The next fundamental pillar of sustainability is the economic foundation. The measure we use is ‘cash on delivery’ or C.O.D. This means we do not have a creditor ledger and pay for all of our goods and services on delivery and approval.
We do this for three reasons:
Firstly, it values food properly. Before Alex Smith started Alara, he lived for a year without using any money, but he found it was impossible to live without food. This taught him that food is a much more valuable commodity than money is.
Secondly, 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 establish valued relationships with them.
Lastly, we use C.O.D to encourage us as a business to minimise ‘economic’ waste. We can’t rely on our suppliers to provide us with cash flow to cover us when we make mistakes. This means we have to carefully consider opportunities before we take them on.