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.”