By the time he retired from his career at the UK’s largest consumer Co-operative in August 2018, Brad Hill had affectionately become known as ‘Mr Fairtrade’. Through 20 years of his strategic leadership, the Co-op had become the 2nd largest seller of Fairtrade products in the world and helped establish the UK as the largest national Fairtrade market. This despite the Co-op being a relatively small player in the highly competitive UK grocery sector.
From launching the world’s first Own Brand Fairtrade product almost 20 years ago, to pioneering educational resources, creating and developing producer projects and campaigning locally, Brad has been driven by his experiences of travelling across Africa, Asia and Central and South America where he has witnessed firsthand the life changing impacts that Fairtrade can deliver.
With a commercial background and as a qualified marketer, Brad was able to unlock the producers’ voices, persuade his business and its customers to increasingly support Fairtrade and create genuine commercial benefits whilst generating significant amounts of Fairtrade Premium. His work has taken him from local schools to Buckingham Palace, to international business conferences to government fora and to countless Fairtrade producer communities across lesser developed countries.
Through Brad’s leadership and relentless pursuit of doing business in the right way, today’s UK Co-op is widely regarded as the world’s leading Fairtrade commercial supporter. Taking risks, innovating and committing to producers to demonstrate that ethics and social responsibility are fundamental to delivering commercial success have been key elements of the strategy Brad launched 2 decades ago.
Maude Barlow is the Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch. She serves on the executive of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and is a Councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council.
Maude is the recipient of fourteen honorary doctorates as well as many awards, including the 2005 Right Livelihood Award (known as the “Alternative Nobel”), the 2005 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Fellowship Award, the Citation of Lifetime Achievement at the 2008 Canadian Environment Awards, the 2009 Earth Day Canada Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award, the 2009 Planet in Focus Eco Hero Award, and the2011 Earth Care Award, the highest international honour of the Sierra Club(US).
In 2008/2009, she served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly and was a leader in the campaign to have water recognized as a human right by the UN. She is also the author of dozens of reports, as well as 18 books, including her latest, Blue Future: Protecting Water For People And The Planet Forever and Boiling Point, Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse and Canada’s Water Crisis.