Offline Festival Interview
Alex, the founder of Alara, will be at Offline Festival to represent community business leaders and is one of the contributors to the festival. With it quickly approaching, we asked him why he’s excited for the weekend and picked his brain about the benefits of starting a company that benefits the community.
Find our exclusive interview with Alex below:
1. Your business essentially began when you found £2 on the street, what inspired you to grow it into the most sustainable food manufacturer on Earth?
At the time I was living in a squat in Tolmers Square. Through our growth from a squat to a retail shop to the factory where we are now situated, I was always pushing for sustainable food production. There’s always new advances to make, and I suppose that is what inspires me. Our latest progression is working with the Camley St Community with a vision of developing the Camley Street Sustainability Zone here at Kings Cross.
2. What problems did you see around you that inspired you to get into this type of business?
Without a doubt when Alara started in 1975 there was a lack of sustainable food businesses, with a huge amount of waste and most food with high levels of salt, fat and sugar. The lack of healthy food inspired Alara to become the first organic certified cereal company in the world and then the first licensed to product gluten free cereals.
3. What factors pushed you to take that risk of starting your own business?
There was no risk. I had been living for a year without using money and started the business with the two pounds I found in the street. After the first day I had four pounds so doubled my capital in one day, the kind of growth everyone dreams of.
4. How will the Offline Festival motivate others to take action in their communities?
The Offline Festival will provide people with take home concepts on how we can keep working for a more sustainable future. Whether it is a community vegetable garden, campaigning on a local-level for environmental action or starting a sustainable business, I believe the community spirit, working together, and pioneering figures presenting ideas at the Offline Festival will spark inspiration to carry out these goals.
5. What is your favourite aspect of this festival and why do you encourage others to attend?
The Offline Festival is special in that it is bringing together people with a common vision for the future, which must be a sustainable one for humans (and plants, animals, wildlife) to thrive. It is going back to basics with the beautiful countryside location – surrounded by nature - and technology-free policy, demonstrating just how when we strip back modern tech advances, we’re left with people, nature and inspiration. These we can then take back into wider society and better understand how these foundation elements can be integrated into the new emerging society.
Interested in winning a group ticket for you and 3 colleagues, volunteers or friends to Offline Festival? To enter, simply go to this Facebook or Twitter post, name one benefit of investing in your community in the COMMENT box and TAG who you’d bring with you!
For more information about Offline Festival visit: www.offlinefestival.org.uk