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Local food heroes win big at Sustainability Awards

All Good Bananas and Chia Sisters were two of the big winners at the Sustainability Awards held last night. The two food brands won the Good Food Award and the Climate Action Leader awards respectively.

Supreme award finalist Chia Sisters is collaborating to reduce tonnes of carbon emissions in the Nelson area and is using an industry-led model that could be a blueprint for Aotearoa New Zealand to follow. Supreme finalist All Good has supported the building of a full-service medical centre in Ecuador through its long-term commitment to Fairtrade bananas. Kiwis lap up All Good Fairtrade bananas at a rate of 400,000 bunches per month.

All Good – winner of Good Food Award

All Good Bananas believes in providing New Zealanders with ethically-sourced food that helps others. The business started in 2010. It now imports and sells more than 400,000 bunches of bananas per month and distributes to the Foodstuffs network and independent retailers. Its Fairtrade and zero carbon bananas give New Zealanders a tangible way of supporting action on climate change and social injustice. Bananas are New Zealand’s most commonly bought grocery item, and All Good Bananas says it’s imperative that consumers are given an ethical choice.

Presenting such an option motivates other brands to do better. Eleven years ago All Good made a long-term commitment to a Fairtrade co-operative in Ecuador called ‘El Guabo Association of Small Banana Producers’. With All Good’s support, El Guabo has built a full-service medical centre providing health checks, emergency response and pharmaceutical support and an institution to support women and girls who have been sexually and physically abused in their homes. All Good also supports 30 schools in Ecuador through its partnership with El Guabo.

Chia Sisters – winner of Climate Action Leader Award

Chia Sisters makes natural, nutritious drinks at its solar-powered, zero carbon juicery in Nelson. While it has grown by 70% since 2018, emissions have been reduced by 30%. It has acheived zero carbon and climate positive status. Chia Sisters uses its business as a platform and example to encourage and inspire local businesses to work together on climate solutions and innovations. It says this industry-led model can be used as a blueprint for Aotearoa New Zealand and the world. As part of Businesses for Climate Action, Chia Sisters has influenced more than 1000 businesses to measure, reduce and offset emissions and build this into business decisionmaking processes. This has helped reduce carbon emissions in the region by hundreds of tonnes. The Chia Sisters factory runs on solar power. It is Aotearoa New Zealand’s highest rated Certified B-Corp. The owners say the business is 300% more profitable since they set out on their climate leadership journey.

See the complete list of winners here.

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Vincent Heeringa

Vincent Heeringa

Vincent Heeringa is a communications strategist, writer, marketer and PR expert specialising in tech, investment, and sustainability. He was co-founder of Idealog, Stoppress and Good magazines and helped establish the Science Media Centre. He is the host of a podcast ‘This Climate Business’, co-founder of The Feed.co.nz, and a trustee of the Adventure Specialties Trust. And there's nothing he loves more than a good story. vincentheeringa.com

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