Jim Haywood

Planet Pod goes Underground with Growing Underground’s Richard Ballard and Faye Tomson from District Eating

Something is stirring in the tunnels of South London and it isn’t the Northern Line!

Join Amanda and guest co-host Alex Gilbert as they chat deep below London with Richard Ballard, co-founder of Growing Underground and Faye Tomson, MD of Central Eating.  Hear how how disused WWII air raid shelter tunnels are being put to good use to grow salad crops organically, efficiently and unbelievably fast.  Find out more about how unused heat generated from district heating networks can be used to grow food.  These really are examples of Smart Food Production in action!

Our guests:

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Richard Ballard has started an agricultural revolution along with business partner Steven Dring in the form of Growing Underground. Located 100ft under the streets of London in disused WW2 Air Raid Shelter, this subterranean urban farm sustainably produces micro-greens using the latest LED technology. The duo are now delivering fresh hyper local produce to retailers and the London wholesale markets.

Sustainably feeding the city from within the city, Richard is obsessed by all things green tech and the future of cities.

Click on the following links to view the film he made which inspired Growing Underground – full length and animation only

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Faye Tomson is an Energy and Environmental Engineer with extensive experience working in the fields of district heating, low carbon heat infrastructure projects, and industrial resource efficiency. She has worked on some of the UKs most cutting-edge heat infrastructure projects, as well as with some large-scale industrial food and drink producers, advising on resource efficiency. Faye spent several years working for the UK Government Heat Network Development Unit.

Faye comes from a family of farmers and horticulturalists, so has a lifelong experience of food markets and production. It was this background combined with her previous work experience that led Faye to realise the opportunity for efficiency savings for all stakeholders that can be achieved when the gap between energy use and 
food production is bridged.
Faye is an alumni of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, and as well as being commercially aware, she also has a desire to maximise the very real social benefits that can be achieved through urban and community farming.  

Alex Gilbert (1)

Guest co-host for this episode:

Alex Gilbert is Senior Energy Strategy Manager at TfL as well as being Principal and Director of Clean Growth Ltd.  In his role with TfL he is curating, commercialising and delivering the energy projects that will assist in the transformation of TfL – London’s largest and most significant energy user.

HOT NEWS:  We are delighted that Planet Pod has been shortlisted as a finalist for the Be The Change Awards 2019.  See our short award entry video here.

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Planet Pod talks Sustainable Sourcing with Fairtrade’s David Finlay and eco chef Tom Hunt

Question:  What has a banana, your mobile phone and your fridge got in common?  Answer:  They can all be Fairtrade products!

Listen to our latest pod to find out how the gold in your phone (or even in your fridge) is as important to the Fairtrade movement as the banana in your fruitbowl. Join Amanda in conversation with David Finlay from Fairtrade Foundation and award winning eco chef Tom Hunt as they discuss gold, coffee and bananas…plus Tom’s secret recipe for hot chocolate!

2019 marks the 25th Anniversary of Fairtrade in the UK and presents an opportune moment to re-examine both its need and relevance.

Our guests:

David Finlay

David Finlay is a Supply Chain Manager at Fairtrade Foundation, where he has worked for the last 8 years. In his time with Fairtrade, he has supported a wide range of initiatives particularly with cocoa, coffee and, more recently, gold producers in the Lake Victoria Region of East Africa.

Call to action:  Please support Fairtrade by

  • Buying Fairtrade certified products
  • Taking action in Fairtrade Fortnight (25 Feb – 10 Mar 19) to campaign for fairer prices for cocoa farmers – see below for info and links

Links:

What is Fairtrade

How to get involved in Fairtrade Fortnight 2019

10 facts on how Fairtrade tackles food security

Food security briefing report

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Tom Hunt is an award-winning chef, food writer, Guardian columnist, cookbook author and sustainable food expert. He co-owns a small restaurant called Poco in Bristol – awarded the most sustainable restaurant in the U.K. in both 2016 and 2018 – and works as a sustainability consultant. Tom prioritises people and the environment within his work and believes in a fair global food system where our actions benefit the environment.

Fairtrade Fortnight: 25 February – 10 March 2019

For two weeks each year, thousands of individuals, companies and groups across the UK come together to celebrate the people who grow our food, people who live in some of the poorest countries in the world and who are often exploited and badly paid. This year we are focusing on the people – in particular the women – who grow the cocoa in the chocolate we love so much.

FIND OUT MORE AND GET INVOLVED HERE

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“Plastic: The End of the Affair?” – Planet Pod talks to Laure Cucuron of TerraCycle and Hubbub’s Saskia Restorick

Is our long term love affair with plastic finally over? Have we woken up as a country to the damage plastic does to our lives, our homes, our planet and our health …… or are we still in this toxic love affair with the single use water bottle?
 
In our Valentines episode we talk with Saskia Restorick from Hubbub and Laure Cucuron from TerraCycle about how much progress we have really made  to change our ways or are we still dependent on plastic in packaging in shops in the workplace. We discuss the Waitrose £1million plastic bag fund and how you can tackle the scourge of crisp packets – join us and give plastic the “Dear John” treatment!

Our guests:

Saskia Restorick photo BW

Saskia Restorick has spent her career creating sustainable behaviour change both in the corporate sector (leading Accenture UK’s environment programme) and in the charity sector: at Global Action Plan, the Sustainable Restaurant Association and currently at Hubbub where she has worked closely with IKEA to deliver the transformative Live LAGOM project enabling thousands of IKEA customers and co-workers to live more sustainably at home.

Hubbub is working in partnership with Waitrose and Partners with the recently announced Plan Plastic: The Million Pound Challenge which aims to cut plastic pollution in the UK, reducing the amount of unnecessary plastic used and by tackling littered plastic. This fund will give grants between £150,000 to £300,000 to innovative projects that rethink how we all use and dispose of plastic. The fund is looking for a small number of projects to support over one year, starting in April 2019 and aims to fund projects which will have a significant measurable impact on plastic pollution (now or in the future), and a clear legacy.  All learnings, results and outputs will be openly shared to enable others to build on, replicate and amplify the impact.

Link:

www.planplasticfund.com

Laure Cucuron (B&W image)

Laure Cucuron is the General Manager of TerraCycle Europe, a global leader in the collection and repurposing of otherwise non-recyclable post-consumer and post-industrial waste. In 21 countries, TerraCycle creates national platforms to recycle products and packaging that currently go to landfill or incineration, in collaboration with the world’s largest brands (e.g. BIC, JDE, P&G) and retailers (e.g. Tesco, Carrefour).

Through TerraCycle, Laure is pioneering a new waste management process across TerraCycle’s 12 European markets in a period of real innovation and exciting growth for the business.  This process involves manufacturers, retailers and consumers, to create circular solutions for materials such as food packaging, laboratory waste, coffee capsules, cigarette waste and even beach plastics that otherwise have no other path to be recycled.

In January 2019, TerraCycle, along with 25 top consumer products companies and retailers announced a new e-commerce shopping platform called Loop that will enable consumers to shop for some of their favorite brands in durable, reusable packaging. Launching in May 2019 in the US and France where the retailer will be Carrefour, Loop is a key step in helping to end the epidemic of waste that is caused by ‘single use’ consumption.  Loop is scheduled to launch in the UK in Q4 2019 where the retail partner will be Tesco.

Link:

www.terracycle.eu

 

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