THE man responsible for more than doubling sales at the UK’s leading fair trade organisation has stepped down after more than a decade in charge.
Traidcraft chief executive Paul Chandler has announced that he is to leave the Gateshead-based firm at the end of March next year.
During his 11-year leadership, trading turnover has grown from £8m to £17m.
The impact of Traidcraft Exchange, its development charity, has also flourished with income doubling to over £4m. Last year almost 900,000 people benefited from its work across the developing world.
Traidcraft has played an influential role in the growth of fairtrade sales in the UK to some £1.5bn and in securing changes to UK company law and reporting practices and the establishment of a supermarkets watchdog.
“It has been a great privilege to lead the Traidcraft team and I am incredibly proud of all that we have achieved,” said Chandler. “As a community of producers, supporters and staff, we have significantly increased Traidcraft’s direct impact on poverty. We have made a key contribution to the amazing growth of fair trade markets in the UK and further afield and to the promotion of greater trade justice and responsible business practices.
“However, I have decided that the time is now right for me to move on to the next stage of my career, taking on a further range of non-executive roles.”
Having recently become a director of Engage Mutual, a financial services organisation that works for and is owned by its members, Chandler is particularly interested in exploring how to bring into the financial sector the values that have made such a difference in the arena of fair trade.
He will also be developing his work at Durham Cathedral, where he is chair of the cathedral council and in other voluntary organisations.