Fair Trade USA Founder & CEO to Deliver Keynote at SeaWeb Seafood Summit

Fair Trade USA Founder & CEO to Deliver Keynote at SeaWeb Seafood Summit

Paul Rice will discuss the win-win proposition behind Fair Trade.

February 19, 2019

Paul Rice, founder and CEO of Fair Trade USA, a North American certifier of Fair Trade products, will give the opening keynote address at the 15th SeaWeb Seafood Summit, which takes place 10-14 June 2019 at Shangri-La Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.

Rice is a four-time recipient of Fast Company’s Social Capitalist of the Year award among other honors spanning the for- and non-profit worlds. He frequently speaks at universities, conferences and venues including the World Economic Forum, Clinton Global Initiative, Skoll World Forum and TEDx. After graduating from Yale University with a degree in Economics, Paul founded Fair Trade USA in 1998 after spending 11 years in Nicaragua leading a Fair Trade coffee export cooperative with local farmers. He returned home with a dream of bringing the Fair Trade model to consumers, businesses and farmers worldwide; and that dream has since propelled Fair Trade USA from a coffee-industry initiative to the leading market-based model of sustainable production, trade and consumption.

Over the past 20 years, the organization and its 1,300 partners — which span more than 30 categories including apparel, home goods, coffee, tea, produce and seafood — have generated over $500 million in additional income for farmers and workers in more than 70 countries, allowing them to keep their kids in school, care for the land and improve their livelihoods. In 2017 alone, U.S. consumers purchased an estimated $7 billion in Fair Trade Certified products from household names including Patagonia, west elm, Gap Inc., Green Mountain, Starbucks, Dole, General Mills, PepsiCo, Whole Foods, Costco, Target, Walmart and more. 

In his keynote address, The Human Face of Sustainability: Empowering Fishers, Farmers and Workers, Rice, scheduled for June 11, 9:15-9:45 a.m., he will share insights from his 30-year Fair Trade journey, including how he views the link between sustainability and profitability, the impact of everyday purchases, the larger shift toward Conscious Capitalism and how his organization has recruited titans of industry to shift to a Fair Trade model.

“Paul Rice’s long-held vision of business as a force for social and environmental change is one that many of the business leaders, conservationists and others who attend the SeaWeb Seafood Summit share – and increasingly, it’s a vision shared by mainstream consumers,” said Brenna Hensley, Diversified Communications event director.

The SeaWeb Seafood Summit is a global seafood sustainability conference, bringing together diverse stakeholders from all facets of the sustainable seafood movement. Summit speakers and attendees include global representatives from the seafood industry, the conservation community, retail, academia, government, and the media. Rice’s talk will be an apt follow-up to Monday’s full-day pre-conference seminar, which focuses on amplifying worker voice through technology and ethical supply chains and kicks off a packed schedule of diverse educational sessions and experiences, including breakout sessions, plenary talks, Q&A opportunities, and optional offsite field trips both during and after the conference. 

For more information and registration, visit seafoodsummit.org.