Good business governance means its stakeholders – like staff, the environment and farmers –  are considered in company decisions.  In this episode we talk about why this leads to real positive change – and how this had led to the criticism of Nespresso becoming a B Corp.

Alex Maitland, Oxfam International

Alex is Inequality Policy Adviser at Oxfam International and also sits on the Cafédirect Guardian Share Committee.

James Ghaffari, B Lab

James is Director of Growth & Product at B Lab UK, responsible for growing the B Corp community and managing the certification process for businesses large and small across the UK.

James has also held roles in Innovation at an international women and girls’ rights charity and has worked with multinationals and local SMEs in sub-Saharan Africa supporting the growth of inclusive business environments.

Lebi Hudson, RSTGA cooperative & Cafédirect Director

Lebi is the General Manager at the RSTGA tea cooperative in Tanzania. He is also a non-executive board director for Cafédirect.

Conversation summary

  • What is governance and its importance.
  • Good governance is involves thinking about all the stakeholders of a business.
  • The consequences of shareholder value as only priority.
  • Cafedirect’s Guardian Share Company: its function as protecting it from actions that are not in the interests if the company’s mission.
  • Emmanuel Faber – Danone’s CEO that was voted off by shareholders because of his emphasis on sustainability over profit. Further examples of CEOs trying to ‘do the right thing’ being removed from their roles.
  • Lebi: Good governance means there is accountability for all members. In the cooperative, he has found that conflict has been minimised and they have learned ways to make decisions to manage wider goals than just profit.
  • Good governance is better for the planet and society, and it’s good for business too. Everyone is working collectively for the company’s prosperity.
  • Regulatory change is needed for a level playing field.
  • Nespresso becoming a B Corp. Alex argues this is misleading for consumers and James defends the decision.
  • Examples of good governance – such as cooperatives and social enterprises.


Sacha Romanovitch

Emmanuel Faber