Chris Mor­ri­son

Element - - BUSINESS -

When you look at the range of drinks in cafes and even cor­ner dairies now, you may for­get that back in 1985 when Chris Mor­ri­son started Phoenix Or­gan­ics there was no other com­mer­cial or­ganic bev­er­age man­u­fac­turer in Aus­trala­sia.

Since sell­ing the com­pany he has con­tin­ued to in­vest in small start-ups with an or­ganic fo­cus, in­clud­ing All Good Or­gan­ics which im­ports Fair­trade bananas.

“I like be­ing a trend set­ter, be­ing ahead of com­peti­tors, coming up with new ideas and prod­ucts. That is an im­por­tant part of be­ing suc­cess­ful, es­pe­cially when you are a small busi­ness against very large cor­po­rates,” he says.

“In­no­va­tion is a core part of it. The last place a small busi­ness wants to be is in a price war so sus­tain­abil­ity is about adding value to con­sumers, telling a story about where the in­gre­di­ents come from, telling the health story, the so­cial story, the en­vi­ron­men­tal story.

“Of­ten sus­tain­able busi­nesses are good storytellers, be­cause it is about con­nect­ing and be­ing trans­par­ent with the con­sumer.”

Mor­ri­son says con­sumers are be­ing in­vited to ask what is the true cost of their pizza or soft drink, and they are be­com­ing more in­ter­ested in sup­ply chains.

“They want to read the la­bel, the web­site, the Face­book. In the past one or two com­pa­nies could dom­i­nate a mar­ket, but now more cus­tomers will search out com­pa­nies that go the ex­tra mile.”

Chris Mor­ri­son: “I like be­ing a trend-set­ter.” Photo: Ted Baghurst.

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