At the Natural Products Expo West 2017, Doug Rauch shared his wisdom and thoughts from a lifelong career in food business on how businesses can be a force for good.
The catch phrase is “conscious capitalism.”
Doug started his career in food business at a health food store called Erewhon, in Boston, and came to the first Expo West in 1981. He started out at Trader Joe’s when there were 9 locations, joining the company to help them start the TJ’s private label. He spent several decades at Trader Joe’s in leadership roles.
Solving the Food Desert Problem
Doug started the non-profit Daily Table grocery store to bring affordable food to under-served communities. The store gets donations of nearly expired packaged and fresh foods. Locals cook the produce into very cheap meals, from soup to salads, and store members (AKA customers) can also buy great produce that just isn’t up to snuff for “mainstream” grocers.
Want to know more? I visited Daily Table and wrote about it.
Simple Keys to Good Business
Crapitalism (crony-capitalism) is not good. But business at its heart is good as it creates value.
The right for a business to exist comes from the fact that people come voluntarily to you. Businesses can be heroes in our communities and can lift people out of poverty.
Everyone in business has an opportunity to demonstrate that business is and can be good. Businesses should not solely exist to make money. A good analogy:
We need air. But we don’t exist solely to breathe
Profits are the air of business. Profits allow businesses to grow and do their real work.
Listen To or Watch the Keynote
Below is a podcast recording of the keynote.
You can also take a look at highlight videos and the presentation.
If you weren’t a capitalist before, you will at least leave with an appreciate for why socially responsible businesses are not only a good thing but essential to the future of our planet.