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Paul Rice

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Paul Rice

Founder and CEO, Fair Trade USA
Paul Rice

Since launching the Fair Trade Certified™ label in 1998, Paul has helped establish Fair Trade as one of the fastest-growing segments of the food and apparel industries. To date, Fair Trade USA has partnered with over 1,500 leading companies, including Green Mountain, Nespresso, Whole Foods, Costco, Sam's Club, Walmart, Kroger, and Target. Fair Trade USA now certifies coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, coconut, fresh produce, and seafood. Recently, through groundbreaking partnerships with Patagonia, Athleta, Williams-Sonoma and J. Crew, Fair Trade has begun certifying apparel and home goods, improving the lives of factory workers. In 2022, consumer recognition of the Fair Trade Certified label hit 65%. To date, Fair Trade USA and its partners have generated over $1 billion in additional income for farmers and workers in 51 countries, allowing them to care for the environment and steadily improve their livelihoods. Prior to founding Fair Trade USA, Paul worked for 11 years as a rural development specialist in the mountains of Nicaragua, where he founded and led the country's first Fair Trade, organic export cooperative. Paul's rich, first-hand experience over the last 30 years in the fields of sustainable agriculture, agroforestry, grassroots economic development, global supply chain transparency and consumer activation is unique in the certification world. He is now a leading advocate of “impact sourcing” as a core strategy for both poverty alleviation and sustainable business.