The Business Of Community, And Why They Are The Biggest Stakeholders Of All

A man pictured drinking small business community brand Stone & Wood Beer

Welcome to Compass Studio‘s sixth installment of our ‘Explore More’ series where we dig into the stories and inspirations of those people that are conquering uncharted grounds right now – whether physical, environmental or social, in the hope of spreading the good further.

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The power of community, and how one of Australia’s most loved craft-breweries is leading a positive change across grassroots-organisations. We sit down and talk more about the InGrained Foundation, with Jasmin Daly from Stone & Wood – and learn more about the importance of environmental and social charities, and the communities that need them most.

Let us know more about Stone & Wood, and the story behind the brand?

Born and raised in Byron Bay, Stone & Wood is proudly local and independent, brewing approachable, sessionable beer in the Northern Rivers of NSW.

Three mates chose to set up in Byron Bay in 2008, inspired by the idea of creating a village brewery and with the vision of building a conscious business. Traditionally, everyone in the community had a role to play – the butcher, the baker and the local brewer… A brewery didn’t just supply fresh beer to the locals, it was the meeting place and it could also be relied upon to support the wider community. We feel this is a part of our responsibility to support the people who support us.

And how about InGrained Foundation? What’s this all about?

Since 2013, Stone & Wood has operated a community program under the inGrained banner which has raised and donated more than $630,000 to a long list of not for profits, grassroots organisations and individuals in their communities.

With the establishment of the inGrained Foundation, a formal separate entity has been created, to which Stone & Wood Brewing Co has committed to annually donate $1/Hl (100 Litres) of beer brewed to the not-for-profit going forward.

We chose to set this up as a separate entity with the vision for it to be self-sustaining by investing a portion of the funds into ethical investments and allowing our stakeholders to be able to make donations.

Just as a good person is defined by the way they behave, we believe good businesses are defined by their actions and the way they go about achieving success.

Tell us more about Stone & Wood products, and how they align with the environmental and sustainable ethos of something like InGrained Foundation?

From a holistic perspective, it’s how we approach business and being a ‘conscious business.’

We strive to create value for all of our stakeholders, not just the bottom line. We call them our communities and it’s not only our drinkers but also our customers, suppliers and shareholders. We believe in taking care of the earth we walk on, treating our team like family and using our inGrained as a way to give back in the areas that we live, work and sell our beer around the country. Our way of doing business balances creating a sustainable profit with doing good. It sets us on a course to remaining an independent company for generations to come that supports the people who support us.

How does InGrained Foundation set itself apart from other not-for-profits? What kind of organisations would you love to support?

I believe not-for-profits should work together, to create the best outcomes for our communities as that is what it is all about at the end of the day.

Through the work Stone & Wood already does in the community and relationships we have developed, we’re in a good position to be able to influence positive change. Also by building perpetual foundations from the outset with an investment pool so investment income can form part of future funding streams, it means people can trust that we will be around to continue helping in the future.

We want to support grassroots, environmental and social charities in the local areas where we work and live. By fostering long term partnerships and responding to urgent situations of need, we aim to create sustained positive change by directing funds to support our community where and when it’s needed.

Along with financial support, how is InGrained Foundation planning to be creative in the pursuit of supporting grassroot businesses?

From a Foundation perspective regarding NFP (Not For Profit) grassroots charities, we’re keen to be there to lend a helping hand with the charities we donate money to. They are on the front lines trying to affect change in our communities and they don’t have the time or resources for administration behind the organisation. With the money we donate, we want to see how it is used, so working closely with the charity is essential.

From a Stone & Wood perspective, we’re always keen to support businesses who align with our values and philosophies. We’re not big on getting our logo slapped on things but rather working closely in partnership to make the project awesome. We have just partnered with ‘We’re All Going to Die’ festival which is a grassroots creative collective using laughter, art, music and connection to fear less and live more. For us, this is how we use beer to connect people, enable ideas and make a meaningful difference.

When we’re talking about environment and sustainability, what’s the importance of fostering a long-term partnership with a grassroots organisation, rather than short-term?

Long term partnerships create meaningful change rather than band aid solutions and it allows not for profits to gain momentum and utilise resources rather than getting bogged down in grant submissions and admin.

What is the role that you think brands play in terms of sustainability and impact in 2018? And why this should it be a staple in any business model – and not just a trend.

Companies of yesterday give business a bad name, but we believe that we can use business and beer as a force for good. Just as a good person is defined by the way they behave, we believe good businesses are defined by their actions and the way they go about achieving success. For us, good means more than just the quality or the taste of the beer, it’s in how we as a business can fulfil our role as the local brewer, pay it forward and contribute to making positive change.

Through good business practice, what kind of impact do you think we can make on the world, together?

Through doing the right thing – the right way, considering all those we potentially impact, including the planet, we believe business can meaningfully add to cultivating strong communities and be a driver of positive change…

Knowing that something is produced locally, knowing who made it, what was involved and that the producer is contributing to the local community is important. Beyond bolstering the local economy, supporting companies that are committed to the area and share the people’s values is key to sustaining the unique cultural fabric of a region.

What kind of impact would inGrained Foundation hope to make for the future of environment and sustainability within organisations throughout Australia?

Resilient communities that are interconnected and thriving.

Want to learn more about the Ingrained Foundation? Head to ingrainedfoundation.com.au, and stay up to date by signing up to the newsletter. Are you a DGR registered not for profit? Get in touch, the next Grants Program will be released in early 2019.

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