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Organic Consumers Association Responds to Handsome Brook Lawsuit

Organic consumers - Tue, 2017-12-12 18:40
All About Organics, Politics & GlobalizationOrganic Consumers AssociationDecember 12, 2017 egg shell empty feather cc 1000x523.jpg

Nonprofit Stands by Claims, Will File Motion to Dismiss


December 12, 2017

Contact: Katherine Paul, Organic Consumers Association, katherine@organicconsumers.org, 207-653-3090

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ronnie Cummins, international director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), said this today in response to a lawsuit filed against the nonprofit by Handsome Brook Farm:

“This lawsuit is a reactionary attempt to distract from a lawsuit filed last year by OCA against Handsome Brook. That lawsuit seeks to address Handsome Brook’s sale of eggs labeled ‘Pasture Raised’ when in fact they are not, in violation of the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act (DCCPPA).

“OCA stands by its lawsuit, which the D.C. Superior Court ruled in January could proceed. In denying Handsome Brook’s motion to dismiss, the D.C. Superior Court held that OCA made clear allegations concerning Handsome Brook’s misrepresentation of its eggs as ‘Pasture Raised’ in violation of the DCCPPA.

OCA will move to dismiss Handsome Brook’s lawsuit.”

About the Organic Consumers Association

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public interest organization advocating on behalf of more than two million consumers for health, justice, and sustainability. For more information, please visit www.organicconsumers.org.

Photos to Ignite Year-End & Protect Privacy (Ask Nancy)

Flickr: Martha Coakley

Dear Nancy: I saw how stories about our clients—powered by a photo or two—fueled our last two year-end campaigns. They were highly successful and I planned to feature the same kind of profiles this year.

That plan changed radically last month when our social workers urged us to put our clients’ privacy first and stop using client photos. Our staff has agreed to respect their expertise and honor their request.

What are some practical alternatives I can put to work in these last few weeks? And how do I move forward with client photos in the future, as our stories aren’t as strong without them?

Answer: You’re facing a tough situation, but you can still mobilize stories and photos in your year-end campaign.

You’re 100% right to rely on stories as a quick and reliable emotional hook. Photos help bring your stories (and your people) to life. They make it quick and easy for prospects and donors to feel like they’re “meeting” your protagonist. The more real your protagonists, the more supporters will relate to them personally, e.g., this could be my friend, my family, or even me.

When you connect the dots between your organization’s impact and what supporters already know and care about (such as their family’s and friends’ well-being), you’ll do better at building build trust and rapport with them.

There’s more—Your stories about individuals who have benefited from your donors’ gifts show supporters the impact of their donations, which brings them closer. In turn, they’re more likely to donate again now and in the future, and to share your organization’s stories and successes with friends and family.

How to Handle this Year’s Year-End Campaign

Time is short. You’re probably nearing the finish line on this year’s campaign although digital platforms enable last-minute revisions (blessing and curse, right?) Take these three steps to fine-tune this year’s campaign to ignite the greatest giving possible given your unexpected constrictions:

1) DON’T use client photos as is for this year-end campaign.

Trust your social workers’ understanding of what is best for your organization’s beneficiaries. Despite the unfortunate timing of their request, your mission comes first. Respect their expertise.

2) DO feature client stories and testimonials with any or all of these adjustments as guided by your social worker colleagues:

  • Change client names
  • Revise story details to make protagonists unrecognizable
  • Create a composite story based on a few individuals to illustrate a fuller picture of your program or service.

3) DO use any or all of the following to illustrate your beneficiary stories:

  • Photos of staff members or volunteers (for example, a staff nurse giving a flu shot to a client whose back is turned to the camera or a volunteer team packing bags of food for Thanksgiving distribution)
  • Use edited client photos with faces obscured, individuals positioned, or shots cropped so that the individuals won’t be recognized. You should have releases from subjects even if they can’t be identified, and clear this approach with your social workers.
    • We have experimented with non-identifying photos of the child and photos of volunteers and parents. To our surprise, some of these photos have proven to be even more powerful than the kids’ expressions of excitement,” says Angela Crist, executive director of Findlay Hope House.
  • Feature photos of elements central to your client’s story such as the set of keys and drivers license pictured below.
  • Stock photos.

Here are two creative examples of memorable photos that protect client privacy.

Advocates Inc. Facebook Cover Photo

From the Findlay Hope House Facebook Page:

We are so excited to share that Isaiah, recent Getting Ahead Grad, passed his driving test and is now a licensed driver! So many future successes depend on having a driver’s license, so this was one of his top goals during Getting Ahead.

Isaiah says: “Back when I did my classes a few months ago, I set one of my goals to get my license. As of 10:50 this morning I’m proud to announce that for the first time in my life (turned 33 in September) I am an officially-licensed driver!”

Congrats to Isaiah! We are certain this is his first big accomplishment of many!

CAVEAT: If you use stock photos, change story details or client names, or create composite stories, say so!

Here’s a model disclaimer from fundraising copywriter Lisa Sargent: “At [org name] we respect everyone who comes to us for help – and many are working toward a fresh start in life. So while their stories are true, client names and images may have been changed to protect their privacy. Thank you for understanding.”

Watch for a follow-up post! Photos are too valuable a fundraising tool to forego. I’ll guide you on partnering with your program team and other colleagues to shape a photo policy satisfactory to all.

P.S. Get more nonprofit marketing tools, templates, case studies & tips delivered right to your inbox!
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Categories: Non profits

Don’t Put a Monsanto Hire in Charge of Chemical Safety!

Organic consumers - Mon, 2017-12-11 17:57
Belong to campaign: Millions Against MonsantoCategory: Genetic Engineering, Politics & GlobalizationArea: USA

Who does Trump want to become the country’s top regulator of toxic chemicals?

Michael Dourson, a guy who previously ran a consulting company that defended toxic chemicals on behalf of companies like Monsanto, Dow Chemical, DuPont—even the Koch Industries.

TAKE ACTION: Don’t Put a Monsanto Hire in Charge of Chemical Safety!

When companies like Monsanto or DowDuPont fear the public is getting wise to the dangers of their toxins, they turn to “scientists” who are willing to manufacture their own science to help corporations hide the ugly truth. 

Michael Dourson is one of the most shameless of these hired guns when it comes to sacrificing public health in favor or protecting corporate profits.

 Read more

Costco Plans Fowl Project in Nebraska

Organic consumers - Thu, 2017-12-07 15:09
December 7, 2017Katherine PaulEnvironment & Climate, CAFOs vs. Free Range chick chicken close up beak cc 1000x523.jpg

A mighty band of citizen activists, along with the Nebraska Farmers Union, are taking on a city council and a corporate giant. And they need your help.

Retail giant Costco wants to build the largest chicken factory farm in the U.S., in Fremont, Nebraska. The city’s elected officials have approved the project. But the people and farmers in surrounding cities, whose lives will suffer the most, are fighting back.

Costco and the Fremont City Council are singing the same old tired tune, that a giant factory farm will bring jobs to the city.

What they don’t want Fremont residents to know, is that those jobs will be low-paid and dangerous, that the water pollution generated from another huge factory farm will be devastating for Nebraskans, whose water is already badly compromised by agricultural runoff, and that local farmers will get ripped off under contracts stacked in favor of the retail giant.

We’re so impressed with what Nebraska Communities United is doing to stop this project—including organizing workshops to help local farmers farm profitably, sustainably and independent of corporate control, that we’re asking you to do two things.

First, please let Costco know that consumers want chicken raised regeneratively and humanely—without antibiotics and other drugs.

Second, please contribute if you can to help Nebraska Communities United and the Nebraska Farmers Union fund an important water impact study and workshops for local farmers.

The industrial factory farm model has proven to be a failure. It’s time for companies like Costco to invest in organic regenerative farming operations—not more factory farms.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Costco: No giant factory farm in Nebraska!

Click to tweet a message to Costco. Post on Costco’s Facebook page. 

Call Costco’s customer service line at 1-800-774-2678. If you’re a member, tell them you’ll cancel your membership unless Costco halts its factory farm project.

Make a tax-deductible donation to help fight Costco's giant factory farm in Nebraska.

Is Big Food's Lobbying Arm on the Brink of Extinction?

Organic consumers - Mon, 2017-12-04 23:00
December 4, 2017Organic Consumers AssociationKatherine PaulEnvironment & Climate, Genetic Engineering stopgmo_1000x523.png

At the height of the GMO labeling battle, we not-so-fondly referred to the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) as “Monsanto’s Evil Twin.” 

Last week, a former GMA executive told Politico that to him, the food industry lobbying group seems like “the dinosaur waiting to die.”

For consumers who blame the GMA for engineering the defeat of four state ballot initiatives that would have required labels on genetically engineered foods, then teaming up with Monsanto and some Big Organic brands to ram through federal legislation that stripped states of the right to pass GMO labeling laws, visions of the GMA drawing its last bullying breath are accompanied by the sweet taste of karma.

Consumers can take satisfaction in the fact that they’ve played a role in what some say is the diminishing power of the GMA over Washington policy.

For many, gratification—even the delayed variety—is worth stirring up trouble in the marketplace if it results in brands cleaning up their acts on issues of health, transparency and accountability.

#GMAExit—a ‘burgeoning trend’?

On Friday, Dec. 1, Mars, Inc., the sixth-largest privately held food company in the U.S., confirmed reports it will exit the GMA.

Mars is the fourth Big Food company to exit GMA this year. The first was Campbell Soup Co., which said in July that it wouldn’t renew its membership. Campbell CEO Denise Morrison said at the time that Campbell’s had found itself “at odds with some of [GMA’s] positions.”

One of those positions was GMO labeling. Campbell was the first company to publicly break with Monsanto and the GMA by announcing it would label GMO ingredients, even though not required to do so.

Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, followed Campbell out the GMA door, announcing in October its own plans to quit the GMA at the end of this year (2017).

Last week Dean Foods “quietly” exited the trade group.

GMA executives interviewed by Politico downplayed the loss of some of the group’s big-name members. But Politico was quick to point out that as one of the GMA’s top dues-paying members, Nestlé’s exit could deal “a tough blow” to the GMA’s operating budget. Campbell’s doled out about $317,000/year to belong to the trade association Politico said, citing the company’s financial disclosures.

It remains to be seen how many more companies will join the #GMAExit, or what the financial consequences may be for the GMA. But Politico calls the recent announcements “part of a burgeoning trend” as opposed to just a few “one-offs.”

GMO labeling at the heart of consumer demand for transparency

What’s behind the “splintering” of the food lobby?

Politico reports that “complacency and a lack of leadership” are factors. But it also blamed “an upheaval at the grocery store, where iconic brands are stagnating as millennials and moms seek healthier and more transparent products.”

Nowhere was the issue of “transparency” more apparent than during the more-than-four-year battle for labels on GMO foods. More than 90 percent of consumers consistently supported laws requiring labels on GMO foods. Consumers felt so strongly that many were willing to boycott their favorite organic and natural brands, if those brands were owned by members of the GMA which poured $46 million into defeating GMO labeling in California alone.

Shortly after the narrow defeat of California’s Prop 37 in May 2012, the Organic Consumer Association (OCA) launched its “Traitor Boycott.” Initially, Campbell’s (Plum Organics, Wolfgang Puck), Dean Foods (Horizon Organic, Silk) and Nestlé (Gerber Organic, Sweet Leaf Tea)—which combined had dumped almost $4 million into the campaign to defeat labeling in California—made OCA’s boycott list. 

Campbell’s, which like many other companies subsequently contributed to defeat labeling in Washington State (2013), was eventually dropped from the list when the company decided not to financially support campaigns to thwart GMO labeling initiatives in Oregon and Colorado (2014).

Unilever, which remains a GMA member, stopped throwing money at subsequent efforts to defeat GMO labeling initiatives, presumably because the multi-national food giant didn’t like that its poster child for “social responsibility,” Ben & Jerry’s, was taking heat from consumers unhappy with Unilever’s unholy alliance with the GMA. (Ben & Jerry’s told consumers the Vermont-based brand supported labeling, yet it never contributed financially to the cause. OCA launched a new boycott of Ben & Jerry’s in July, demanding that the ice cream brand go 100% organic).

After the Traitor Boycott was launched in May 2012, food companies were more skittish about ponying up donations to defeat labeling in Washington—so much so, that the GMA broke the law by collecting donations from companies like Pepsi, Nestlé, Coke, General Mills, ConAgra, Campbell and others, and hiding the source of those donations from the public. In a win for consumers, Washington fined the GMA $18 million last year for violating state campaign finance laws.

Today, the GMA says it has about 250 members—down from the 300 it claimed in 2012. According to Politico:

The membership used to be listed on GMA’s website, but it was taken down after a nasty battle over GMO labeling in California, during which a handful of GMA member companies were boycotted for spending millions to defeat a ballot initiative there.

OCA archived the list in 2012—here it is. 

Out with the old, in with the truth

GMO labeling isn’t the only reason consumers have lost their taste for Big Food brands. Consumers have become increasingly wary of labels like “natural,” “all-natural” and “100% natural.” Absent any regulatory or industry definition for the term “natural,” those labels are used by food companies (some of which have been sued by OCA) on products containing everything from Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller to drugs like ketamine. 

Increasingly, consumers are also questioning claims like “antibiotic- and hormone-free” and “pasture-raised.” 

According to a recent report in Food Dive:

Almost half of consumers don't feel like they know enough about a product despite reading the label, and two-thirds of them think the manufacturer or brand should be communicating important information to help them make an educated purchasing decision, . . .

Only 12 percent of consumers trust brands to tell them what’s in their food. Most consumers do their own independent research, via phones and personal computers.

Other consumer trends according to Food Dive?

Nearly 60 percent of consumers think brands need to advocate for them and their interests, and 24 percent said they have refused to buy a company's produce when its actions didn't align with their values. The most important issue area was the environment, where 71 percent said produce brands should be active.

By those standards Big Food, represented by the GMA, isn’t doing too well—and it shows. From Politico:

The top 20 U.S. food and beverage companies lost roughly $18 billion in market share between 2011 and 2017, according to a recent analysis by Credit Suisse.

Is it any wonder Big Food is also experiencing a mass exodus of CEOs?

The #GMAExit, plummeting market shares and CEOs jumping ship (or being pushed overboard) are signs that consumers are having a big pact. And advances like the proposed Regenerative Organic Certification, which intends to help consumers identify products produced to “beyond organic” standards, signal that more consumers are willing to reward producers whose methods promote soil health, animal welfare and social fairness, in addition to truthfully labeled, nutritious food.

We can’t do much about the current state of affairs in Washington, DC these days—but as consumers, we can exercise our power over food corporations, and the lobbying groups that represent them.

Clearly, we’re succeeding.

Katherine Paul is associate director of the Organic Consumers Association. 

These 'Health' Food Stores Sell Ben & Jerry's 'Roundup Ready' Ice Cream

Organic consumers - Thu, 2017-11-30 13:54
November 30, 2017Organic Consumers AssociationAll About Organics, Food Safetyhttp://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50865/p/salsa/donation/common/public/?donate_page_KEY=13858 ice cream cone hand black white cc 1000x523.png

Your local natural health food store could never get away with stocking its shelves with Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller. Toxins that cause cancer and birth defects don’t belong in “health” food stores.

So how do some of these stores get away with stocking Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, when our testing revealed that ten of 11 flavors contain glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup?

This week, we called 290 of the best natural health food stores and co-ops nationwide to find out which ones sell Ben & Jerry’s.

We’re relieved to report that most—198—don’t. But unfortunately, 92 (31 percent) do. Here’s the list of natural health food stores and co-ops that sell glyphosate-contaminated Ben & Jerry’s. If your store is on this list please take this letter to the store manager and ask him or her to stop selling Ben & Jerry's. After your visit, fill out this form to let us know what happened.

Most of the stores that sell Ben & Jerry's  display it right next to the organic brands they sell—a move that misleads consumers into thinking Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is organic, too.

And get this—by ounce, Ben & Jerry’s costs more than the leading organic brands!

Glyphosate contamination is just one reason not to buy Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Concern about water pollution and animal welfare are two others.

Those pretty pictures on Ben & Jerry’s ice cream containers are intended to make you think the cows producing the cream for your ice cream are happily grazing on green pastures. But a visit to a real Ben & Jerry dairy in Franklin County, Vt., paints a very different picture—one of filthy waters and cows confined to a life on cement floors. 

Franklin County is home to more than 36,000 cows that spend about five years pumping out milk for Ben & Jerry’s before they’re slaughtered for meat. Their waste flows into Lake Carmi. Once known as the Silver Lake recreation area, it had to be closed for three months this year because of toxic algae blooms caused by dairy farm run-off. 

If the 92 natural health food stores that sell Ben & Jerry’s knew the real story, would they still carry Ben & Jerry’s weedkiller-contaminated ice cream? 

Regeneration Vermont’s most recent report, “A Failure to Regulate, Big Dairy and Water Pollution in Vermont,” calls on Ben & Jerry’s to solve the crisis by transitioning to regenerative organic agriculture, beginning with bringing their dairies in line with their fake marketing.

We’ve already won significant concessions from Ben & Jerry’s. But we need to keep the pressure on!

Find out if the store near you sells Ben & Jerry’s 

Download this letter to store managers 

After your store visit, please fill out this questionnaire 

Make a tax-deductible donation to support our ‘Ben & Jerry’s: Go Organic!’ campaign

LAST DAY—13 Minutes to Boost Credibility & Impact

Invest 13 minutes A.S.A.P. to complete the 2018 Nonprofit Communications Trends Survey. Payback?

  • In the short term, you’ll be invited to an exclusive preview webinar and be the first to see the results.
  • For the duration, you’ll get data vital for decisionmaking and for convincing the powers that be and your colleagues that your approach is spot on. And strengthen the community of which you’re an essential part.

Between us, the annual Nonprofit Communications Trends Report is one of my top resources for guiding and supporting my recommendations to nonprofit clients. Here are just a few of the trends the 2018 Report will cover:

  • How well are nonprofit communicators meeting specific goals like community engagement, brand and reputation management, and supporting major donor fundraising?
  • How much content does a typical comms team produce, and how often do they use each communications channel?
  • How do communicators like us rate their skills—copywriting, graphic design, planning, and analytics?
  • How satisfied are communications pros with their workloads and jobs overall?
  • How much training are they getting and who pays for it?

Complete the 2018 Nonprofit Communications Survey

For example, Kivi generously slipped us (shhh!) early insights on the vital question: What are you doing less of?  It seems communicators are:

  • Getting tired of how much time social media takes, and
  • Getting serious in requiring a return on investment of staff time and effort!

We’re all pressured by the wants and opinions of leaders, colleagues, and others. It’s just this kind of actual DATA that powers us to push for the right decisions, boosting our credibility and our organization’s communications impact!

Invest 13 minutes NOW to complete the 2018 Nonprofit Communications Trends Survey. Thanks, in advance!

P.S. Get more nonprofit marketing tools, templates, case studies & tips delivered right to your inbox!
Subscribe to Getting Attention email updates.

Categories: Non profits

Wise words from an ancient poet.

Organic consumers - Mon, 2017-11-27 21:28
All About Organics, Environment & Climate, Genetic Engineering, Health IssuesRonnie CumminsOrganic Consumers AssociationNovember 27, 2017http://secure.actblue.com/donate/givingtuesdayoca? healthwealthkids1000x523.png

“The greatest wealth is health.” – Virgil

Before there were #hashtags and Internet and social media—and long before the #BlackFriday, #CyberMonday, #GivingTuesday phenomena—there was wisdom.

Virgil, a poet who lived in ancient Roman times, wouldn’t recognize today’s world. And he surely wouldn’t recognize today’s food.

But his wise words are more relevant than ever.

With your #GivingTuesday donation we’ll work harder than ever to reclaim our common food and farming system from the chemical and junk food companies that are making us all “health-poor.” Click here to donate online, and/or see instructions for phoning in or mailing your donation. 

OCA was founded around defending your right to meaningful organic standards, to the truthful labeling and marketing of food products, to the end of taxpayer-subsidized, pesticide-drenched GMO “commodity” foods, to the end of factory farms.

Your right to real and healthy food is what motivates us to confront some of the world’s most powerful corporations. 

We’re not afraid to test famous name-brand products for pesticides or antibiotics or other contaminants. And we’re not afraid to broadcast far and wide what those tests reveal. 

We’re not afraid to ask high-profile retail grocery chains to drop contaminated and/or deceptively advertised products from their shelves.

We’re not afraid to call for boycotts. To organize protests.

This year saw the release of an alarming number of new studies linking bad food to bad health. 

Bad health takes a big bite out of personal finances. 

But bad health also robs us of so much more than just money.

Virgil was right. The greatest wealth is health.

As another holiday season rolls out, we wish you good food and good health. 

And on this #GivingTuesday we ask that you consider a donation to Organic Consumers. So we can keep #GivingHealthyFood. 

Please make a generous donation today. We promise to keep advocating for your right to healthy food. Click here for details on how to contribute to our #GivingTuesday campaign. 

On behalf of all of us at OCA, thank you!

P.S. Donate $200 or more today and we’ll send you a copy of “Fat for Fuel: The Ketogenic Cookbook” by Dr. Joseph Mercola and Pete Evans. Click here to donate online, by mail or by phone. To your health!

Velorutionaries - Tracy Griffith

velorution - Thu, 2017-11-23 15:05

What do you do for a living?

Sushi chef, artist, writer. I travel the world as sushi chef, promoting my sushi cookbooks, and my innovative sushi and wraps made in the US (newgemfoods. com). I’m also a resin painter, including animal skulls & horns, with my first London show coming up this fall at the Rebecca Hossack Gallery.

What are you passionate about?

Travelling and tasting local cuisine, and learning from other chefs how to cook it. I collect beautiful knives, crockery, and utensils. Art, music, my dog and my husband.

How long have you been a cyclist?

I’ve ridden bikes since I was seven years old. Not sure that makes me a proper cyclist, but I now look like one on my Velorution bike! Does that count?

What bike are you riding?

A stunning Schindelhauer Frieda. It’s a lightweight aluminium bike in a natural pure nish with a brown leather saddle and matching grips. The bike has a carbon belt instead of a greasy chain so it’s much cleaner and easier to ride.

What appeals to you about cycling?

The joy of speed and the feeling of flying. My Schindelhauer bicycle makes it so easy because it’s brilliantly designed and engineered. It’s the one of most beautiful bikes out there.

How often do you ride?

As often as London weather permits. I’m not a winter warrior, if the weather is cold and miserable I prefer not to cycle.

What’s your favourite cycle route or destination?

Richmond Park, Hyde Park, and heading west on the beautiful Thames path along the river out to the countryside.

Published from Velorution Magazine Issue 5

Categories: Liveable cities

Velorutionaries - Valerie Leipheimer

velorution - Thu, 2017-11-23 14:55

What do you do for a living?

I’m a tax lawyer, and currently act as Head of Tax and Transfer Pricing for
a fund manager based principally in Bermuda. I work in our London offices in Marylebone.

What are you passionate about?

I’ve always been passionate about art and dance. These days find myself becoming more and more political. I am currently fiercely passionate about women’s rights. I have recently organized a women’s forum within my company, and have been exploring initiatives aimed at ensuring that women are more broadly represented on the boards of public companies.

How long have you been a cyclist?

In terms of cycling regularly, really only a couple of years, though I have fond memories of weekend bike rides to the beach in LA with my dad when I was little. My bike then was a shimmering ice blue Nishiki, which my aunt and uncle gave me as a bat mitzvah present. I think it is still in my sister’s garage somewhere. I decided to pick up a bike again about 6 years ago, when I returned to work after my second son was born. I couldn’t face the tube, and loved the idea of being able to squeeze in some exercise during my daily commute.

What bike are you riding?

A Schindelhauer Frieda. I was principally looking for something lightweight, and it was love at first sight when I spotted this one. Not only can I pick her up with one hand, but she rides beautifully, and is just stunningly designed - a perfect marriage of modern and classic.

What appeals to you about cycling?

I love the feeling of freedom it gives me, and the chance to spend time outside before I need to hole up in my office all day. The additional exercise it gives me each day is an added bonus!

How often do you ride?

Usually 5 days a week, unless something comes up—cycling is my main means of commuting to work, pretty much rain or shine. I even managed to ride throughout the winter, only missing one day due to a freezing sleet storm. I have since upped my winter glove game, so am hoping not to get caught out next winter!

What’s your favourite cycle route or destination?

Since I’m really just a weekday cyclist, I do the same route every day, from Islington to Marylebone. It’s not a bad route, since it takes me around Regents Park’s Outer Circle. During the summer, if I leave work early enough, I can even see the giraffes at the London Zoo roaming around their enclosure, which is a real treat.

Published from Velorution Magazine Issue 5

Categories: Liveable cities

Velorutionaries - Tracy Noble

velorution - Thu, 2017-11-23 14:04

What do you do for a living?

I just turned 60 and decided to retire and enjoy my life.

What are you passionate about?

My main passion in life is my grandchildren, and keeping fit and healthy it’s a sure way to have the energy to keep up with them, and then in time hopefully introduce them to cycling.

How long have you been a cyclist?

I used to cycle to school on my small wheeled RSW Raleigh bike when I was younger, my dad always encouraged me as he was a keen cyclist. Then I went on holiday to Switzerland and was bowled over by how much I enjoyed cycling again and took to it like a duck to water as they say!

What bike are you riding?

A beautiful hand-made Retrovelo bicycle that I bought from Velorution Marylebone.

What appeals to you about cycling?

Cycling is wonderful exercise. I have a dog and often after a long walk I put him in the basket and we zoom around Hyde Park with this ears apping, I am sure he is smiling and then we stop for a well earned coffee break.

How often do you ride?

I try to cycle early in the morning before the traffic, or late every evening when London is still calmer. Every weekend I go for a long ride with my good friend Lynne, we cover a lot of miles and come home exhausted!

What’s your favourite cycle route or destination?

My favourite place is Switzerland, I lived there and that’s when my passion for cycling was reignited, but now I live close to Hyde Park so we warm up there first before heading out to Richmond Park, which is great. We have cycled along the coast in Essex and Dorset.

Published from Velorution Magazine Issue 5

Categories: Liveable cities

Velorutionaries - Sarit Lesnik Oberstein

velorution - Thu, 2017-11-23 13:45

What do you do for a living?

I’m an eye surgeon at London Optegra Eye Hospital in Marylebone. I have been a consultant for 14 years, and trained at Moorfields.

What are you passionate about?

Lots of things including politics, the environment, recycling and a bit more fairness in the world. I teach my son how to recycle by not wasting anything where possible, and not to over- consume. I don’t own a car and cycle everywhere; if I need to use a car I am part of a car share arrangement.

How long have you been a cyclist?

Having Dutch origins, I have cycled all my life, it’s part of our culture. I used to cycle 26km each day to work, it’s normal there. I have lived all over the world, and always choose cycling as my main form of transport wherever possible.

What bike are you riding?

I am riding a Momentum Electric bicycle, which I use everyday around London. I have attached a Dutch style pillow and foot guard so my son can sit on the back of the bike to go to school. My son is 7 years old so he’s getting a little heavy now, even with the power assist!

What appeals to you about cycling?

Cycling is easy and clean, I travel to different clinics around London so this means I can be there faster and, at the same time, get some exercise.

How often do you ride?

Everyday, as much as possible from my commute, to shopping, to the school run.

What’s your favourite cycle route or destination?

I love cycling in Holland because it’s easy. When you cycle somewhere that protects cyclists it is so much more enjoyable. However there is a lovely cycle patch on my London commute, through Hampstead Heath and Alexandra Palace.

Published from Velorution Magazine Issue 5

Categories: Liveable cities

Velorutionaries - Sam Finney

velorution - Thu, 2017-11-23 13:33

What do you do for a living?

I’m a freelance photographer and cameraman. You can check out my work at www.sam-finney.com.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about film and photography mainly, but cycling is up there too. I think that’s one of the appeals of Temple Cycles; not only do they build practical bicycles, but they also have a keen eye for design and visual assets; their photography is always great, and the products they sell are extremely photogenic.

How long have you been a cyclist?

I’ve been cycling for approximately 21 of my 26 years alive.

What bike are you riding?

A custom Temple Cycles, built by Matt, and utilising some specialist components from various sources. You won’t see another one like it, which is nice.

What appeals to you about cycling?

It’s a bit of a cliché, but cycling truly does give you a sense of freedom, whether it’s on a daily commute or a pleasure cruise. You also get to see parts of the world (both hometown or abroad) which you’d never see otherwise.

How often do you ride?

Whenever I leave the house, which is most days.

What’s your favourite cycle route or destination?

I’ve done a couple of longer tours, one to Berlin and one to Biarritz. The south- west coast of France is excellent for cycling – winding paths through pine forests, alongside glorious beaches. Central Germany was good too – an example of seeing parts of the world you’d never see otherwise, and some strange people.

Published from Velorution Magazine Issue 5

Categories: Liveable cities

Velorutionaries - Richard de Carteret

velorution - Thu, 2017-11-23 13:24

What do you do for a living?

I am a VFX supervisor and compositor at The Mill. I mainly work on commercials and music videos, advising agencies and directors from the storyboard stage to air date.

What are you passionate about?

I love, and have always loved, anything to do with bikes and helicopters right from an early age. Learning to fly was something I just needed to prove to myself, but cycling is part of my everyday life.

How long have you been a cyclist?

Since school age. I was lucky enough to grow up in Jersey when it was lot safer to cycle on the roads, so if I wasn’t cycling to school I was out on my bike with my friends.

What bike are you riding?

I ride a Black single speed ColourBolt designed and built by the wonderful Jay Pond Jones and his team. Jay was creative director on an ad I worked on, and during that time we discovered our mutual love of bikes. After a quick visit to see the range of bikes he had already designed it took me about a minute to be convinced to buy one. This is a bike you never sell.

What appeals to you about cycling?

It’s the only thing that consistently keeps me fit. Most of my job warrants me sitting down for long periods of time, and going to the gym isn’t always an option, but cycling home at the end of a hard day is a great stress reliever: it saves me from the joy of staring at someone’s arm pit on the tube!

How often do you ride?

I ride everyday from West London to work and back, and as much as I can at the weekend. I have always encouraged my two boys to cycle, which makes getting the whole family out easier.

What’s your favourite cycle route or destination?

After a full week on the busy city roads my eldest and I like to get into the country. We’ve enjoyed Burnham beeches and Black Park but are always looking for new places to explore.

Published from Velorution Magazine Issue 5

Categories: Liveable cities

Velorutionaries - Lynne Warrington

velorution - Thu, 2017-11-23 13:12

What do you do for a living?

I work in the wellness and aesthetics industry, managing a business based in central London.

What are you passionate about?

I work long hours, so value my free time; I am particularly keen on outdoor sports and really enjoy tennis, walking, swimming and cycling.

How long have you been a cyclist?

I used to cycle all the time when I was younger. I had a Raleigh Chopper bike that I rode to school and back. At weekends I would go on long cycling trips with all my friends. Recently I was reintroduced to cycling, by my friend Tracy, whilst away on holiday. It is only fairly recently that I have taken up cycling again; I encourage everyone who is thinking about cycling to get out there, and give it a go.

What bike are you riding?

I bought a lightweight Electra Loft bicycle from Velorution, Marylebone. It comes with 7 gears, and is fitted with a rack and mudguards ready to go.

What appeals to you about cycling?

My work life is quite stressful, so I love the freedom of cycling, it’s a wonderful way to clear my head and escape from the office, taking in the sights and sounds of your surroundings. I find it very exhilarating.

How often do you ride?

I try to cycle as much as possible since purchasing my new bike. I cycle to work and back a few days a week, and then go for a longer bike ride at weekends, around Hyde Park, Battersea Park and down the river.

What’s your favourite cycle route or destination?

The Lake District, which is beautiful. You are spoilt for choice, there are so many country lanes and cycleways, all with fantastic views along the way.

Published from Velorution Magazine Issue 5

Categories: Liveable cities

Velorutionaries - Liza Draper

velorution - Thu, 2017-11-23 13:05

What do you do for a living?

I am a university lecturer of Food and Public Health at Westminster University.

What are you passionate about?

Books, bikes and swimming in the sea. I like most kinds of fiction, but when
I’m feeling a bit stressed I resort to old favourites, especially Lord Peter Wimsey, even though he doesn’t ride a bicycle, but drives a Bentley called Mrs Merdle. My favourite bicycle book is Third Policeman by Flan O’Brian. If his mollycule theory is right, then I am part bicycle.

How often do you ride?

Pretty much every day. I do a weekly commute from the Isle of Wight with
my Brompton: it comes with me on the train and ferry. I swim here, in the sea, and it is gorgeous. Cycling to Freshwater Bay for a swim is one of my favourite things. In a moment of madness I have signed up to swim the Solent for Charity - the Brompton won’t be coming with me.

How long have you been a cyclist?

Pretty much all my life. Since I got my funny little bike with stabiliser wheels when I was about four I have never stopped.

What bike are you riding?

Well I have quite a few bikes, including a pre First World War Edwardian sit up and beg beautiful ladies bike, and some road bikes. My main bike now is probably the beautiful Brompton that I bought from Velorution. It is perfect and I love it.

What appeals to you about cycling?

The freedom, the fun, and being outside even when it is raining. My job is mainly inside, whether in a classroom or in my office hunched over the computer, so at the end of the day I love getting on bike and having a good ride home.


What’s your favourite cycle route or destination?

Cycling from Yarmouth to Freshwater on the Isle of Wight, down the old railway track by the river Yar.

Published from Velorution Magazine Issue 5

Categories: Liveable cities

Velorutionaries - Kevin Kimber

velorution - Wed, 2017-11-22 18:45

What do you do for a living?

I work in technology, and having spent the past fifteen years starting and scaling software businesses, I decided to start my own Advisory company working with start up and early stage technology companies to help them launch and scale. I spend my week working with some of the most innovative new companies advising them on strategy, and meeting with investors. I also work with a couple of charities that are focused on inspiring the next wave of entrepreneurs by going into schools, colleges and universities to talk about all things business.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about technology and its role in disrupting existing industries for the good of enterprise and society.

How long have you been a cyclist?

I have been a cyclist since I was able to walk. In my teens and twenties I was a very keen mountain biker, however as I’ve got a little older I more typically ride in the country lanes or on towpaths near where I live with my wife and daughter, hunting out new pubs to stop in. I also use my bike for commuting to and from the station as my work is typically in London.

What bike are you riding?

I am the very proud owner of a Pashley Speed 3, which is a limited edition launched to celebrate Pashley’s 90th Anniversary. It’s matt black and is great fun to ride.

What appeals to you about cycling?

Cycling is a great way to keep fit whilst doing something that I really enjoy. For me cycling tends to be less about the destination and more about the ride, and what I see on the way.

How often do you ride?

Most days to the station and then longer rides in the evenings and weekends.

What’s your favourite cycle route or destination?

My favourite cycle route is from my home along the canal to one of the many good pubs in either direction.

Published from Velorution Magazine Issue 5

Categories: Liveable cities

Velorutionaries - Elsie Martins

velorution - Wed, 2017-11-22 18:36

What do you do for a living?

I work at BBC Radio 4, working closely with radio production teams from all areas and genres. Scheduling all the variant parts together in a cohesive way is a big task, and I really love being at the centre of the jigsaw puzzle. The Radio 4 schedule is so diverse, it is endlessly fascinating.

What are you passionate about?

I’m an avid sound enthusiast and field recordist, and have an absolute passion for sound design. As a sound artist I am always looking for interesting soundscapes, and I am eager to capture atmospheres. I often record my rides, especially my morning commute. I find the bike’s mechanical rhythm combines perfectly with the varying city soundscape, embracing the array of locations you can ride through, from a gentle canal ride to the madness of the city centre traffic whizzing past you.

How long have you been a cyclist?

I’ve been cycling to work for a quite few years now, and I absolutely love it. London is an old city with higgledy- piggledy streets, narrow lanes are challenging and the bus lane is also often the cycle lane and the parking lane all at once. In central London cyclists need their wits about them. I plan my cycle route so that I use quieter streets and residential areas. I whizz passed quieter areas with pretty inner city squares, avoiding busy junctions for the most part, until I can get to dedicated cycle lanes.

What bike are you riding?

I ride a Brompton limited edition nickel, and it is wonderful. The flexibility of a fold up means I can ride anywhere and just carry the bike with me, pop it under a table, at my desk, in a café, at the pub. My bike follows me everywhere.

What appeals to you about cycling?

There’s definitely a cathartic element to riding. Whether it’s a commute through quiet London streets at the crack of dawn, or a stress relief at the end of a busy day. There’s nothing like it. Not to mention saving time and money on your commute, and getting t. It’s a no brainer. Nothing beats it for me.

How often do you ride?

I ride every day! I commute to work in the week come rain or shine and I’ll often go for a ride at the weekends.

What’s your favourite cycle route or destination?
I love to cycle by the canal, near Hackney marshes, or by the Stoke Newington reservoirs. It’s very peaceful and you forget the busy roads and mad traffic.

Published from Velorution Magazine Issue 5

Categories: Liveable cities

Velorutionaries - Deborah Connolly

velorution - Wed, 2017-11-22 17:53

What do you do for a living?

I’m a student at UCL. I’m just about to start my master’s year reading Natural Sciences, majoring in Cell Biology.

What are you passionate about?

Obviously my studies, which I like to consider unravelling the mysteries of life! I’m also passionate about sailing, which has been central to large majority of my life. Recently my family completed an Atlantic crossing to the Caribbean, now we have either the way back to look forward to, or just continue all the way around!

How long have you been a cyclist?

I’ve been cycling since I was a toddler! I won’t let my Dad live down taking off my stabilisers when I was three - apparently he didn’t want the hassle of putting them back on... (I’m obviously very hard done by). Many holidays have been spent cycling, from mountain biking in the Alps in tours from the UK, to Greece and Denmark.

What bike are you riding?

I have the Gazelle Tour Populair, which was my 21st birthday present. It’s a classic Dutch bike, with all the features - from dynamo to an in-built rear wheel lock, and of course the Brooks saddle.

What appeals to you about cycling?

I enjoy the ease and freedom travelling around London by bicycle. Most of the time it is quicker to cycle around London than any other means of transport.

How often do you ride?

I ride almost every day, mainly to and from university. However wherever I’m off to I want to take my bike!

What’s your favourite cycle route or destination?

I like to do one long cycle per week, usually at the weekends, where I’ll head from Camden down to Wandsworth, along the river on the cycle “superhighway” (a bright blue cycle lane...). Cycling around Cambridge is also great. I hope with London becoming more cycle-friendly, it will be something that Cambridge soon emulates too.

Published from Velorution Magazine Issue 5

Categories: Liveable cities

Velorutionaries - Andrew Davidson

velorution - Wed, 2017-11-22 17:41

What do you do for a living?

Partner with PDP London, an Architectural Practice with offices in London and Hong Kong, and director with Sustainability Consultants Eight Associates.

PDP’s public projects in London include Duke of York Square in Chelsea, the Saatchi Gallery, concert venue Cadogan Hall, and the 5 star hotel 45 Park Lane. Current commissions include a new hotel

What are you passionate about?

Transforming spaces and places through great design to create “Architecture that Matters”. I’m a life long cycling enthusiast and like to ride everywhere, taking the opportunity to vary my route and explore new places along the way.

How long have you been a cyclist?

I’ve always ridden daily to school, uni or work, and started “road riding” about 12 years ago. I ride with friends in south London, and with the property industry fundraising charity “Club Peloton”.

What bike are you riding?

Strida Evo. The bike projects individuality, non-conformity, radical thinking, a different approach to design. And life. I first saw the Strida on the BBC TV programme ‘Tomorrow’s World’ in the 1980’s and have always admired its innovation and simplicity. I like the fact that it looks radically different to a traditional bike, but is great for commuting. I appreciate the fact that the Strida can be folded and wheeled along, rather than being “lugged around”. Lots of people ask what it is, and comment saying they like it or think it’s “cool”

What appeals to you about cycling?

The ease and convenience of being able to zip across town, combined with the opportunity to work some exercise and mental “down time” into the day. It’s a great way to clear the mind and “reset”. I’m too restless for meditation!

How often do you ride?

Pretty much every day. I commute between home in Herne Hill and the architectural practice in Chelsea, also visiting the environmental team in Southwark. Like my bike, my route’s often a big triangle! At weekends I ride a carbon road bike, and take on challenges like the 1450km “Club Peloton” Cycle to MIPIM”. This year I did the Tour of Flanders sportive and am doing the Étape.

What’s your favourite cycle route or destination?

I love zipping round the West End, providing there’s not too much squeezing through traffic. Further afield, it has to be dramatic mountains or coast; Chapmans Peak Drive at dawn is hard to beat.

Published from Velorution Magazine Issue 5

Categories: Liveable cities