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Fairtrade International appoints Sandra Uwera as Global CEO

Fairtrade International's new CEO has pledged a fairer future for farmers around the world by tackling climate change, poverty and gender inequality

Sandra Uwera has pledged a fairer future for farmers around the world by tackling climate change, poverty and gender inequality | Photo: Fairtrade International 



Fairtrade International has announced the appointment of Sandra Uwera as its new Global CEO.
Uwera steps into the role following the departure of Dr. Nyagoy Nyong’o, who served as Interim Global CEO until 31 March 2022.
 
“I am delighted and honoured to lead Fairtrade as it builds on its leading role in confronting the greatest challenges of our time, from climate change and poverty to gender equality,” Uwera said.
 
“For many people around the world, Fairtrade means a fairer future for farmers, a more sustainable future for our planet, and a better future for consumers committed to making a difference. This is the Fairtrade vision I look forward to growing alongside the millions of Fairtraders who support our mission,” she added.
 
Uwera, a Rwandan national, who grew up in both Rwanda and Kenya, holds a Master of Science (MSc) in Strategic Planning, a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communications. She has undertaken advanced professional training in international trade policy and law, digital inclusion, and leadership for business sustainability. She is also an Eisenhower fellow and sits on various Boards in Africa and internationally.
 
Uwera most recently served as CEO of COMESA Business Council (CBC), the leading Business Member Organisation in Africa and a private sector institution of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which represents 34 business sectors across 21 countries.
 
As part of her work with CBC and COMESA, she has led projects and programmes on sustainable solutions for small and medium enterprises, advocacy, technical capacity-building, industry competitiveness and market access, digital financial inclusion, and programmes focused on women and youth empowerment.
 
“We are thrilled to have Sandra at the helm of Fairtrade at such an important juncture in our organisation’s history,” said Lynette Thorstensen, Chair of Fairtrade’s Board.
 
“With her exceptional talent and vision, we expect Sandra’s leadership to build on our ambitious Global Strategy, hone our strategic direction, and deepen our impact around the world. We are especially pleased to have hired a citizen from a vital Fairtrade farming region who will be based there, working from Fairtrade Africa’s offices in Nairobi, Kenya,” Thorstensen added.
 
Fairtrade works with 1.8 million farmers and workers around the world in 28 countries, including around 795,000 coffee farmers.
 
Over the past 30 years, purchases of Fairtrade certified products, which include a wide range of agricultural products from coffee to cocoa, flowers, sugar, nuts, and oil, have resulted in an estimated $1.7bn Premium (extra money on the price paid) for Fairtrade producers.

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