Ethical Business Practice
“The Business Breakfast” is a monthly gathering on the first Tuesday of the month from 7-8.30am, held in different local venues.
Now a collaboration of local business owners, Frome Town Council and the Chamber of Commerce, the breakfasts were originally the brainchild of Mairi Connelly, Business Manager, Pilates Instructor and Mindfulness Practitioner with the noble vision of creating a vibrant and supportive business community in Frome.
This month’s delicious breakfast was served by a genuinely smiley and generous host at the “Old Rectory Café” located at “Forward Space”, a workspace community for creative small business, on Butts Hill.
It was a gorgeously sunny early summer morning and the guest-speaker was Luke Wilde from locally-based management consultancy firm, “twentyfifty”.
Luke Wilde comes across as a modern-day William Wilberforce with his Quaker background and chivalrous heroics of fighting for the needs of the vulnerable within the commercial-corporate world and its supply chains; aspiring to abolish slavery, exploitation and the abuse of people.
For example, he facilitates the genuine engagement of big corporations with the local workers and farmers they’re dealing with, and explores the impact of tourism in places like Kenya; engaging with local organisations to talk to the native population about the consequences impacting upon them and the opportunities arising within their environment.
He informed us that there is now a “UN Guide for Principles on Business and Human Rights”, which is the result of a 6-year multi-stakeholder international process led by a Harvard professor; a breakthrough in international norms, it sets a global expectation that companies should respect human rights and is supported by all members of the General Assembly, even Russia and China.
Its guiding principles have now also been integrated into the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) since 2011, a Paris-based body aspiring to improve people’s economic and social well-being; alongside the UK Modern Slavery Act, the Corporate Vigilance Act in France, national action plans to implement the guiding principles into Germany and Columbia, and a forthcoming public referendum in Switzerland.