The Fair Trade Advocacy Office welcomes its two new Directors

Last June 2022, Sergi Corbalán stepped down as Executive Director after 13 years at the helm of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO).

The Fair Trade Advocacy Office is happy to welcome Jorge Conesa de Lara as Managing Director (on the left in the picture) and Eric Ponthieu as Strategic Director (on the right in the picture). They were both appointed by the Board of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office respectively in October 2022 and January 2023.

Jorge Conesa has been part of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office since 2019. He joined the FTAO as project coordinator leading the organization’s work on the textile sector, unfair trading practices and competition law and became later policy manager. Before joining the FTAO, Jorge Conesa has worked as advisor to a Member of the European Parliament and as trade officer at the Spanish Consulate in Canton, China, where he supported the internationalization of Spanish SMEs. He has a master’s degree on international trade and another one in multimedia communication.

“The problems that our world faces – from climate change to economic inequality – are complex and interconnected, and the Fair Trade movement occupies a privileged position to facilitate the systemic change that we urgently need. It’s an honour to lead the Fair Trade Advocacy Office on its contribution to make this happen.

I’ll do my outmost to ensure that the FTAO keeps on offering a platform for worldwide producers, workers and artisans to have their voices listened to; and to bring policy makers to consider the root causes behind the climate and inequality double crisis, such as abusive purchasing practices, gender inequality, and unfair distribution of value across the supply chains.” said Jorge Conesa de Lara

Eric Ponthieu joined the Fair Trade Advocacy Office in January 2023 as Strategy Director. Eric is a true EU policy insider with 28-year professional experience in EU sustainable development policy as well as decision-making, communication, R&D and teaching. His capacity to process and communicate political, strategic and technical information will be an asset to reaching FTAO’s objectives. Eric also brings his expertise on a wide range of interrelated areas such as sustainable development, environment, climate, food and agriculture, fair trade, sustainable consumption.

The Chair of the FTAO board of Directors, Richard Adams added that “2023, as we know, is going to be a difficult year for many because of the increasing climate impacts, international tensions and injustices and political dysfunctions. But the FTAO is now exceptionally well placed to advocate even more strongly the contribution that Fair Trade can make to our changing world.