Our spokespeople

We have a number of experts in international trade and development who can be contacted through the media team for comment or interview. 

We can also put you in touch with Fairtrade producers, campaigners or commercial organisations. Please contact the press office to arrange this.

Some of the key members of the organisation who can speak to the journalists are:

Michael Gidney, Chief Executive

Michael has worked in international development for 20 years, with a particular focus on reducing poverty and developing small enterprise by helping producers identify and access markets. This has led him to believe that there is no better model for ending poverty than through enabling fairer trade and that Fairtrade, when it works well, can be transformational.

Before joining the Fairtrade Foundation in 2009 Michael spent eight years as Director of Policy at Traidcraft, where he led their research and advocacy programme on issues including international trade policy, corporate accountability, competition and responsible sourcing.    

Barbara Crowther, Director of Policy & Public Affairs

Barbara joined the Fairtrade Foundation in 2004 and has led work on building the organisation’s public profile, policy, communications, political relations and media work, and research into the impact of Fairtrade. Most recently, Barbara has led lobbying of the UK government for investment in smallholder agriculture, as part of the organisation’s Make Food Fair programme and worked on business insight into sourcing from smallholders.

Prior to joining the Fairtrade Foundation, Barbara worked as Head of Campaigns for Save the Children UK, on issues including UK and global child poverty, child labour and asylum rights for children. She worked for 11 years for CAFOD developing the organisation’s youth participation and campaigning programmes, including landmine abolition, international debt cancellation and ethical trade. She currently sits on the Board of Fair Trade Advocacy Office, a shared EU advocacy programme for the Fair Trade movement, based in Brussels.    

Cheryl McGechie, Director of Public Engagement

Cheryl McGechie

Cheryl heads up the Public Engagement team at Fairtrade, with an aim to deepen Fairtrade’s relationship with existing supporters and to help mainstream Fairtrade purchasing habits. Cheryl has more than 15 years’ experience in brands marketing and public engagement.

Cheryl leads the campaigns team, from which spokespeople are available to talk about national/regional campaigns, events, and Fairtrade towns, schools, faith groups and organisations. 

Tim Aldred, Head of Policy

Prior to joining the Fairtrade Foundation, Tim headed the Policy and Communications team at Progressio (“people powered development”, working in 11 African, Latin American and Asian countries). There, he worked on advocacy relating to smallholders in asparagus supply chains in Peru, water management policy for the recent Rio+20 summit, and was engaged with the political developments on the Millennium Development Goals post-2015.  

Tim's experience in international development started in the field in Afghanistan. He then worked on CAFOD’s Humanitarian desk for nearly 10 years, where he developed widely respected guidelines on humanitarian policy and practice, before taking up his role with Progressio.

 

Spokespeople from the Campaigns team are available to talk about national and regional campaigns and events as well as Fairtrade towns, schools, faith groups and organisations.