Thursday, May 23, 2024

Fair Trade USA announces Felipe Arango as COO


OAKLAND, Calif., USA – Fair Trade USA announced a key addition to its core leadership team. Felipe Arango will serve as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer. A veteran in sustainable sourcing, with two decades in the Fair Trade movement, Felipe is tasked with ensuring efficiencies and alignment across operations at Fair Trade USA to increase the organization’s scope and scale of impact, tackling some of the most pressing global challenges.

“We are thrilled to have Felipe join our leadership team,” said Paul Rice, Founder & CEO, Fair Trade USA. “Felipe brings a unique combination of technical and strategic expertise in sustainable development and finance. His experience will unlock our ability to scale Fair Trade to increase our impact for producers, businesses, and consumers.”

Felipe has spent over 20 years advancing sustainable development in many roles as a social entrepreneur, an activist, and an educator. His experience ranges across coffee, cocoa, produce, textiles and floral. He is also well-versed in environmental and sustainable finance initiatives.

Most recently, Felipe served as a Technical Advisor and Pilots Lead for the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) where he advanced a global framework for reporting and response on nature-related risks and opportunities aimed at shifting global finance towards nature-positive outcomes.

He also acted as technical lead with the World Bank Group to design and launch green taxonomies for sustainable investment in his home country of Colombia and in the Dominican Republic.

“I am very enthusiastic and inspired by the opportunity to join an organization with a rich history of impact and such talented team. This is a moment of opportunity for Fair Trade USA to evolve and amplify our impact, and I look forward to bringing my experience, energy, and perspective to help scale the ambitious vision of the organization,” said Arango.

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As Chief Operating Officer, Felipe will be instrumental in delivering Fair Trade USA’s growth and impact goals. He will oversee the ongoing work to innovate the organization’s business model and technological transformation and champion efficiencies that will unlock scale and impact.

Prior to his work with the TNFD, Felipe co-founded BSD Consulting, serving as their Global CEO for 7 years, launching their operations in Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, and the U.S, providing knowledge and solutions for sustainable development to major global brands and development agencies.

He served as a lead auditor, trainer, and consultant at FLO-CERT and Fairtrade International for 8 years, and has partnered with various rural communities, workers, and Indigenous People across the Americas to improve their livelihoods.

Felipe is based in Colombia and is a proud dad to two daughters. He holds bachelor’s degrees in political science and business administration from Boston University as well as accreditations from FLO-CERT, Social Accountability International, Global Reporting Initiative and Integrated Reporting among others.



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