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Colombian Darío Soto Abril to Become New Fairtrade International CEO

Darío Soto Abril. Trust for Americas Twitter photo.

Darío Soto Abril. The Trust for Americas Twitter photo.

Darío Soto Abril has accepted the position of Chief Executive Officer of Fairtrade International — whose United States labeling affiliate is Fairtrade America — where he will officially assume the new role in February 2017. Colombian-born Abril takes over for interim CEO Martin Hill, following the departure of former CEO Harriet Lamb in November 2015.

Abril is currently the COO, Deputy Director and Legal Counsel at Washington D.C.-based The Trust for the Americas, the nonprofit affiliate of the Organization of American States (OAS).

“Fairtrade is one of the world’s best-known organizations and I’m honoured to have been asked to join it,” Darío said in an announcement made by Fairtrade International late last week. “It’s both an exciting and challenging time, and together, we will maintain Fairtrade’s growth path in making a better world for farmers and workers, while inspiring more businesses, governments and consumers to join us in our mission. It’s a massive challenge but one I am very much looking forward to.”

Here’s more from Fairtrade International on Abril’s background:

Darío has a strong track record in advocating with governments and businesses for the implementation of programmes and policies leading to economic inclusion of LGBT, at-risk youth, women and minorities. During his time at the Trust/OAS he led the expansion from three to 22 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, building coalitions and public private partnerships around free trade, workers’ rights and human rights. His efforts resulted in greater participation of worker organizations and unions during trade negotiations in Colombia and Central America.

“I am deeply committed to the goal of building a strong global system by encouraging a culture of partnership, transparency and shared accountability,” he said. “To that end, I will work with the Board, producer networks, the national Fairtrade organizations and all members of the team in driving collaboration across all levels.”

“The Fairtrade International Board is delighted to welcome Darío as our new CEO,” said Board Chair Marike de Peña. “Darío has a long history of working with producers, civil society, governments and business to achieve inclusive economic growth and wellbeing. His experience will strengthen our role as a global movement for change and will help us drive the UN Sustainable Development Goals to deliver maximum impact for farmers, workers and producers.”

Darío grew up in Colombia before moving to the United States. He has previously worked for Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) and is a licensed attorney both in Colombia and in the State of New York. He holds an LLM degree from Tulane University (New Orleans) and a public administration degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He lives in Washington with his wife and their dog, and says he loves sailing and volunteering in animal shelters in Colombia.


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