Business owners like to think they make a difference through corporate social responsibility (CSR), but according to Luke Baylis, SumoSalad’s CEO, it means nothing if you don’t actually believe in that responsibility.
Trying to find a social stance to get behind can be difficult for a business, but doing so can do wonders for marketing, and not to mention that it can actually make a social change.
However, Luke says all your efforts for CSR will be in vain if you do not have any personal investment in that social responsibility.
“We've probably got a very clear differentiation in the market in terms of the purpose of our business to try to make Australia a healthier place, and very few brands can do that,” Luke says.
“It's a huge thing for our business. It's a thing that gets us even on the toughest of days, gets me up every morning. Because we're one of the few businesses where you are actively contributing to a better Australia, and you are tackling, head on, one of the biggest health issues that the world has ever seen.
“Businesses like ours have a responsibility now to grow in the right ways and try to make sure that we can deliver healthy, nutritious products and help educate people on the importance of making these choices to our consumers.”
Luke’s no stranger to doing more to spur on social change, as he has had a dialogue with the Australian government, including health minister Greg Hunt, and works with other large businesses on trying to push for more education on healthy eating.
“We're active in the community … and trying to influence people in the right way,” he says.
“You look at the likes of other major brands that have a little side salad on the meal just so they can sell more burgers. You've got to have a genuine connection to your purpose, so our perspective is that it's a very important aspect of our business, but it has to be a sincere thing. It can't just be lip service like a lot of other businesses are doing.
“We don't do this to try to sell more stores or anything like that. We do it because we truly believe in what we're here to achieve.”