Building Better Business


27.33 mins 20/08/21

Bob Doherty

How and why business models must change


The UN recently reported that climate change is considered a ‘code red for humanity’.

The planet is heating up faster than previously thought. Our current food system is a major contributor to climate change.  And food systems account for over one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions.

But there is hope – and forward-thinking businesses that can lead the change.

There are tips for each of us on how we can help building better business.  By buying better, living better and being mindful of every action we do.


More about Bob

Bob Doherty is Professor of Marketing and Chair of Agrifood at the University of York.  This has led to leading two large  research programmes on food resilience and regenerative food systems.

Bob is also the research theme leader for food in the York Environmental Sustainability Research Institute (YESI) and the first Director of the N8 Food Systems Policy Hub.

In 2019, he was policy fellow for DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)  to work on Food Systems policy development.

Bob has published extensively on social enterprises business models within the Fair Trade system including Cafédirect.  And he is also Founding Editor Emeritus of the Social Enterprise Journal.

He is currently a trustee on the board of the Fairtrade Foundation.

Prior to moving into academia Bob spent 5-years as the Head of Sales and Marketing at the Fairtrade social enterprise pioneer Divine Chocolate Ltd.


What to expect

Bob explains why the traditional pursuit of business profit is destructive.  On this, he provides advice to businesses and consumers on what we can do to make change.

He explores where our food comes from and comments on the fragility of a food system under threat. In light of this, we discuss how beneficial it is for academia and business to work together in finding solutions.

Bob also tells us his expert opinion on what’s important  to get right in marketing for a social enterprise. We also hear how important a company’s governance and ownership structure is in identifying genuine ambitions to improve its impact on society.

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