Michael Jary has been appointed the new chair of the Board of Trustees of the Fairtrade Foundation.
Jary is a business strategy consultant who brings a wealth of strategic and commercial expertise in the retail and consumer industries. He was co-founder and is now a senior partner with OC&C Strategy Consultants, a firm with over 500 consultants in 13 offices around the globe.
Jary, 50, is also the chair of Duchy Originals and a non-executive director of Nationwide Building Society. He gained a master’s degree in physics from the University of Oxford, a master’s degree in business from INSEAD business school in France, and a postgraduate diploma in the history of Asian art from SOAS. He has written several books, including the best-selling Retail Power Plays. He is a regular speaker and commentator in the retail and consumer sector.
Jary also has experience in the charitable sector as chair of The HRH The Prince of Wales’s Social Enterprises. He will now bring his experience and leadership to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. His appointment follows a comprehensive search and selection process conducted by recruitment consultants Saxton Bampfylde.
“It is now increasingly acknowledged by the food industry that the era of cheap food and unsustainable supply chain practices is coming to an end,” said Jary. “The Fairtrade model is even more relevant than ever. Rather than being a choice, I am convinced that fair trade will become a necessity for ensuring food quality and security.”
Jary will work closely with Michael Gidney, chief executive of the Fairtrade Foundation, who recently unveiled the Fairtrade Foundation’s new three-year Unlocking the Power strategy.
“Fairtrade will celebrate 20 years of products carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark in the UK next year,” said Gidney. “Whilst Fairtrade has made real progress in building consumer demand and business engagement in tackling poverty through trade, we are now calling on companies to take a step further through innovation and new strategies that put producers at the heart of their supply chains.
“There couldn’t be a better time for Michael, as a highly experienced strategist, to bring his leadership into our thinking. I look forward to working with him to deliver our ambitious business plans that will unlock the potential of Fairtrade to deliver even greater impact for millions of farmers and workers around the world.’
Jary replaces the outgoing chair, David Clayton-Smith, whose six-year commitment to the Fairtrade Foundation as a trustee has come to an end. Fairtrade sales grew from £1bn to over £1.57bn during the time he worked with Fairtrade. Clayton-Smith will continue to play a role in Fairtrade as a recently elected member of the Board of Fairtrade International (formerly FLO).