Sustainable and ethical products are proving a winner for many Australian small businesses, with consumers backing SMBs that provide ethical, transparent and locally sourced products.
A recent study found that many SMBs are capitalising on this market opportunity, with 86 per cent considering sustainable and ethical business practices to be a key driver of growth and profitability.
With 73 per cent of shoppers actively seeking out businesses that offer sustainable products and services, the survey suggests honing in on sustainability could prove a growing market opportunity for the savvy business owner.
Michael Milkovic and Michelle Grand-Milkovic co-owners of iconic Sydney seafood restaurant love.fish are well aware of the benefits that taking a sustainable ethical approach to business can bring.
Founded in 2010, love.fish has been serving up fabulous fish creations to the city’s seafood-lovers offering sustainably sourced fish long before traceability was fashionable.
The couple’s ethos to bring a sustainable approach to the humble fish ‘n’ chips shop has proved a winner, with love.fish recently venturing from their original inner west home at Rozelle to new premises at Barangaroo.
Michelle suggests love.fish’s success has been a mixture of hard work, savvy marketing and a great idea.
“[love.fish] had a real story and showed a provenance, and was a brand that people could really connect to. Sustainability is something that we really valued and we thought others would, too. So, that’s how love.fish started, and really it’s gone from strength to strength ever since. We’re in our eighth year, and we moved into Barangaroo about 18 months ago.”
Eight years of successful trade is a long time in the small business world and love.fish has grown in that period from a small ‘fish bar’ to a waterfront restaurant at one of the most fashionable precincts in Sydney.
Michelle credits much of their success to their commitment to their passion to create a sustainable traceable food offering.
“I think what was really important to us was to start with a really strong brand, and a really strong concept, and fantastic values. And then, I think what we’ve done is, we’ve stuck to those for eight years without faltering, even when things had become difficult. All small businesses have their ups and downs, and I think for us, it’s really been about sticking to our core values and understanding that customer loyalty and brand commitment really is everything to us.”
Martin Seward, Vice President of American Express Global Commercial Services said sustainability and environmental impact can no longer be disregarded by Australia’s SMBs.
“With Australian shoppers increasingly basing spending decisions on how ethical they perceive a business to be, and the impact that business has on the environment and society in general, sustainable business practices are no longer a nice to have, they’re essential for any size of business competing today.”
It’s a sentiment Michelle shares.
“From the outset, our philosophy has been simple – to serve great food and support a more sustainable future. Maintaining integrity has created a loyal customer base for us, which is key to success in this fickle industry. It’s important to be different and to understand that being socially and environmentally sustainable creates value in your business”, she concludes.
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