A FORMER Co-operative Group executive has joined Fairtrade fruit pioneers AgroFair as its UK Managing Director of sales and marketing.
John Bowes (right), who retired three years ago from the Group as Chief General Manager – Strategy, takes over from Duncan White who is managing a Fairtrade nuts project at Twin Trading on a full time basis. Twin Trading is the organisation that launched AgroFair in the UK and share the same offices.
Mr Bowes told the News: “I’ve always had a strong interest in Fairtrade and when the opportunity to join AgroFair came up it just felt right,
“From a personal perspective the most satisfying moment of my career at the Co-op was when we switched the whole of the own brand coffee range to Fairtrade.
“Continuing that work at AgroFair UK is appealing because the company is jointly owned by the farmers who have a real say in how the company is run and receive profits not invested in the company for expansion. This is the supply chain turned upside down – the people historically at the very bottom are at the top.”
The Co-operative Group and Agrofair have had a synonymous relationship for the past seven years, which started when the Group first brought Fairtrade bananas to the UK.
They are bought from Volta River Estates Ltd (VREL) in Ghana and the Fairtrade premium it receives has recently bought 500 mosquito nets to help protect workers and families from malaria. It also buys Fairtrade pineapples and mangoes through Agrofair
Mr Bowes added: “There is nothing equivocal about AgroFair. It is a pioneering business wholly dedicated to empowering producers and realising a fairer deal for workers in developing countries.”
AgroFair has its headquarters in Holland and sales and marketing operations in the UK, the USA, Italy, France and Finland.