Fruits of Sherbrooke: Creating a Sustainable Business
(7 pages of text)
In 2010, three friends created Fruits of Sherbrooke as a way to rescue local fruit that would otherwise be wasted. The founders knew their efforts would be beneficial for the environment and for people in need of food. In February 2016, having grown their business into a successful social enterprise entirely through the help of volunteers, they faced important decisions. Realistically, they would not always be able to run the organization, which meant facing issues of succession. Additionally, they needed to decide how to balance growth strategies with their commitment to the social good. Should the organization focus on maximizing profitability or should decisions for growth be based only on providing the greatest benefit possible to the community and environment?
This case is suitable for undergraduate and graduate courses that cover general business strategy, corporate sustainability, social enterprises, and marketing. After completion of the case, students will be able to
- understand and analyze the global and regional issue of food waste and food security;
- develop alternative growth strategies for a company that has a guiding principle of providing social benefits;
- evaluate a business from the perspective of the triple bottom line (measuring performance on the basis of profit, people, and planet);
- identify growth options for a social enterprise by considering key stakeholders, core competencies, and value chains; and
- understand the importance of succession planning and what it involves.
Social Advocacy Organizations
Canada, Small, 2016
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