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Be inspired every day with Living North
Nicky Robinson
July 2015
Reading time 5 minutes

From Sussex and Australia, to Hong Kong and Zimbabwe, Nicky Robinson has worked around the world

It was a job offer from Traidcraft in Gateshead that’s kept her rooted here for 17 years.

After graduating, Nicky Robinson began a career in marketing, but after seeing a lot of the world through travel and work, she fell in love with the idea of making a difference. She works for Traidcraft, a leading fair trade company, as Head of Development, Non-Food

What time does your alarm go off?
I'm one of those morning people that doesn't have an alarm but I normally get up at half six. But I'm usually awake before then – my mind’s always busy!

What's your morning routine?
I spend quite a bit of time making myself breakfast, usually something like a green smoothie and something with eggs, and then lunch for work. I like big salads and my favourite is salmon with strawberries, watercress and pumpkin seeds.

What do your daily tasks include?
Meetings with my teams for planning, assessing our projects with producers and writing tips and recipes (Nicky is also a nutritional therapist) using our fairtrade ingredients for customers.

What's a typical working day?
I don't really have one but it usually involves getting ideas together at meetings (this morning's was to plan our Christmas 2016 range). Yesterday I was at a trade fair in Harrogate.

What has been your most memorable work moment?
About 10 years ago, a young Zambian man won a competition for new designs and his prize was to come to the North East and develop the product. A colleague and I took him to Bamburgh beach one Sunday and I remember turning around and seeing this guy in tears, filling his pockets with sand and shells. My colleague and I were welling up ourselves! It was one of those moments when you realise how lucky we are here.

What's the worst part of your job?
We're quite well-known in the fair trade world and I think I write five or six letters a week to people who approach us to ask us to sell their product but I have to turn them down, and I hate saying no.

What's the best part?
Having the chance to meet the inspiring people I work with, especially those abroad. The more I work in this area, the more I think that people who have the least are the most generous.

What time do you finish work?
I normally try and finish at Traidcraft by 5.30pm but then I spend two nights a week seeing a nutrition client or working on my dissertation for my masters degree in Nutritional Therapy, so my working day usually ends at 10pm.

How do you switch off?
It sounds sad but I enjoy reading nutrition journals and books! I also do a lot of cooking and like developing new recipes.

Best holiday destination...
New Zealand because of the mountains, rivers, lakes, sea and inspiring nature.

Favourite restaurant...
I'm a coeliac so I don't eat out a lot but I quite like The Cherry Tree in Jesmond.

Favourite book...
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver is an amazing story set in Africa.

Best way to spend your weekend...
In the Lake District meandering around the lakes and villages.

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