Fizzing for good

All Good's Karma Cola.
All Good's Karma Cola.

All Good – the Auckland company best known for its fair trade bananas – is out to make a difference again with a fizzy drink made from ethically-sourced ingredients. 

The drink uses the cola nut, which comes from Sierra Leone, rather than synthetic alternatives, and All Good is aiming to raise wealth and awareness for farmers in that country.

It will give 2c per bottle sold to help Sierra Leone villagers continue to rebuild after the 11 year civil war that ravaged the nation until 2002.

“Although two cents a bottle doesn’t sound like much, we hope that within the first year, sales of Karma Cola will help to fund a water well and a cassava and rice processing centre,” says All Good co-founder Simon Coley.

Coley says if other cola companies bought the cola nut, Sierra Leone farmers could be very wealthy.

“It’s called Karma [Cola] because what goes around comes around; we hope people will start thinking about these farmers when they buy our food and drink.”

Coley’s co-founder Chris Morrison says All Good’s recipe combines the cola nut with vanilla from Papua New Guinea and organic sugar from Paraguay.

Morrison says it’s not the first time All Good has been in a “David vs Goliath” battle for market share against larger, better known companies. He says its fair trade bananas have 5% market share since launching three years ago.

While the bananas are sold in supermarkets, Karma Cola is sold in high-end cafes and restaurants. 

All Good has had positive feedback since the cola was ‘soft launched’ three to four months ago, Morrison says.

He is also the founder of organic beverage company Phoenix Organics. He says Phoenix was built over 20 years and that gave him plenty of opportunities to learn lessons and avoid making the same mistakes.

“This time round, there’s a good supportive team so we can do it in a proper, professional manner.”

All Good was a finalist in Unlimited’s Sustainable 60 in 2010 for its fair trade bananas.