It is a big milestone for me and for Oz Fair Trade. I wanted this certification much earlier, but I couldn’t, because a business needs to be in operation for at least 12 months before it can be assessed. Oz Fair Trade was incorporated in October 2013, so I had to wait. Now the wait is over, and I’m very happy for the recognition.
To any ethical business in Australia, becoming a Fair Trader of Australia is a big deal. It is the official certification in Australia that recognises businesses that have fair trade at the heart of what they do. It gives customers confidence that they are buying from an ethical business that adhere to fair trade principles.
When I first heard of Thankyou Water sometime last year, it was a moment of “wow”. I thought, this was a social enterprise that has done everything right; this was a social enterprise that I could learn a lot from.
I was disappointed to find that Thankyou Water was not available in ACT. Then I sort of forgot about it, until I saw the familiar “thank you” on a cereal box in a supermarket. I haven’t felt this excited about trying a new product for a long time. The cereal looked a lot like Carman’s which I loved. So I gave it a go.
To give you a bit of background, Thankyou Water was born out of two discoveries by its founder, Daniel Flynn, when he was 19. One was the World Water Crisis in 2008, and the other was the fact that Australians spent a crazy $600 million annually on bottled water. A bold idea was born to join the extremes together. The result? A bottled water company that would exist for the sole purpose of funding safe water projects in developing nations.
Since then, the company has expanded into body care and food. What I love about this company is not only what they stand for, but also their total transparency. This is a company that’s leading the Australian social enterprise sector by example. I have long believed that the solution to poverty lies not with the public aid, but the private sector. I founded Oz Fair Trade out of this belief.