Thursday, 6 October 2011

Bloggerview with Per Bogstad. Manager for Rainforest Alliance products

Name and occupation
Per Bogstad, Manager, Sustainable Value Chains, UK and Ireland (I am tasked with
maintaining and expanding the market for Rainforest Alliance Certified™ products in
these countries).

What would you like to plug?
Rainforest Alliance and the great work it does to help farmers create sustainable
businesses that will remain productive and better places to work, despite all the great
challenges that the world currently faces.

Name your three desert island ingredients
Coffee (to get me up in the morning (alone). Tea (to give comfort (when I am all
alone). Chocolate (to see me to bed (alone!). I will be happy knowing that all these
things have come from farmers that are happier, due to certification by Rainforest

What would you have for your last supper?
Indonesian food (got in to that visiting all the projects we have going on there,
alongside a number of other Asian countries), a cold beer and coffee after, certified
of course – at least something is sustainable even if I no longer am!)

What foodstuff would you banish to room 101?
Palm Oil – I even saw it in Ginger Beer the other day (naming no names) – not good.

What's your favourite restaurant?
Costa – Great coffee and here in the UK, it’s bigger than Starbucks – A great British
success story! Did I mention they serve Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee!? … and

What's your favourite tipple?
Red wine. Always a bottle with a cork, always (well, usually) French. Did I mention
we certify cork? We do, so get popping.

Which book gets you cooking?
Shoik! An Asian cookbook I picked up in Singapore, great book by a great guy –
Terry Tan and his Son – check it out. I love it when tradition gets updated.

What's your dream dinner party line-up?
Can I have 8? So: Sean Penn, Barak Obama, Chris Wille, John Pilger, Luiz Inácio
Lula da Silva, the ghosts of Rachel Carson and Ansel Adams

And what would you cook for them?
Whatever they liked!

What was your childhood teatime treat?
Custard, made in the oven and left so long it had a chewy crust – when there was no
such thing as worries back then.

What would you make to impress your partner?
A promise to our kids that the future can be bright – that can be kept.

What was your most memorable meal?
At a wedding in India, one that my best friend and I were invited to from off of
the street, having watched their amazing procession work its way through Agra’s
crowded streets. And dinner on Christmas Eve (I’m half Danish) – any one.

What was your biggest culinary disaster?
First meal for my in-laws, which I cooked with a friend. The two principle ingredients
of the carrot and orange soup (that was the starter) got put the wrong way round and
the spoon stood up in it! That was just the start…

What's the worst meal you've ever had?
Lamb burger, Aberystwyth seafront, 1992, at about two in the morning.

What's the most outlandish thing you've ever eaten?
Pretty much the entire range of chocolate brands certified by Rainforest Alliance at
a recent press event we held in London. Proving its possible to have too much of a
very good thing!

Who's your food hero/food villain?
Hero: Jamie Oliver – I used to loath him but his dedication to a mix of quality and
principles is hugely impressive, it comes across in everything he does. Villain:
Gordon Ramsey, I cant stand it when people need to shout to make a point.

Nigella or Delia?
Delia – She moves with the times but is still a bedrock for keeping cooking alive as a
passion. We need to care about what we eat, how we cook it, where is comes from.
She is a culinary legend!

Tea or Coffee?
I will take either, knowing that both can now come from sustainable farms that
provide a future for their workers and exist in greater harmony with nature.

Muesli or fry-up?
Fry up, but I should say muesli so I will.

Wine or beer?
Wine – gotta love the sound of popping a sustainably-produced cork!

Fast food or fresh food?
Fresh, because, as well as tasting better, the after-effects are always better and
usually are the wider impacts.

What do you consider the best of the best of British?
Our world-wiselyness, there’s no other country I think that is as inter-connected with
the world. I am sure it plays a role in our dedication to more ethical, sustainable

What's the best/worst thing about the British restaurant scene?
Best: The variety, all the cuisines of the world are here and now done well.
Worst:Still soooooo expensive.

What do you think will be the next big thing?
Sustainability. Because if it isn’t, to quote Barak Obama: ‘we’re all dead’.

What would you do if you could choose any other career?
A restoration ecologist – Closer to nature.

Make a wish
A bright future.

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