Alara Wholefoods was the first company ever to achieve zero waste back in 2007

Alex Smith, Alara Wholefoods

Alex Smith is the founder of Alara Wholefoods, makers of organic muesli. In 1975, Alex chanced upon two one pound notes in a gutter. This bought him vehicle entry to New Covent Garden market in his friend’s Morris Minor. He scavenged discarded fruit and vegetables and sold them on. Alara was born.

When are you happiest? When I am eating my breakfast with my daughter and wife each morning. It’s not just the nourishing food, it’s that I routinely have time each day to spend with them

What is the best aspect of your job? Being able to provide people with products they can enjoy and trust

And the worst? Having to sit and make plans

What is your greatest achievement? I’m pretty proud of Abel & Cole’s video of me online, but in all honesty I think the years I spent living totally without money are quite a significant personal success. Also, the business has maintained great credentials, especially regarding sustainability. Alara Wholefoods was the first company ever to achieve zero waste back in 2007

What is your favourite food? Cheese, fruit and Matcha tea. Please don’t force me to choose between them!

Tell us the one thing you can’t live without My permaculture forest garden. It provides a great platform to create new ideas and recipes, mull over existing problems and appreciate the beauty that can come from consistent hard work

What is your pet hate? People who believe that ‘difficult’ and ‘impossible’ are the same thing

How do you relax? I find riding my bicycle quite relaxing. I try to never stop from the start of my journey to the finish, which can make it very stressful for the other traffic on the road

Who is your hero? Peter Melchett, Policy Director at the Soil Association, who I respect for being a consummate political activist

You’re holding a fantasy dinner party – who’s invited? Anyone who is gluten intolerant and we would feast on an epic amount of luxurious gluten free muesli…

If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be? I’d like to go to a little-known area of the world and search for new fruits never before eaten…

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