Alara Wholefoods London

In 1975, Alex Smith was living in a squat in Tolmers Square, London, recycling food from markets and using skipped wood for fuel. Finding two pounds on the floor, Alex borrowed a friend's van and paid for entry to the New Covent Garden Fruit and Veg Market, filling the van with traders' seconds and selling the produce on: Alara was born.

Thirty years later, Alex and his wife still run the company, now based in King's Cross. Alara is dedicated to creating the finest muesli, producing over 250 varieties using 200 ingredients. The organisation keeps its ethical foundations at the heart of things: Alara was the first in the UK to produce organic muesli, and the first Fair Trade and Coeliac Society-certified cereal manufacturer in the country. In 2008, Alara became completely waste-free, even recycling meals from the staff canteen as compost. The organisation is now working to become carbon-neutral and keeps a close eye on packaging developments and product-supply to minimise waste. All ingredients used in Alara muesli are sourced from UK farmers, with the company working particularly hard to support British organic growers.

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