Since January of 2011, I have had the privilege of serving as the Executive Director of Fair Trade Vancouver. In this time it has been a pleasure to work with an incredible team of people. The new relationships and the friendships have made every minute of my time more valuable and more enjoyable than I could have ever imagined. These experiences include not only the Fair Trade Vancouver team, but also all of our wonderful partners across the non-profit sector, those leading and working for Fair Trade companies, and the various institutions that we have been fortunate enough to engage with.
In a very short period of time, our organization has made leaps and bounds to become one of the leading social and environmental justice organizations in Vancouver. In this time, we’ve been able to lead several national initiatives that have helped achieve Vancouver’s designation as a Fair Trade Town and UBC and SFU’s designations as Fair Trade Campuses.
The world continues to face many challenges—not only in terms of our social and environmental well-being, but also in finding ways to manage our strained economic and political systems. These challenges can only be met by working together to achieve our common goals.
I believe that a sustainable and just world is achievable; however, it will not be easy. It will require hard work, commitment, and resolve. It will require us to transform many of the processes and systems in which the world relies. It will require wide scale adoption of a triple bottom line business model where business interests are able to shift beyond mere profit—to include a wider consideration for people and the planet. It’s going to require a transformation of our global relationships—with those that produce, grow, and manufacture—and to re-think our relationship with the natural world. Lastly, it’s going to require wide scale agreement on policy and a multilateral approach among a multitude of stakeholders to overhaul our entrenched systems of the past.
The world of the future, and our next step in this evolutionary process, will be our biggest and most important yet, as we seek to advance equality and create opportunity for those who are the most in-need. In doing so, we must reconsider how we live, and find commonalities amongst each other and with our natural world.
I am therefore moving on from my position at Fair Trade Vancouver, and I look forward to furthering my commitment to these undertakings. At this time I would also like to make note of my new position as Executive Director of the newly forming Canadian Fair Trade Network (www.cftn.ca). Please don’t hesitate to call, drop by the office, or send me an email at my new email address: firstname.lastname@example.org .
I thank everyone involved in this process so far, and I look forward to continuing my work with everyone in the future.