Cotswold Fayre B Corp Suppliers

Source: Cotswold Fayre

The company already has 35 accredited suppliers and hopes the programme will bring a further 20 this year

Fine food wholesaler Cotswold Fayre has launched a scheme to help its suppliers through the B Corp accreditation process.

Cotswold Fayre, which in 2015 became one of the first food industry businesses to achieve B Corp status, said the process could be “a little daunting”. In response it has started the B Corp Accelerator Programme to aid other companies.

The company already has 35 accredited suppliers and hopes the programme will bring a further 20 this year. There are more than 600 B Corps in the UK, of which 103 are in the food and drink sector. Accreditation shows a business has committed to being better for the world in areas including the environment, employment and the community.

“Many of our suppliers are eager to understand more about B Corp and how they can work towards accreditation themselves,” said Cotswold Fayre impact manager Clementine De Zotti. “Many are already doing the right things but need some assistance on how to connect this with the certification process, and this is where we can really help.”

Each B Corp Accelerator programme will run for three months with about eight companies. Activity includes a weekly workshop hosted by an accredited consultant, and participants are encouraged to catch up outside the workshops. 

Among the businesses on the first of the Cotswold Fayre programmes is meringue supplier Flower & White.

“B Corp frames our company’s ambitions very well,” said Flower & White co-founder Brian Crowther. “Why wouldn’t we want to embrace a working culture that supports our people, customers and community whilst bringing tangible improvements to environmental impact?”

The programme’s approach was proving an efficient way of learning, he added. 

Speaking last summer about the opening of Cotswold Fayre’s first retail venture, the Flourish food hall in Somerset, Cotswold Fayre boss Paul Hargreaves explained B Corp status was helping the business attract committed and enthusiastic staff. 

“We have got a lot better at putting out there what we stand for – good for people, good for planet – and it’s making a big difference to the quality of people we are attracting,” he said.