Book Review: ‘Forces For Good: Creating A Better World Through Purpose-Driven Businesses’ by Paul Hargreaves
We've followed Paul Hargreaves of well known distributor, Cotswold Fayre, over the years as Cotswold Fayre has grown and Paul has gradually written more about the world of FMCG (that's fast-moving-consumer-goods to newbies) and the growing trend for ethically sourced sustainable products.
So, we weren't that surprised to hear that Paul had written a book on the subject and placed the order on pre-order with Amazon months before it actually came out.
What we weren't to know was that Bird & Wild Coffee was mentioned in one of the case studies and named on the list of 'World-Changing Companies & Organisations' (of which more later...) - a very pleasant shock indeed!
The crux of the book is that doing good can be the right thing to do from an ethical and business point of view. Indeed, business and environmental issues should not have to contradict one another, but compliment each other.
If this book was written thirty years ago, it would have been derided as delusional hippy stuff, but not now...
Paul captures the mood that consumers are aching for change and want companies to do the right thing, so that they can make the right consumer choices.
At the same time, most companies are still being managed the old fashioned way with top down management, lack of ownership or sharing the wealth and overworking for the sake of it, so staff in the majority of companies are also aching for change.
Part-biography/part-business, this hybrid of a book is neatly separated into different aspects of life and business as follows:
- Changing the world
- Learning to run a business
- Better for people
- Better for planet
- Better for profit
- Better for you
The chapter headings give the game away as to where the book leads us.
For business owners, it's inspiring and has some good ideas and gives some useful case studies to explain Paul's vision.
For entrepreneurs starting their journey or thinking about it, this is a very useful primer to help you consider how you want to launch, structure and position your company.
As for Bird & Wild, we were very pleasantly surprised to feature in the Better For The Planet section. Indeed, we're not even listed with Cotswold Fayre, so it was completely non-partisan on Paul's part for us to feature as an example.
In his section on Caring for the Environment, he cited Bird & Wild as an example of a coffee brand promoting the concept of Shade Grown Coffee, which helps protect biodiversity, soil health and migrating birds with every cup you drink.
To understand more about Shade Grown Coffee, please visit our page on the subject: https://birdandwild.co.uk/pages/what-is-shade-grown-coffee
All in all, I highly recommend Forces For Good as a prescient book that comes at a time when food and drink entrepreneurship is at an all time high here in the UK and concern for the environment, provenance, ethics and sustainability is now taken seriously by this upcoming generation of future entrepreneurs and leaders. Let's hope this book does some good!
Available at Waterstones & Amazon now.