New Fairtrade Chief Executive Announced

Harriet Lamb, new Chief Executive at Fairtrade

04 julio 2012

Fairtrade International is proud to announce the appointment of Harriet Lamb as the new Chief Executive of Fairtrade International. Harriet brings an unrivalled track record in driving Fairtrade success after more than 10 years as Executive Director of the UK Fairtrade Foundation.

It is a homecoming of sorts for the long-standing Fair Trader who began her Fairtrade career as Banana Coordinator at Fairtrade International before joining the Foundation in 2001.

“Harriet has a wealth of experience of the movement, combining an extraordinary memory of the past with a clear vision for the future,” says Marike de Peña, Vice Chair of Fairtrade International’s Board, and manager of BANELINO, a small farmer banana cooperative in the Dominican Republic.

Harriet is the author of “Fighting the Banana Wars and Other Fairtrade Battles,” published in 2008, and has won numerous awards for her contributions to sustainable development and business. During her time at the Fairtrade Foundation, she oversaw a growth in sales from 37 million euros in 2001 to nearly 1.5 billion euros in 2011. Her work has taken her around the globe to spend time with farmers and workers and understand the challenges and impacts of Fairtrade.

“There aren’t many people who come more qualified or who personify Fairtrade better than Harriet Lamb,” said Molly Harriss Olson, Board Chair at Fairtrade International.

 “Fairtrade has already come on a breath-taking journey,” said Harriet. “We’ve established a proven model for doing business differently, which is already bringing tangible, positive impacts for millions of people in farmers’ organizations and their wider communities. But I’m in no doubt of the immense challenges that still remain.

“There are hundreds of millions of small farmers and workers not able to earn a decent livelihood, to gain fair market access for their goods, or to adapt to the growing threat of climate change. My top priority will be to strengthen Fairtrade’s support for farmers and workers on the ground. I’m excited by the opportunity for our unique producer-partnership model to transform trade and business relationships in the future, and look forward now to working globally across the Fairtrade movement to realise our vision and our potential.”

Throughout Harriet’s career, social justice has been a connecting thread. Harriet has worked with farmers and landless labourer cooperatives in India, campaigned on issues such as the national minimum wage in the UK, and the establishment of an EU code of conduct on arms sales.

Harriet’s appointment was a unanimous decision by the Board of Fairtrade International following a rigorous six-month recruitment and selection process. She will take up her new role with Fairtrade International in early September.

 Read the full press release here (PDF).

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