Who we are

Fairtrade is a global movement for change with a strong and active presence in the UK, represented by the Fairtrade Foundation.

The international Fairtrade system (which the Fairtrade Foundation is a part of) represents the world’s largest and most recognised fair trade system. We are a global organisation working with businesses, consumers and campaigners to secure a better deal for farmers and workers.

Fairtrade Foundation senior leadership team

Michael Gidney

Chief Executive Officer

Portrait image of Michael Gidney, CEO of Fairtrade

Michael has worked in international development for 30 years, with a particular focus on fighting poverty through trade.

He joined the Fairtrade Foundation in 2009 as Deputy Executive Director, before becoming Chief Executive in 2012.

Prior to this, he spent eight years as Director of Policy at Traidcraft, where he led their public policy programme on issues including EU-ACP trade relations and UK Company Law reform. 

Michael also sits on the UK government’s Strategic Trade Advisory Group.

What is your favourite Fairtrade product? Zaytoun Palestinian Olive Oil, because it’s Fairtrade at its best: it’s wonderful quality, and it supports smallholders who are farming in incredibly challenging circumstances.

Executive Assistant to CEO: Whitney Quaynor, contact via email: whitney.quaynor@fairtrade.org.uk.

Fiona Kindness

Chief Financial Officer

Portrait image of Fiona Kindness, Chief Financial Officer at Fairtrade

Fiona joined the Fairtrade Foundation in 2017 as CFO responsible for finance, HR, IT and data, facilities, planning, legal, governance and compliance.  

Prior to Fairtrade, Fiona was Director of Resources and latterly Acting CEO of the John Muir Trust, a conservation charity dedicated to protecting and enhancing wild places across the UK.  

Before moving into the charity sector Fiona gained over 20 years’ experience as a corporate finance adviser to entrepreneurial businesses both large and small, with market capitalisations ranging from £3 million to £500 million. She worked across a wide range of industries, assisting on all issues of corporate life, financial and otherwise.

What is your favourite Fairtrade product? My favourite Fairtrade product is Grumpy Mule coffee.

Kerrina Thorogood

Director, Partnerships

Kerrina Thorogood

Kerrina has over 15 years’ experience of securing and stewarding award-winning strategic partnerships in the charity sector. At WWF-UK, she led an ambitious team delivering huge successes for the private sector and the planet, including partnerships with Coca-Cola, John West, Reckitt, Aviva, Sky and Tesco, the latter which has seen the retailer working to halve the impact of the average shopping basket inspiring retailers globally, and leading to the Retailers Commitment to Nature announcement at COP26.

As a creative and strategic thinker, she challenges businesses and WWF to think about where they are uniquely placed to have an impact in partnership.

Previously Kerrina worked at Breakthrough Breast Cancer securing strategic, sponsorship and marketing partnerships. Her work in the charity sector was preceded by a career working for the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) promoting Japan to British multinationals as a market for foreign investment. Kerrina speaks Japanese and spent an enjoyable 5 years living there.

What is your favourite Fairtrade product? A nice glass of Fairtrade Malbec but I’m also excited about bringing Fairtrade cosmetics into my beauty regime as we see more and more products coming on board.

Fairtrade Foundation Board members

Keri Elborn

Keri Elborn, Treasurer & Member Elected Trustee of the Fairtrade Foundation Board

Co-opted trustee, Treasurer and interim Vice Chair

Keri has worked in the financial services industry for over 25 years.  During this time, he has had roles in external audit, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), strategy, finance as a CFO, and is currently an advisor on both M&A and value creation.

Keri has covered Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and Africa through his career. He has travelled extensively and lived in both Mexico City (where he was born) and Zagreb.

Keri is also a Governor of Dulwich College and Chairman of the Finance Committee. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

What is your favourite Fairtrade product? Coffee!

Kerry Smith

Producer trustee, Chair of People, Safeguarding and Remuneration Committee

Kerry is the Chief People Officer at the British Heart Foundation. She is a Fellow of the CIPD and has 30 years’ worth of experience in human resources, talent development and change leadership, working for recognised organisations including the Royal Horticultural Society and the National Trust.

Kerry Smith, Member Elected Trustee of the Fairtrade Foundation Board

Kerry is known for leading award-winning people change programmes which bring about modern and successful workplaces. She is one of the UK’s HR Most Influential since 2018, awarded by HR Excellence.

She is Chair of the Charities HR Network and Chair of People, Safeguarding & Remuneration Committee for Fairtrade.

Kerry is delighted have joined the Fairtrade Foundation Board of Trustees and has long been a buyer of Fairtrade products. She admires them for their quality and consistency but moreover, to drive and deliver sustainable livelihoods that people can be proud of.

What is your favourite Fairtrade product? The Divine chocolate range, especially the toffee and sea salt flavour. I especially like to gift the 12 tasting bars to friends and family as they allow you to taste all the flavours. They also come with a beautiful narrative about the cocoa farms the chocolate originates from.

Alison Marshall

Member trustee

Alison brings over 25 years of experience with international development and non-governmental organisations. She is currently CEO of Age International, and in that role is also part of Age UK’s senior leadership team. She was previously Managing Director of Sense International, working for and with people with disabilities.

Before that she held senior roles at the International Planned Parenthood Federation, UNICEF UK, Bond and CAFOD. Her work on human rights has seen her travel extensively. Alison is a member of the BBC Charity Appeals Advisory Committee and the Disasters Emergency Committee.

Alison is proud to serve on the Fairtrade Foundation’s People Safeguarding and Remuneration and Nominations sub-committees.

Alison is passionate about the difference Fairtrade makes and the crucial role of public campaigning, advocacy and innovative partnerships in the Foundation’s work.

Stephanie Barrientos

Member trustee

Stephanie Barrientos is an Emeritus Professor in the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester, where she has worked since 2007. She was previously a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.

Stephanie has researched and published extensively on workers and small-scale producers in global value chains with a particular focus on: gender, fair trade, ethical trade, corporate social responsibility, and business and human rights. Improving the lives of workers and small-scale producers has always been a key motivation for her work.

Stephanie has been a strong supporter of Fairtrade from its beginning and has over 25 years of research experience on fair and ethical trade.

Stephanie led research commissioned by Cadbury Mapping Sustainable Cocoa Production in Ghana (2005-7) in collaboration with the University of Ghana (Legon); and in India (2009-11) with CMA Ahmedabad. This informed Cadbury’s decision to adopt the FAIRTRADE Mark for Dairy Milk chocolate.

Stephanie currently holds a Levehulme Emeritus Fellowship (2023-25) to write a book on Fairer Trade in Global Supply Chains. This explores the evolution and contemporary challenges facing social standards, and implications of EU Human Rights due diligence for workers and small-scale producers.

David Paterson

Member trustee, Chair of Nominations Committee

David is a retired City solicitor, having been a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills from 1994, specialising in corporate finance, board and governance matters. Retiring from legal practice in 2018, David now divides his time between a number of non-executive roles.

David has supported Christian Aid, one of Fairtrade’s UK founders, in a variety of roles over the last decade. He has been a trustee of Christian Aid Kenya since 2016. His experience in enterprise development work, such as is led by Christian Aid in East Africa, has been a valuable base for his input into the work of the Foundation.

David also works part time at the Financial Reporting Council in its enforcement division, overseeing investigations and enforcement proceedings in the audit and actuarial fields.

David is a Trustee of The Benefact Trust, owner of the Benefact Group of financial services businesses, leading grant funder in the Christian Funder’s Forum, and a non-executive director of The R&A Group of companies, which stages a range of elite events in Golf (including The Open Championship) and includes one of the two world governing bodies of that sport.

Simon Wright

Member trustee

Simon’s involvement with Fairtrade goes back to the very first UK product to carry the Fairtrade logo – Green & Black’s Maya Gold. In 1994 Simon was part of the team that developed this bar and the initial development of the Divine range of Fairtrade chocolate bars.

Simon now works with a chocolate company in Italy that processes many of the world’s Fairtrade cocoa beans. With a keen interest in sustainable food production, Simon also runs a consultancy business that helps food and drink companies to develop their products.

Simon sits on the Standards Board of the Soil Association, helping to maintain and develop organic standards. He also chairs the judging of the Quality Food Awards and has recently been appointed to the UK Expert Group on Organic Production.

Apart from sustainable food, Simon’s other interests are rock ’n’ roll – writing, releasing, collecting and DJing.

Anita Chandraker

Member trustee

Anita Chandraker, Senior Partner, PA Consulting, Fairtrade Foundation Board Member

Anita is a senior leader with executive and non-executive board experience. She has worked for more than 30 years with PA Consulting, advising clients at board level on strategic technology and digital initiatives, and delivering complex transformation programmes.

Whilst at PA, she also had responsibility for growing significant parts of the business and was a member of the Executive Team and Board. Anita retired in 2021 and now holds several non-executive roles and coaches and mentors senior leaders.

Anita is passionate about reducing inequalities across high-income and low-income countries, having witnessed disparities first-hand through her strong family connection to India.

Anita enjoys walking, cooking and yoga, and is a keen follower of football.

What is your favourite Fairtrade product? Divine chocolate, both for its taste and its inspiring business model.

Sarah King

Co-opted trustee

I come from a career in brand building, insight and consulting, most recently at Kantar, where I was Global Head of Brand Strategy and a Senior Partner in the Sustainable Transformation practice.

I have worked with a wide range of brands in different sectors including consumer goods and services, and retail.

I am honoured to be appointed as a Trustee member of The Fairtrade Foundation. While new to the organisation itself, I am a strong admirer of the Foundation and its underlying principles, and I look forward to using my skills and experience in support of its mission, as part of the Board.

My favourite Fairtrade product is the J.D. Gross 85% cocoa Ecuadorian chocolate, which we discovered at Fairtrade partner Lidl. It is a lovely product – my family and I are addicted!

Sean O’Neill

Co-opted trustee

Sean’s career spans more than 25 years in senior executive leadership positions with global CPG companies.

Prior to this, Sean worked as a senior adviser to various governments on national privatisation projects and with international businesses as a consultant on policy and communication issues.

Alongside his executive roles, Sean has been Chairman of the global drinks industry’s two main bodies, served on international investment Committees and acted as Trustee of local and international charities.

For much of his career, Sean has been involved in local sourcing initiatives across Africa, Asia and the Caribbean and has seen first-hand the incredible impact these initiatives bring to individuals and communities.

Sean has lived and worked in seven countries and is a passionate Lancastrian, rugby fan and consumer of Tony’s Chocolonely. He is married with two daughters.

Titus Gerard Beverly Pinto

Producer trustee

Advisor to the Board, The United Nilgiri Tea Estates Company
Photo portrait of Fairtrade Foundation Trustee Mr. Titus Gerard Beverly Pinto

Mr Pinto is a highly experienced tea industry professional, having worked for The United Nilgiri Tea Estates Company in multiple senior positions for 43 years. He stepped down as a member of the Board of Management and is currently serving as a Board Advisor for the next three years.

Mr Pinto was Chairman of The Nilgiri Planters Association during which the Association won two awards for the best use of Premiums, and he witnessed the positive impact on lives in the community through the school and hospital they built.

He was Chairman of The Tamil Nadu Planters Association, and a committee member for The United Planters Association of South India. Mr. Pinto was also a board member on the network of Asia Pacific Producers. He was actively involved in conducting Tea Auctions in Las Vegas and Atlanta and oversaw the ‘Technology Absorption for the Plantation Industry.’

Mr Pinto brings a wealth of experience, combining vital experience as a producer, as well as experience working within the Fairtrade system.

George Kporye

Producer trustee

Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Golden Exotics Limited
Photo portrait of Fairtrade Foundation Trustee George Kporye

Mr Kporye is currently the Deputy Chief Executive Officer and the Fairtrade Officer of Golden Exotics Limited, a Ghana based company that produces bananas. He is responsible for Administration and Corporate Affairs of the Company and sits in the company’s Fairtrade Premium Committee as management representative. He also heads the company’s anti-corruption committee.

He is currently a member of the West Africa Network Board and sits in the Continental FTA Board as an independent member. He is a member of FTA Finance Committee and also chairs the Human Resource Committee. He has also had the privilege of representing FTA at the FI General Assembly in 2018 & 2019. Mr Kporye is also a steering committee member of the World Banana Forum which is under the auspices of the World Food Program of the UN.

Mr Kporye is also a registered lobbyist of the EU Parliament and a regular participant of the ACP/EU Committee on Trade, advocating for favourable legislation and policies on banana and other fruits from Africa.

Other board positions held include Vice- President of Banana Producers Association in Ghana, Board Member EOLIS Ghana Limited and Chairman, Fruit Terminal Company Limited.

Mr Kporye holds a Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics and Statistics from University of Ghana, Legon.

Secretary to the Trustees: rochelle.viette@fairtrade.org.uk