Dubai, United Arab Emirates (August 2023) – Hello Chef, UAE’s most popular meal-kit brand that delivers fresh ingredients and internationally inspired recipes to homes across the Emirates, is the FIRST UAE-based food company to become B Corp certified. With global brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, and Coursera on the B Corp register, Hello Chef is empowered to make long-lasting changes to their internal and customer-facing approaches as part of the conscious movement. 

Founded by married couple Olivia Manner and Ahmed Al Akber, Hello Chef began with the simple goal of making cooking at home convenient, exciting, and cost-effective for busy families. B Corp is a movement created by B Lab and joined by several companies from around the globe, with the goal of “making business a force for good”. With five core pillars on which companies are assessed to get certified – community, environment, governance, customers, and workers – a certification of this calibre inspires companies to reflect on their internal and external practices as a whole and improve upon any deficiencies. 

The B Corp certification is holistic, not exclusively focused on a single social or environmental issue. While Hello Chef is proud to welcome the rigorous certification, what brings them far more value is their increased knowledge of conscious and sustainable business development, building trust with their customers, employees and suppliers through transparency and improved policies, and redefining success for the company.

A few key practices that have been transformed or introduced within Hello Chef in the process of achieving the B Corp certification include:

  • Introducing and publishing an anti-corruption and bribery policy, including training and de-risking through the formation of a committee to roll out best practices in finance, procurement, inventory, and other departments
  • Ensuring all employee salaries meet or exceed living wage standards in the UAE
  • Tracking sustainability metrics, such as food waste, supplier documentation, electricity, and water usage, packaging consumption, and others with the aim of improving these continuously
  • Improving transparency to customers and suppliers by publishing policies such as data privacy, terms of use and others
  • Creating a charitable giving policy, committing a $5,000 budget in 2023
  • Continuing Hello Chef’s food donations to the Dubai Municipality food bank, which has received tens of thousands of Dirhams of food every year since 2020
  • Creating a policy to improve the environmental impact within the office space and for those working from home – sparking an office recycling program, which has already recycled hundreds of kilograms of paper, electronics, and kitchen pantry waste.

Ahmed Al Akber, CEO, and co-founder of Hello Chef shares his excitement in the achievement, commenting, “We as a society are faced with huge social and environmental challenges, that can’t be solved through traditional means like the government or charities alone. They need to be solved by innovating for the long term – something small businesses are great at. For us, getting the certification was only the cherry on top. The more significant part of that process was the progress we made in learning how to operate a healthy and conscious business that cares. That part of the journey has been the best part for me.”

Hello Chef’s recent certification does not mark the end of improving its business practices. A B Corporation is required to pay annual fees based on revenue, complete a B Impact Report – a rigorous and lengthy report measuring social and environmental impact, and undergo a reassessment every three years in order to maintain certification.

The homegrown brand hopes to set an example for other companies in the UAE, encouraging businesses that care about demonstrating high social and environmental performance, no matter the size, to get B Corp certified and reflect on their goals, values, policies, and practices.