The good in Ceres Or­gan­ics

Why Ceres Or­gan­ics are per­fect part­ners with Good mag­a­zine for the in­au­gu­ral 2018 Good Peo­ple Awards.


When we were de­cid­ing on a part­ner for the first Good Peo­ple Awards, Ceres Or­gan­ics was one of the first to spring to mind. We’ve been work­ing with them since 2011 but they have been around a lot longer (since the 1980s!), do­ing a lot of good in New Zealand and across the globe.

The birth of Ceres Or­gan­ics can’t be pinned down as an ex­act mo­ment. In an or­ganic nut­shell, its orig­i­nal founder Juliet set­ting up an or­ganic food stall at a school fair, its di­rec­tor Noel throw­ing him­self into a life-chang­ing book. And its ma­tri­arch Rod­nie bring­ing every­one to­gether. These three trail­blaz­ers opened New Zealand’s first or­ganic store, which even­tu­ally lead to Ceres Or­gan­ics as you see it to­day: a com­pany fu­elled by a so­cial mis­sion for more than 30 years.

While many com­pa­nies dab­ble with cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity, not many are led by a mis­sion of pos­i­tive to­tal so­ci­etal im­pact. “It’s not gov­ern­ment but busi­nesses and con­sumers who have the real abil­ity to change the world. There­fore I feel that we are in the driv­ing seat to care for so­ci­ety,” ex­plains Noel. Bring­ing or­ganic food seemed the best way to achieve this when they set up shop all those years ago.

An at­tempt to glob­alise food pro­duc­tion has meant more in­ten­sive use of chem­i­cals and nat­u­ral re­sources, which ad­versely af­fects dozens of ecosys­tems. Or­gan­ics is based on the use of lo­cal and re­new­able re­sources, grow­ing things where they nat­u­rally grow best. In the case of quinoa it’s a crop that grows in har­mony with its lo­cal An­dean ecosys­tem – it has done for 5000 years. Un­like for­eign crops, which de­mand more re­sources and chem­i­cal sup­plies, na­tive crops adapt much bet­ter to their lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment.

Or­gan­ics also in­her­ently sup­ports fairer work­ing con­di­tions and wages for grow­ers. Ceres Or­gan­ics quinoa is ‘EcoSo­cial’ which is ba­si­cally a big, third party cer­ti­fied tick for all things eth­i­cal in­clud­ing: or­ganic, eco­nomic, trade, so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors. This is why they source their or­ganic quinoa from Peru.

Last year one of their “good” projects was launch­ing their white quinoa in a com­pletely home com­postable packet in an at­tempt to shift the world away from sin­gle use plas­tics (watch this space, we’re told there’s more in the pipe­line). For this they were awarded ‘Most Sus­tain­able Busi­ness’ cat­e­gory fi­nal­ists for the Keep NZ Beau­ti­ful Awards 2017.

“We know how re­ward­ing it is to be recog­nised for the hard work that goes on be­hind the scenes,” Noel says. “We jumped at the chance to join Good and do the same for oth­ers. Best of luck to all those en­ter­ing and thank you for con­tin­u­ally bring­ing more good­ness to the world.”

“Best of luck to all those en­ter­ing and thank you for con­tin­u­ally bring­ing more good­ness to the world” Noel, Ceres Or­gan­ics Di­rec­tor

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