some of the grocery mainstays for the better, running a purpose-led business and his entrepreneur’s journey, Coleye joins for a chat in this week’s episode.