Friday, November 02, 2007

Charlotte Jarman - London Food Link

How old are you?

What’s your occupation and who do you work for?
I’m a Greener Food project officer for London Food Link, which is part of Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming.

How long have been doing this?
Since February this year.

What’s the best bit about your job?
Most bits are great! I work with fantastic people, all of whom are passionate about sustainable food. And my job is to try and persuade restaurateurs and caterers to use more sustainable ingredients, so I get to meet lots of interesting people outside the office too.

What’s the worst thing?
Writing up reports. Actually, it’s more the putting the report-writing off – once I get started it’s not so bad. And the constant battle to keep my inbox under control.

What have the last 12 months been like for you?
All change – in the best possible way. 30 is turning out very nicely so far.

What were you doing before?
Working for a Fairtrade fruit importer, and running smoothie stalls at music festivals.

What was your very first full-time job?
Admin assistant for an antique carpet and tapestry dealership. Not much fun, I lasted 3 months.

Have you got any plans for the next 12 months you’d like to share with us?
London Food Link runs Ethical Eats (, a network for restaurants and catering businesses interested in sustainability. We’re hoping to develop it into something bigger – watch this space…

What do you do to relax?
I just spent a week in a cottage by the sea in Cornwall with my boyfriend Stian that was so fantastically relaxing I nearly cried when we had to come home.

Who do you live with?
My friend David and our cat Mac – but I’m about to move in with my boyfriend. David is getting custody of Mac.

Whereabouts do you live?
By the canal in Hackney for now... it’s great, there’s a lovely market on Saturdays and I can walk nearly everywhere I need to go.

If you were Prime Minister, what’s the very first thing you do?
Introduce carbon rationing. And meat rationing, linked to which I would ban intensive livestock farming. Sorry, that’s three things.

Have you got any guilty carbon secrets?
I went to India for two weeks in January between finishing my old job and starting my new one – still feeling guilty about that one. And we have changed an embarrassingly small number of lightbulbs in our house to energy efficient ones. And I probably take too many taxis…

What have you done that you were most proud of?
Finally making a profit on the smoothie stall (third year lucky). Feeding 100 people at a friend of a friend’s wedding. Making wedding cakes for two friends – very scary. And I was pretty proud of myself for getting this job.

What are you most concerned about in the world at large?
Blimey that’s a difficult question. The fact that governments are just tinkering around the edges when it comes to climate change, when we really need to start making some radical changes very soon if we’re not to end up in a very big mess of our own stupid making.

Which person in the public eye do you most admire and why?
I left this question till last and I still can’t answer it. I don’t think the people most deserving of our admiration are in the public eye – they’re too busy getting on with it.

What advice would you give to someone wishing to embark on the same sort of work as you?
Keep an open mind and be prepared to do a bit of voluntary work.

What’s your website address?

What are your three favourite other websites?
For usefulness: and the TFL Journey Planner (the latter also satisfies my geeky interest in public transport routes). And for food porn:

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