Credo: Harriet Lamb

Executive director of Fairtrade Foundation, 46
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The Independent Online

I believe...

People, at heart, are decent. If they don't know why their bananas are cheap, of course they will think, "Marvellous". But if you tell them that because those bananas are cheap a woman on the other side of the world can't afford to send her children to school, people will say, "That's terrible and I am ready to play my part to stop that."

Individuals can make a difference. Gandhi's phrase "Live the changes you want to see in the world" is a touchstone for me.

You can look at every issue from two sides. You can always see the problem or the solution. I am lucky to have been born as someone who looks for the solutions.

Injustice makes me angry. How can it be that villages supplying the best coffee and cocoa for 100 years don't have clean drinking water? There is direct evidence linking poverty in Mali, where only four in 10 children go to primary school, with the fact that the US subsidises huge businesses to grow cotton, then dumps it on world markets, bringing down the price of cotton in Mali. It makes me spitting mad.

I talk too much – and too loud!

I am a fanatical cyclist. It helps me relax. I cycle around London, very slowly – I think that protects me. Cars get angry. Why aren't they pleased I'm not just another car adding to the traffic jam?

Parents should send their children to local state schools. It is critical for communities. The solution would be to have really good schools in every area.

Fairtrade is a battle, which means there are setbacks. But I am constantly inspired by the hundreds of people I meet around the world who are working against the odds, and often risking their lives, to create change in their communities. n

'Fighting the Banana Wars and other Fairtrade Battles' by Harriet Lamb (Rider, £10.99) is out now

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