5 Big Questions: MARK CUDDIGAN
The Possibility ClubJune 30, 202235:3048.75 MB

5 Big Questions: MARK CUDDIGAN

What makes a good CEO?

Can a food company be the voice of its end users? 

How do you measure the ripple effect that you effect in your work?


In this week’s 5 Big Questions interview we talk to business leader and social entrepreneur MARK CUDDIGAN

Twitter: @CuddiganMark


Known for:

  • CEO - Ella's Kitchen
  • Head of Sustainability & Marketing - Hain Celestial Europe
  • Trustee - B Lab
  • Non-Executive Director - Three Point Zero


The Big 5 Questions:

  1. How do you measure the impact of what you do?
  2. How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?
  3. How do we build the workforce we need for that future?
  4. How do you use creativity to solve problems?
  5. How do you collaborate?


Key quotes:

“There are occasions in your life, if you’re lucky, when you meet someone who changes your viewpoint on life, or business, forever. I met Paul Lindley who set up Ella’s Kitchen sixteen years ago and he was one of those people.”

“My phone cover is an Ella’s Kitchen phone cover and I’m on the tube and often people stop me and say, where did you get that phone cover, can I have one of those? And then we’ll get talking about Ella’s Kitchen and they genuinely come alive. We are able to connect with parents on a really deep level. Because of that, I would say we have a responsibility to lead the company in such a way that other companies will follow us.” 

“I’ve never met a CEO that hasn’t claimed they’re saving the world, yet the world isn’t being saved. So we all believe we work in these amazing companies. My question to CEOs when I meet them is: prove it.”

“I’m gonna use a corny quote from Spiderman: with great power comes great responsibility.”

“In two years’ time over half of all of our partners will be B Corporations. It’s a bit like a Ponzi scheme, but the only two things that benefit are the people and the environment.”

“A CEO’s role is now not simply to the company that they are running. Their responsibilities go much, much wider. If you take Net Zero. There’s no point us achieving Net Zero, which we’ve committed to do by 2030, if no-one else does. Everyone needs to do it. Those that say they’re doing this already, my challenge to them is, how are you bringing other people along with it?”

“In any of the supermarkets now, you could pretty much just shop B Corps now, if you wanted to.”

“Leaders need to get onboard. So you don’t want to certify as a B Corp you could support the Better Business Act. That’s free, it’ll take you two seconds to sign up, we’re trying to change a section of the Companies Act.”

“We want to be the voice of the under-fives. That is our aim because we feel we have that responsibility.”


Useful links:

Profile on Mark at Greenhouse // greenhouse.agency/blog/beyond-net-zero-hero-mark-cuddigan-ceo-of-ellas-kitchen/

Paul Lindley (Wikipedia biography) // wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Lindley

Ella’s Kitchen // ellaskitchen.co.uk/

Ella’s Kitchen (Wikipedia) // wikipedia.org/wiki/Ella%27s_Kitchen

B Corporation certification (Wikipedia) // wikipedia.org/wiki/B_Corporation_(certification)

B-Corp (UK) // bcorporation.uk/?gclid=CjwKCAjwk_WVBhBZEiwAUHQCme7QGKrM5eDDSb7P9iYlIyirRcGz2gIQUcP0snZubCdQoPawermegRoCWpYQAvD_BwE

The Better Business Act // betterbusinessact.org/act-now/

Sir Ken Robinson TED talk on creativity in education (via YouTube) // youtu.be/iG9CE55wbtY

Mark on Change Makers podcast // changemakers.works/podcasts/we-all-have-an-impact-on-the-planet-our-question-is-what-we-are-going-to-do-about-it-ellas-kitchen-ceo-mark-cuddigan-on-putting-people-the-planet-and-profit-on-an-equal-footing/

Flexible Packaging Consortium (via Circular magazine) // circularonline.co.uk/news/leading-uk-brands-partner-to-tackle-flexible-packaging-recycling/

Flexible Packaging Consortium (via Food And Drink Technology magazine) // foodanddrinktechnology.com/news/37215/leading-household-brands-join-forces-to-tackle-flexible-packaging-recycling-in-the-uk/


This episode was recorded in June 2022

Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible

Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts