CEO of Ella’s Kitchen, Mark Cuddigan, on driving sustainable business at the UK’s No.1 baby food company.
A candid conversation where opportunities are fleshed out; where tensions between mission and sustainability are identified; and where a belief in doing better is underscored.
Should you use plastic packaging instead of glass? How do you tackle the tension between having organic protein food products that help children grow and the high carbon output that accompanies such protein?
We also explore the broader business landscape; delve into the merits of becoming B Corp certified; and consider the legislative agenda, such as the drive for the Better Business Act in the UK, which aims to ensure every company in the UK aligns their interests with those of wider society and the environment.
Ella’s Kitchen leads the way in organic baby food in the UK, is B Corp certified, operates in 35 markets and is mission-driven to improve children’s lives through developing healthy relationships with food.
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About Mark Cuddigan
Mark Cuddigan is the CEO of Ella’s Kitchen. Mark joined Ella’s Kitchen in August 2011, drawn to a company whose founding mission is to improve children’s lives through developing healthy relationships with food. This purpose permeated throughout the business and continues to be a guiding principle today.
Mark is a passionate advocate of business being used as a force for good and through his leadership at Ella’s, he exemplifies how a business can be both profitable and purposeful.
In February 2016, Ella’s Kitchen certified as a B Corporation, becoming only the second company to do so whilst part of a PLC. The first being Ben & Jerry’s at Unilever.
Mark is a member of the B Lab board, a UK registered charity that supports certified B Corps in the UK - businesses that give equal standing to people, planet and profit. A demonstrative example of this is that Ella’s have committed to becoming net zero by 2030.
Ella’s Kitchen was acquired by The Hain Celestial Group Inc. in May 2013, and since then the turnover of Ella’s has grown from £41m to £73m.
Ella’s Kitchen caught the zeitgeist of our times and has really connected with parents and most importantly kids. The brand is now sold in over 33 countries; every second of every day someone, somewhere around the world, eats an Ella’s Kitchen product.
Mark previously worked in FMCG and ran his own companies like Dormen’s for 15 years.