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Fairtrade producer elected board chair

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

Marike de Peña (picture), former Vice Chair of the Fairtrade International Board, has been elected Chair. This is the first time a Fairtrade producer holds the position. De Peña is the Director of Banelino, a 400-member strong banana cooperative in the Dominican Republic, and brings a wealth of experience and a rich perspective to the Board role, Fairtrade International reports.

De Peña was born in Holland, but has lived and worked for more than 25 years in the Dominican Republic. Prior to co-founding the Banelino cooperative in 1996, she worked for the Dominican Land Reform Institute supporting small farmers as they developed sustainable agricultural practices. She also is current Chair of the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Small Producer Organizations (CLAC), the Fairtrade Producer Network representing Latin American and Caribbean farmers and workers.

Along with the election of de Peña, the Board elected Esther Guluma as Vice Chair, who previously served as Board Chair in 2011-2012. Guluma has extensive experience in international development and research, policy and public affairs work. She has served in various roles with UNICEF and is currently heading UNICEF operations in Malawi.

Former Chair Molly Harris Olson stepped down to take on another role in the Fairtrade system. Fairtrade International thanked Olson for her excellent leadership. During her term, Fairtrade adopted a new constitution granting producers 50 percent ownership, and launched the global strategic framework Unlocking the Power of the Many. Olson’s new position will be announced next week. More information is available from Fairtrade International.

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