Fairtrade America, the new organization representing the Fairtrade International (FLO) system in the U.S., today announced the appointment of Hans P. Theyer as its executive director. Prior to joining Fairtrade America, Hans helped create and run a consulting practice specializing in developing social impact strategies for businesses. He previously served as Executive Director of Agros International, a non-profit organization dedicated to rural poverty alleviation throughout Central America and Mexico. Hans was a leader in Microsoft’s Rural Computing effort, an initiative to empower emerging markets throughout the rural, developing world with access to information and communications technology.
Originally from Chile, Hans holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree from London Business School. He has nearly 20 years of experience in business including sales, marketing and business development positions with Microsoft and leading international banking institutions.
To celebrate World Fair Trade Day, Fairtrade America is offering Fair Trade supporters in the United States a chance to win a basket of Fairtrade certified chocolates, coffee, tea, flowers, ice cream, honey and more! Click here to enter the Fairtrade America World Fair Trade Day Prize Drawing.
The Small Producer Symbol (SPP), a certification and labeling system created and run by small Fair Trade producers in Latin America, reports that now 33 small producer organizations are certified under the system and another 16 are in process of getting certified. 11 others have applied for certification.
Also, a new Canadian importer, N. J. Douek & Sons, has joined the list of registered companies and a German buyer is in process of registration.
The system welcomed its sixth certification body, the Colombian certifier Biotrópico. Fair Trade pioneer Equal Exchange recently made its SPP coffee purchases public, which will enable Equal Exchange to launch eight Latin American coffees under the SPP in the course of 2013.
“Fair Trade, Sustainability and Social Change”, by Ian Hudson, Mark Hudson and Mara Fridell, should be required reading for anyone interested in the strategic direction, challenges and opportunities of Fair Trade and its social movement. Only once every 5-10 years does such a thoughtful book come out about the big picture and major issues in Fair Trade. Although a bit academic at times for the lay reader, the authors present in accessible style critical topics like the pros & cons of various ways actors message about Fair Trade, how Fair Trade compares to other sustainability certifications, and tensions arising as Fair Trade engages large corporations.