When we started Good Small Farms, we wanted to redefine success in farming and create a farm that values people and the planet beyond profit. At a time when so many small farms are struggling, food prices are rising, supermarkets are driving down farmers’ margins, and our countryside is being stripped of biodiversity, we wanted to go back to the drawing board. We believe that we can create a good small farm that produces delicious and nutritious food for the local community while caring for the land and natural world around us. It’s wonderful to be welcomed to the B Corp community of businesses who share our values, and believe that business can be a powerful force for good.
The B Corp Journey Begins
Despite being small, we have large ambitions to prove that small, mixed, regenerative farms can be viable. In order to prove it, we need to have external checks in place that convince others that we are actually doing what we claim. The Soil Association provides that third party rigour for how we grow our food.
Ensuring we do the right thing for people and the planet
We soon realised when going through the two-year organic conversion process that we didn’t have that stringency in all our systems and needed to develop processes to ensure that we were doing the right thing as a business. And that led us to B Corp: we needed to demonstrate the same kind of detail but for the whole business, too. We wanted to show that we are a business for good and knew just saying so was not good enough.
What is B Corp
Certified B Corps, or B Corporations, are a community of companies that have been verified to meet high standers of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. B Corps commit to making a positive impact through all aspects of their business from workers to communities, customers and our planet.
Our B Corp story so far…
B Corp is certainly rigorous. Our 9-person team has put a large amount of time into the process, but it has been worth it. It has been challenging because it needs to be, and we have had to develop policies and think hard about how we operate to ensure we are considering our impact and not ignoring the opportunities we have for influencing others.
I think we were also blindly assuming that a regenerative farm should sail through as it is, by its very approach, doing the right thing. However, we needed to show that to be the case and, as a young company, demonstrating historical achievements and baselines against which to compare has proven hard. We are developing a body of knowledge: of the ecosystems on our farm, of the impact we have on our customers and suppliers and the contribution we are having to sequester carbon but we would not have been as diligent at doing so if we had not had the B Corp lens to help us realise just how important this is.