New CEO for Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International
Bonn, June 29th 2007. A new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is being appointed to head up the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) which is based in Bonn, Germany. FLO is the umbrella organization that unites national Fairtrade initiatives in 21 countries and producer networks representing Fairtrade Certified Producer Organizations in Central and Latin America, Africa and Asia.
Rob Cameron was CEO and then executive chairman of the international communications company, Flag Communications, in Cambridge, UK. As the driving force behind the company, he led it from a 3 person start-up to a multi-million pound business. In 1998, under Rob’s leadership, Flag branched out into corporate responsibility and sustainable development communications. Within a few years Flag had become a market leader in this area with multinational clients around the world, including continental Europe and North America.
Rob holds strong views about the nature of business and work, and instilled strong values and sense of purpose and mission into Flag. Britain's Business in the Community recognised this by voting Flag a finalist in their UK Small Company of the Year in 2002 and 2003. Flag was bought by Computershare in 2004 and Rob has remained a director of the company since then, expanding their work in the US and directing major CSR accounts.
Rob has served on the boards of a range of not-for-profit organizations, most significantly AccountAbility, a leading sustainable development think tank and standard setter, where he has advised on growth, organizational development and international expansion.
Commenting on his new career choice, Rob says: “The opportunity to join FLO International in this its 10th anniversary year is a tremendous honour and I am excited at the prospect of leading the organization forward to meet the many challenges of the future. The incredible growth of interest in Fairtrade, and in Fairtrade product sales, is testimony to the dedication and hard work of so many people in FLO and in the national labelling initiatives, and I'm looking forward to working with such great teams".
He continues: “Above all, growth in Fairtrade means one single most important thing: that the lives of farmers and workers in the developing world, and those of their families and communities, are enhanced. So extending the scope and impact of Fairtrade in existing and new markets is in my view one of the most pressing imperatives and opportunities in international development in the 21st century."
Rob is also a fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts and has just been made one of the UK Prince of Wales's Ambassadors for Corporate Responsibility in June 2007.
"The FLO Board,” says Barbara Fiorito, chair of the FLO Board, “is very enthusiastic about the experience and energy that Rob Cameron will bring to the organization. We believe he will make a significant contribution to our ability to help small producers benefit from the continuing exciting growth of Fairtrade in all its markets."
Rob replaces Luuk Zonneveld from the Netherlands who has been Managing Director of FLO for six years. Luuk has been at the helm of FLO during a time of enormous growth which surpassed even the most optimistic expectations with sales of Fairtrade products increasing by 40 percent globally in recent years, and a doubling of producer organizations entering the Fairtrade market between 2004 and 2007.
“Fairtrade is the best way to give small producers and workers in developing countries a real opportunity towards a better life, giving them a fair chance to produce and market their produce for the millions of consumers worldwide who have demonstrated with their wallets that they want to buy Fairtrade products,” say Luuk. He will be handing over to Rob a highly professional organization with staff all over the world committed to supporting producers and workers in using Fairtrade’s opportunities to develop their business and their communities.
Rob will take up his position at FLO no later than November 2007.
For more information please contact Veronica Perez at FLO International at firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
- FLO unites national Fairtrade initiatives across Europe, Japan, Canada, USA, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand and producer networks representing Fairtrade Certified producer organizations in Central and Latin America, Africa and Asia. This independent consumer certification mark appears on products as a guarantee that disadvantaged producers are getting a better deal. Today, more than seven million people - farmers, workers and their families - across 59 developing countries benefit from the international Fairtrade system.
- In 2006, an estimated €1.6 billion worth of Fairtrade products were sold across the world, and the number of Fairtrade Certified organizations worldwide reached 598. FLO’s Annual Report 2006-2007 will be released end July.
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