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20 questions with…Tim Aldred



Tim Aldred  answers 20 questions on life, sustainability and everything.

Tim Aldred has been the Head of Policy and Research at the Fairtrade Foundation since 2013, while previously working in Sudan, Afghanistan, North Korea, Haiti, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and on the response to the Indonesian Tsunami. He will be arguing, along with Rainforest Alliance’ s Stuart Singleton-White, against the motion “Free trade trumps fair trade in helping developing economies”.

The debate is part of Sustainable September’s, one of the many events organised for Blue & Green Tomorrow’s month-long sustainability event. Tickets for the debate are available here.

We want the world to be as blue and green tomorrow as it was yesterday. What’s your mission?

Fairtrade wants to see a world where all producers enjoy sustainable and secure livelihoods, can fulfill their potential, and decide on their future.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A train driver (of course).

How would your friends describe you?

You’d need to ask them.

What was your ‘road to Damascus moment’ in terms of sustainability

A TV documentary which set out the science of climate change, and our proximity to the greenhouse gas “tipping point”.

Who or what inspires you?

People who speak out for justice at the cost of abuse, ridicule or worse.

What really grinds your gears?

Failures of compassion.

Describe your perfect day.

A country walk with a pub lunch, followed by a good book in a comfy chair.

What do you see when you look out your window at home?

The garden.

What do you like spending your money on?


What’s your favourite holiday destination?

Isle of Iona, Argyll.

What’s your favourite book?

The House at Pooh Corner.

 What’s your favourite film?

A Room With A View.

You’re made prime minister. What’s the first thing you do?

Meet the Queen and appoint a Cabinet.

If you were stuck on a desert island, which famous person would you like to be stuck with and why?

For his skills in knocking up a bivouac and catching edible fauna, probably Ray Mears.

What was the best piece of advice you have ever been given? And the worst?

(best) Stop watching Newsnight and go to bed.
(worst) I don’t think you need to worry about this.

What would you like to be doing five years from now?

Something enjoyable that has a fighting chance of making a positive difference.

What’s your biggest regret?

I like watching Top Gear.

What one thing would you encourage readers to do to make their life more sustainable?

Think before you fly.

What’s the one idea that you think could change the world for the better?

We think of the natural world as a threat, but it is the source of all life.

What’s your favourite quote?

The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better.


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Further reading:

20 questions with…Stuart Singleton-White

20 questions with… Sam Bowman

Tickets on sale for Blue & Green Tomorrow’s Sustainable September events

Ethical consumerism delivering ‘profitable growth’, says market research

Sustainable September: Retail Debate to be held at Royal Geographical Society

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