WASHINGTON, Dec. 14, 2023 – Fairtrade America, the world’s most recognized label for social justice and sustainability is pleased to announce that Katie Kowalski has joined the organization as director of commercial partnerships. Kowalski comes to Fairtrade America with a decade of experience developing corporate partnerships for consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands in the U.S. Kowalski also brings a passion for global equality having worked on microfinance and international development initiatives across the globe.
In her new position, Kowalski will serve as a leader at Fairtrade America as the organization enters an exciting chapter of growth marked by increased consumer awareness of the Fairtrade Mark and the impact it has on farming communities worldwide. The 2023 biennial Fairtrade America Consumer Insights report conducted by GlobeScan found that:
U.S. consumer awareness of the Fairtrade Mark has seen a 2x growth in just four years.
85 percent of U.S. shoppers said that carrying the Fairtrade label would make a positive impact on their impressions of a brand.
2 in 3 shoppers familiar with Fairtrade prefer to shop at retailers that carry certified products.
Kowalski’s new role combines her passion for global equality and extensive corporate partnership experience. From growing brands like Tropicana, Naked Juice and KeVita during her time at PepsiCo to leading complex sales teams, she brings both strong strategic vision and a thoughtful sales ethos to the organization. Kowalski has leveraged her business savvy through pro-bono initiatives around the world – from working with jewelry artisans in Kenya to supporting rural development in Honduras to microfinance consulting in Thailand. Her understanding of context and real-world experience supporting different aspects of global supply chains give her a strong and holistic perspective to grow the impact of Fairtrade in the U.S. market.
As Kowalski shared, “I believe people want to do good, but sometimes in the hustle of everyday life, we trade the virtuous option for the convenient one. I believe that Fairtrade makes the virtuous option the convenient one. We make it easy for brands, retailers and consumers to have a positive impact on the world we live in, just by paying attention to a small logo.”
As director of commercial partnerships, Kowalski will help create an ecosystem where people-centered supply chains are the norm and companies are proactively supporting the farmers and workers they rely on through a fairer deal. She is excited to accelerate growth in the U.S, and ultimately create more impact for the over 2 million Fairtrade farmers and workers around the globe through this pivotal market.
Fairtrade America is the U.S. chapter of Fairtrade International, which has 30 years of experience in promoting fairer trading conditions, and in turn promoting gender equality, building resilience to climate change and supporting worker’s rights. Over 1,800 farming organizations in 70+ countries follow the Fairtrade Standards. Now more than ever, it is critical to rebalance our trade systems so they prioritize both people and the planet.
In addition to Kowalski’s professional achievements, she also serves as a mentor for Naturally Chicago in her hometown, where she advises Chicago-based food and beverage startups on growing their businesses. She is also an alumna of University of South Carolina Darla Moore Business School and Padua Academy.
About Fairtrade America
Fairtrade America works to rebalance trade, making it a system rooted in partnership and mutual respect rather than exploitation. It’s about businesses, shoppers, farmers and workers all working together so we can all experience the benefits of trade. Fairtrade America is the U.S. branch of Fairtrade International, the original and global leader in fair trade certification with more than 30 years of experience working for fair trading practices in more than 30 countries across the globe. A non-profit 501(c)3 organization, Fairtrade America is part of the world’s largest and most recognized fair trade certification program —part of a global movement for change. Learn more at fairtradeamerica.org, and by connecting with Fairtrade America on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
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