28 Jul 2023

Lynette Thorstensen steps down from Fairtrade International’s Board of Directors

Lynette fairtrade awards
Lynette Thorstensen at an event in Berlin, Germany. © Fairtrade Deutschland / Tim Keweritsch

“I thoroughly enjoyed chairing the Board of Fairtrade International, as it gave me the chance to work with exceptionally talented people and be deeply inspired by the achievements of Fairtrade producers. With all my heart I have been committed to advocating for social and economic justice for smallholder farmers and workers, and I will continue to support the Fairtrade movement but now from a different perspective.”

- Lynette Thorstensen

On 14 July 2023, after three years of serving Fairtrade International as Chairperson of the Board, Lynette Thorstensen has announced that she is stepping down from her role. This is due to current professional and personal demands that require more of her time. The Board and the General Assembly have accepted her decision.

Fairtrade International would like to recognise Lynette for her integrity and her leadership along with her dedication to advocating for farmers and workers in the policy, business and sustainability spheres. Throughout her tenure, Lynette has driven various flagship initiatives that have brought about positive change in the governance and strategic operations of the organisation. She has continuously represented a strong balance between producer and market interests, and raised the bar of Fairtrade’s visibility in international forums. Her strong commitment has gone beyond driving decisions on behalf of the movement, to engaging producers and understanding the needs of markets across the globe in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Lynette producer visit
Lynette Thorstensen with Ms Poonkodi and Ms Aruna of Annamalaihalli Ganga Kaveri Organic Mango Growers Society, India. © NAPP

As Chair of the Board, Lynette strengthened the organisation by continuously fostering the Fairtrade values of accountability, respect, integrity and partnership. The Board, staff and management thank her for the dedication and commitment to the Fairtrade system.

The elections of the next Fairtrade International Board Chair will continue as planned under the direction of the Fairtrade International Board. According to the Fairtrade International Constitution, the board is to be composed by nine to thirteen members. Therefore the board is still able to run in this capacity and elect a new Board Chair at the appropriate time. The replacement of an Independent Board Member will be carried out via the General Assembly to be held in due course, and respecting the due processes of the constitution.

In case of any queries, kindly contact press@fairtrade.net.