Josephine Fairley & Craig Sams

Key Takeaways: 

There’s no point having a plan. You can have a plan A, plan B, plan C and plan D – put all that energy into trying to come up with a ‘well, if we did that…’ – and it could be plan Z. You can waste a lot of thinking time agonising what direction to go in and at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. 

People and organisations may have to go into survival mode, but it will be a short-term adjustment to the new normal. But then companies will have to expand and harness creativity again so they don’t get left behind. 

Working from home and quick intra-team communication is so much more productive that it’s unlikely that the old way of working will come back in force. But making the case for the ‘hive mind’, there is a lot that goes on in an office environment that isn’t official work but that still holds the general consciousness of an organisation in a mutually agreed values and hierarchy of importance. So we need a balance.

Reacting with country-wide lockdowns to this and future viruses isn’t sustainable. The developing world has a number of infectious diseases that are part of every day life and the daily risks are managed. With our expectations from western medicine, we’re so cocooned from that reality. 

In the developing world, 25,000 people die every day from hunger. There’s a ‘vaccine’ called food that we burn in vast quantities – 2/3 of palm oil that comes into Europe ends up in diesel or power stations. All that rapeseed oil ends up car tanks. We don’t really need biofuel, we need more food and that would save more lives than a few weeks of lockdown are likely to do in the developed world. 


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Jo Fairley:

Leaving school at 16 with six ‘O’ Levels, through hard work and determination Jo Fairley went on to become the UK’s youngest-ever magazine editor, setting out on her entrepreneurial journey in 1991 when she co-founded Green & Black’s Chocolate, now approaching a £100 million a year brand.

The success of Green & Black’s has enabled Jo to become a serial entrepreneur, via an award-winning organic and natural food store/bakery (Judges Bakery), The Wellington Centre (a boutique nine-room wellbeing centre) – both in her home town of Hastings – and most recently The Perfume Society, which sets out to help individuals develop their sense of smell via exploration of fragrance and the scented world.

Jo now travels the world speaking to audiences on sustainable business, leadership, women in business, change management and entrepreneurialism.

Craig Sams:

After obtaining a B.Sc Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania I moved to London in 1966 with the aim of opening a macrobiotic restaurant. In 1967, after a brief career in the ethnic fashion and import business (Afghan coats, Indian posters, Tunisian kaftans, Tibetan shoulder bags, hand-dyed silks) I founded, in partnership with my brother Gregory, Whole Earth Foods, a leading organic food company, expanding from its original organic macrobiotic restaurant ‘Seed’ into retail, wholesaling and manufacturing with the Harmony, Ceres Bakery and Whole Earth brands.

I’m the author of four booksAbout Macrobiotics (1972), The Brown Rice Cookbook(1982, new edition 1992), The Little Food Book (1993) and, with Josephine Fairley, The Story of Green & Black’s.

In partnership with my wife Josephine Fairley I founded Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate in 1991, an award-winning organic and fair trade confectionery brand whose Maya Gold chocolate was the first product to carry the Fairtrade Mark.

I am co-founder and Executive Chairman of Carbon Gold Ltd, a carbon sequestration business based on the use of biochar as a soil improver. Biochar is emerging as a major tool for mitigating climate change and restoring our planet’s degraded soils. In addition I serve as a director of Duchy Originals Ltd and of Gusto Organic, the organic soft drink makers.

I write regularly for Natural Product News and other publications and regularly give speeches at various events.

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