New Year Honours for long-term SBN supporters

By Fiona Stephenson

Congratulations to Chris Morrison and Marion Wood, who have been recognised with New Year Honours! Both have been long-term supporters of the Sustainable Business Network since its inception in 2002, so we were thrilled to see this well-deserved recognition of their commitment to sustainable business.

Both Chris and Marion have been awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM). Chris has been recognised for services to sustainable business and Fair Trade; Marion for services to sustainable business and the community. Marion’s husband Jim was also honoured.

Both Chris and Marion have a special place in our hearts, as they have supported SBN in many ways over the past 19 years. As well as being long-term Members and subsequently Investors for Impact, both have been judges of the Sustainable Business Awards. In addition, Chris was instrumental in the establishment of SBN during the years 2000 to 2002 and our Chair for more than 10 years. Marion has also been extremely active on our Board and has been the Vice Chair of SBN.

We also congratulate Sam Judd who also received a MNZM for services to the environment and sustainability education, and Guy Salmon (ONZM) for services to the environment.

Read more about Chris and Marion’s achievements in the descriptions below from the New Year Honours List.

Chris Morrison MNZM

For services to sustainable business and Fair Trade

Mr Chris Morrison has been a pioneer of the Fair Trade movement in New Zealand in the food and beverage industry.

Mr Morrison began his career co-founding beverage company Phoenix Organics in 1985. He co-founded All Good, New Zealand’s first Fair Trade banana business in 2010. In 2012 he and his colleagues launched Karma Cola, a Fairtrade and organic range of soft drinks, now available in more than 20 countries. Alongside the Karma Cola arm of All Good Organics is The Karma Cola Foundation, which takes money from every bottle sold and as of 2015 has donated more than $250,000 to community and sustainable development projects in developing nations, supporting the small-scale producers who grow the ingredients. He has promoted Fair Trade throughout local communities in support of Fairtrade New Zealand’s ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’, and by donating drinks and bananas to community groups for events and fundraisers.

He was named Sustainability Champion in 2012 by the Sustainable Business Network for his commitment to ethical business. In 2013 All Good Organics was named one of the World’s Most Ethical companies by Ethisphere Institute in New York and in 2014 was recognised by the international Fair Trade community as ‘The Fairest Trader of Them All’. Mr Morrison currently chairs the Board of Organics Aotearoa New Zealand.

Marion Wood MNZM

For services to sustainable business and the community

Ms Marion Wood and Mr Jim Kebbell founded Commonsense Organics, a leading example of sustainable small business in New Zealand.

In 1975 they bought land in Te Horo and named it Common Property, with the aim of growing organic vegetables, before opening the first Commonsense Organics supermarket shop in Wellington in 1991. There are now five Commonsense Organics stores, four in Wellington and one in Auckland, while Common Property is a professionally run commercial unit of 11.2 hectares. They are strong advocates for organic and regenerative agriculture and seek to educate their customers and communities on how to grow their own organic food. Their values have influenced Commonsense Organics to adopt BPA- free till receipts, home compostable packaging, and to become a Living Wage employer.

They are involved in a number of charitable initiatives, including Commonsense being the primary supporter of the Porirua School Gardens scheme. They are founding members of the Organic Traders Association of New Zealand. Ms Wood is a member of the Fair Trade Wellington Board, chairs the Soil and Health Association of New Zealand and the Organic Traders Association of New Zealand, and has been Vice Chair of the Sustainable Business Network.