May 10, 2019
What about the folks producing our food? Tune in to episode 78 to hear from Paul Rice, founder, President & CEO of Fair Trade USA, the social enterprise and leading certifier of Fair Trade products in North America.
On a mission to impact social and environmental good, Fair Trade USA celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2018. Since its launch, Fair Trade USA and its partners have generated almost $500 million in additional income for farmers and workers in more than 70 countries worldwide, allowing them to keep their kids in school, care for the land and steadily improve their livelihoods. Fair Trade USA sets standards that farms, fisheries and factories must be audited against in order to be called Fair Trade Certified. With a beginning in coffee, the organization now certifies over thirty commodities. A timely conversation as the global coffee market price is at a ten year low, Paul shares what Fair Trade is continuing to do to improve farmer livelihoods and enact long term sustainable development. He’ll talk about what Fair Trade for all means to him and the organization and the power of collective bargaining. The Fair Trade USA seafood program just celebrated it’s 5th anniversary and he will share how it came to be and the importance of contributing to the seafood sustainability space. Lastly will check in on the vision for the future and how Fair Trade aligns with the conscious consumer of today.
Paul has been honored for his pioneering work by Ashoka, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Fast Company Magazine’s Social Capitalist of the Year award (four-time winner), Ethisphere’s 100 Most Influential in Business Ethics, Entrepreneur magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year (2012 Finalist) and the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. The Texas-native holds an Economics and Political Science degree from Yale University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, where he is now an Executive Fellow. Paul has spoken at the World Economic Forum, Clinton Global Initiative, Skoll World Forum, TEDx and universities & conferences around the world.