The next fundamental foundation for sustainability is the financial foundation. The measure we use is C.O.D. C.O.D. stands for ‘cash on delivery’. This means we pay for all of our goods and services on delivery and approval. ALARA does not have a ‘creditor ledger’ and we believe this is an appropriate financial measure for several reasons.
The first reason is that it values food properly. Before Alex Smith (founder) started Alara he lived for a year without using any money, however he found it was not possible to live without food. This taught Alex that food is a much more valuable commodity than money is. ‘It’s not valuing food correctly then if suppliers send us this vital food and we also expect them to supply us with credit’ says Alex.
The second reason that we use C.O.D as a measure is that cash flow is the reality of all business. We exist as a food business in a Bio-diverse network of both suppliers and customers. Valuing, appreciating and supporting our suppliers is a key step for us to engender long-term, sustainable, valued relationships with our suppliers.
The third reason we use C.O.D as our financial measure is that it encourages us as a business to minimise ‘financial’ waste. We can’t rely on our suppliers to provide us with cash flow to cover when we make mistakes. This means we have to consider carefully opportunities before we take them and make sure that when we fail we fail as cheaply as we can.