Karma Drinks has taken out two trophies at the Sustainable Business Awards. They were the winner of the Social Impactor category and took out the top spot with the Supreme Transforming Aotearoa New Zealand Award.
“Sustainability is Karma Drinks’ core business, it is fully integrated through its value chain,” said the competition judges.
“It is truly inspiring to read this application. There is a genuine depth of integrity and sincerity throughout operations. Karma Drinks exemplifies what a ‘value chain’ can be – creating real social value for communities and environmental value for the earth, all the while creating a valuable product. A great kaupapa of ‘delivering trade, not aid’, where communities where the cola nuts are grown are in full sovereignty of the funds they generate and are gifted through The Karma Foundation.”
Karma Drinks was born from an idea on Piha Beach, where three friends first thought of forming a company to make ‘Karma Cola’ out of ingredients that were good for the land, good for the growers and good for consumers. To hold the business accountable to its mission of producing the most ethical soft drink, one percent of revenue from every Karma Drink goes to The Karma Foundation, supporting cola nut growers and communities in Sierra Leone.
Since 2012, more than 43 million Karma Drinks have been sold. This has enabled three bridges to be built, 135 girls sent to school and eight teachers funded, enabling education for a further 614 children in three newly build classrooms. The company has also supported farmers to revive forest farms and provided seed funding for 33 local entrepreneurs. These repaid loans have been distributed to 26 new entrepreneurs. Three villages have set up rice and groundnut seed banks, three more have rice mills, one has a guesthouse and four have new community meeting spaces.