‘Fairtrade is an open system, we champion all cocoa farmers to achieve a sustainable livelihood and become resilient to climate change and market factors’

By Anthony Myers contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Podcast, Fairtrade foundation, Cocoa, Sustainability

Jen Shepherd, Fairtrade Foundation’s cocoa supply chain manager, talks to CN editor Anthony Myers on how the organization is working with its producer networks to address key issues such as climate change, gender empowerment and living incomes in the industry.

Shepherd’s role is to help grow the UK market to increase sales for Fairtrade cocoa producers and therefore she both provides support for the confectionery industry and works on behalf of Fairtrade’s producer networks representing farmers in West Africa central, Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia Pacific. 

Supply chain managers across the Fairtrade international system also work together to liaise with the producer networks and address thematic issues facing them such as climate change, gender empowerment, through improvements to the system, such as standards reviews as well as specially funded programmes, campaigns and research.

Living incomes

In the UK, Shepherd is currently working closely with Fairtrade’s policy and impact teams on driving forward its new campaign calling for living incomes for cocoa farmers in West Africa. And in her previous role for Fairtrade, as part of a review of the Flower Standards, she worked on the introduction of the Minimum Floor Wage gaining commitment from the largest global cut flower traders and maintain their sourcing commitments on Fairtrade terms and has briefed the Ethiopian First Secretary – Trade, Investment & Tourism on Fairtrade’s work in the cut flower industry.

She graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a BA Hons degree in Criminal Justice and has worked at the Fairtrade Foundation for more than five years, following a 10-year career in fresh product supply chain management in both the commercial and non-profit sector.

In the podcast she talks about Fairtrade’s cocoa sourcing commitments, how changes to Fairtrade standards may affect their business, important updates on the West Africa Cocoa Program and its Women’s School of Leadership.

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