Ben & Jerry’s Crown First Ever Winners of Join Our Core Sustainable Business Competition

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Photo courtesy of Ben & Jerry’s – Join Our Core Competition

Jenny Dawson, a young entrepreneur from London, was crowned as the first ever UK winner of Ben & Jerry’s Join Our Core competition. Jenny is one of five overall winners who will each win a €10,000 cash prize and six months specialist mentoring from Ashoka to help grown their business. They will also each have their business immortalised on an exclusive, new commemorative Ben & Jerry’s flavour in 2013.

From nearly 200 entrants, 15 were handpicked by an expert panel of judges from the world of sustainable business – including Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield – for the competition’s final leg in Africa with VSO. The five winners were chosen after completing a week long set of tasks living and working alongside local Fairtrade farmers and entrepreneurs.

‘When Ben and I set-up the company in 1978, we believed giving back to the community was as important as making great tasting ice-cream,” commented Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s. “We certainly think we’ve found those same values, not only in the five winners, but in many of this year’s entrants and we’re very excited to see how all these young businesses grow.” 

Hailing from each of the competition’s five competing countries, the winners are Rubies in the Rubble from the UK, Archipelago from Ireland, Mattecentrum from the Sweden, Play31 from Denmark and Fairmail from the Netherlands.

UK winner Jenny Dawson from Rubies in the Rubble commented, “It was a huge shock to be announced a winner as there were so many brilliant entries! I am absolutely delighted for Ben & Jerry’s support and recognition of Rubies in the Rubble’s work in addressing the important issues of food waste and unemployment in the UK. We are a young and vibrant company and with their support we look forward to moving onto the next stages of growth.”

Rubies in the Rubble’s aim is to make “the tastiest chutney and fruitiest jams, in the nicest possible way”. Their delicious, handmade chutneys and jams are made a much as possible from surplus fruits and vegetables, thus helping to reduce food waste.

Rubies in the Rubble also support their local community by recruiting their employees from those struggling to get back into work. This ethical approach creates employment, while the sustainable idea of using of surplus fruits and vegetables reduces waste.

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Photos courtesy of Rubies in the Rubble

Alongside the overall winners, five businesses separately scooped the People’s Choice Award voted for by the general public, where each won a cash prize of €1,000.

In its first year, Join Our Core was launched by Ben & Jerry’s through the belief that as businesses grow they should share their prosperity. Alongside the competition’s other entrants, the progressive ice-cream maker will now support and nurture the winners who’ve demonstrated they best share that vision.

Watch this space for details about the commemorative winners flavour launching in 2013 and details of next year’s competition, which will be bigger and better!

And if all this talk about Ben & Jerry’s has made you hungry, I have two vouchers for free 500 ml tubs of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to give away to the first two UK readers to drop me an email!

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Article by April Harris

April has written 1250 great articles for us.
April is a food, lifestyle and travel writer who lives in Berkshire, England. She shares inspiration, tips and trends for anyone who loves food, cooking, entertaining, fashion, travel and the finer things in life at her blog, AprilJHarris.com.
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