Page 12 - Food & Drink Magazine May 2021
P. 12

                 BLUE SKY
Many make a difference
A passion to do better for the environment drove Will Brook to devise a new business model, with 50 per cent of profits going to carbon reduction initiatives. Kim Berry writes.
WILL Brook grew up in the Byron Bay hinterland rehabilitating a native rainforest with his parents, the founders of premium cereal and snacks brand Brookfarm. Now CEO of the family’s business, Brook is pushing his passion for sustainability even further with the launch of We, the many.
“The kernel of the idea was that you must be able to have a business that is sustainable and does sustainable things. It was a talk by John Hewson at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership on tracking sustainable business that galvanised my thinking,” Brook tells Food & Drink Business.
“We wanted to do something where sustainability and
business completely intertwine and are interdependent of each other, so there’s no afterthought, there’s no donation, the two are completely integrated.
“It came from a passion to do better from an environmental point of view,” he says.
The result is a business model where 50 per cent of profits go to organisations or projects that reduce carbon from the environment. The chosen projects have to be externally verified as viable, effective and successful, with metrics that prove their impact.
Brook says it is unnecessarily hard to find those initiatives.
“It’s a simple metric – it has to be a well performing business and it has to be reducing carbon. It could be a start-up, the stock market, a research project, solar and wind farms, regenerative farming, carbon sequestration. But it is a minefield at the moment. How do you know if the business is doing the right thing or if they’re going to stick around and what is my impact going to be?”
Brook is trying to illuminate the path for others as We, the many grows. He views it as an open learning opportunity to help other businesses adopt the financial circular economy.
“There’s a big responsibility component in creating this business. In Australia, we are very empowered to be responsible for ourselves and the impact we have on our community and environment. As a business, we’re taking that responsibility by coming up with what we think is a good way and a good model going forward – and giving consumers a way to make a change as well.”
Of course, to make the profits you need to make – and sell – the products. Brook says the philosophy of Brookfarm remains: starting with a premium, great tasting product is critical.
It is well known that Brook’s mum and founder of Brookfarm Pam Brook develops and tests new products at the kitchen table, just like she did when she started selling the original three mueslis at local markets more
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