Fairtrade International opens United States office

Fairtrade International USA announced it was is open for business on 17 January, naming its Board of Directors. In a statement, Fairtrade International USA said that the move connects US shoppers with over 25 other Fairtrade organisations in the international Fairtrade system and 1.2 million producers around the world. The move follow Fair Trade USA's official resignation from Fairtrade International membership in December 2011.  Interim Operations Manager, Enrique Hennings, was appointed in December 2012. Hennings was the architect of the Fairtrade Access Fund, a joint project with Incofin IM and Grameen Foundation, projected to grow to US$25 million for loans for producer groups in Latin America.  “I’m eager to move our efforts forward in the US and work with our new board who are dedicated to Fairtrade in the US and represent the diversity of the international Fairtrade system,” said Hennings in a statement. “Their experience will provide strong direction for the organization and help us serve the farmers and workers, traders and businesses, and all of our stakeholders.” The newly elected Board of Directors is made up of representatives from across the Fairtrade system and civil society, including Raul del Aguila, Managing Director of COCLA, a second grade Fairtrade certified cooperative in Peru; Dr. Bama Athreya, the recent Executive Director of United to End Genocide; Tony Hall, the Regional Representative for the Pacific Rim for the WFTO; Werner Kiene, Chairman of the Compliance Review Panel of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington; and D.C. Nick Orton, Board Secretary for Fairtrade Canada.

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