Michael Gidney – Deputy Executive Director, Fairtrade Foundation

Fairtrade Foundation

Mike Gidney has been Deputy Executive Director of the Fairtrade Foundation since July 2009.


Prior to that he was Chair of the Fairtrade Foundation’s Board of Trustees from 2005-8, having been a member of the Board since 2002, as well as a member of the Certification and Executive Committees.


Mike has worked in development for 20 years, helping producers identify and access markets. He was  Director of Policy at Traidcraft Exchange from 2001 – 2002. As a member of Traidcraft’s senior leadership team, he built up their policy and campaigning programmes, working in policy and lobbying on issues including fair trade, trade justice, responsible purchasing practices, and Economic Partnership Agreements, advocating the voices of Traidcraft’s producer partners. He has chaired the advocacy committee of the International Fair Trade Association (now the World Fair Trade Organisation) and theEuropean Fair Trade Association, playing a central role in ensuring that the social and political ambitions of the Fair Trade movement are fully heard in both the UK and internationally as Fairtrade continues to become more mainstream.


“If we are going to achieve the goal of sustainable development for all, we need to balance a commitment to social justice and the eradication of poverty with respect and protection of the environment. That will take all of us – the public, businesses and governments – working together; it will also take ingenuity and real creativity, which is why it is so important to recognise those who are leading the way.”


Mike previously worked with VSO for several years, helping them to set up new international programmes, including linking British businesses with SMEs in the South.  He has worked in many African countries, including Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi and Tanzania – having started out his career living and working as a teacher in Kenya. In his early career, he also worked in marketing and fundraising for the British American Arts Foundation.


Fairtrade Foundation