Fairtrade International

Fairtrade International works to share the benefits of trade more equally – through standards, certification, producer support, programmes and advocacy.

Founded in 1997, Fairtrade International is a non-profit, multi-stakeholder association of 22 member organizations – three producer networks and 19 national Fairtrade organizations.

Fairtrade International coordinates activities for its member organizations and owns the FAIRTRADE Mark, a registered trademark of Fairtrade that appears on more than 30,000 products. Fairtrade International employs about 70 staff members at its central offices in Bonn, Germany.

All system members and certified producer organizations participate in Fairtrade International’s decision-making through representatives on the Board of Directors and the Fairtrade General Assembly.

LEADERSHIP

Dr. Nyagoy Nyong’o, Fairtrade Global CEO

Nyagoy has served as the Executive Director of Fairtrade Africa from 2013 to December 2020, and has a long history with Fairtrade, having also been an auditor for Max Havelaar Switzerland and FLOCERT. Born and brought up in Kenya by a mother who was a farmer and witnessing the struggles she bore, Nyagoy’s passion for improved livelihoods for small-scale farmers and workers deepened over the years.

Nyagoy has worked within multi-cultural environments where, apart from short-term missions in many African countries and in Europe, she has also lived and worked in Ghana, Togo, Tanzania, Kenya, U.S. and Switzerland. She holds MSc and PhD degrees in Forest Biology from Iowa State University and a BSc in Forestry from the University of Nairobi.

Melissa Duncan, Fairtrade International Executive Director

Melissa has served on the Fairtrade International Board since 2015 and was elected as Treasurer in 2017 and Vice Chair in 2020.

Melissa is an American currently living in the UK. She is a shareholder director of a private investment company in the north of England with a majority holding in a start-up lingerie design business and property investments. Melissa has many years of experience in the ethical trade movement, including five years working for a leading Fair Trade organization and development charity in the UK and serving as a Trustee and Vice Chair of the UK Fairtrade Foundation for six years.

Melissa’s 20-year background in marketing and communications spans corporate and charity sectors, including WHSmith plc, where she was head of communications. Melissa also worked in East Asia for a number of years, before moving to the UK to do an MBA at Cranfield University and ultimately settling there.