KENYA – In a groundbreaking inaugural event, Fairtrade has unveiled the winners of the 2023 Fairtrade Global Awards, celebrating businesses that are leading the charge towards a fair and sustainable global trade system.

This event, hosted by Fairtrade Africa, featured eight diverse categories that recognized excellence in ethical and sustainable trade practices, reinforcing the critical role of businesses in reshaping our global trade landscape.

“Businesses have the potential to be remarkable agents of positive change,” Sandra Uwera, Global CEO of Fairtrade International, stated while emphasizing the transformative potential of businesses.

She announced the launch of new award categories and urged others to follow the example set by these inspiring enterprises.

The theme of the awards, “Driving Sustainable Impact through Business Innovation,” resonated throughout the event.

The judging panel, composed of experts and leaders committed to ethical trade practices and sustainability, carefully evaluated the nominees based on their commitment to fairness and sustainability.

In the category of Fairtrade Innovation Award, Equifruit, North America’s leading and Fairtrade-certified banana importeremerged as the winner, with Nestle Nespresso SA from Switzerland securing the runner-up position.

Both companies demonstrated their dedication to pioneering ethical and sustainable practices in global trade.

In a significant addition, the Fairtrade Global Awards also recognized the global Fairtrade Partner of the Year.

Ben and Jerry’s from the USA clinched the prestigious award, with Coop Genossenschaft from Switzerland as the runner-up.

This category celebrated companies that have gone above and beyond their Fairtrade certification engagement, emphasizing collaboration, strong relationships with producer groups, and a willingness to innovate.

“Striving for social and economic justice is baked into our ethos of how we do business,” Cheryl Pinto, Global Head of Values Led Sourcing at Ben & Jerry’s, noted highlighting their enduring commitment to Fairtrade principles.

She highlighted the critical need for transparency, resilience, and fairness across sectors in valuing and honoring the contributions of farmers and farmworkers.

“The 2023 Fairtrade Global Awards winners stand as shining examples of the Fairtrade spirit,” she added.

The awards also acknowledged winners in various other categories, including the Fairtrade Climate Leader Award, Fairtrade Living Income Leader Award, Fairtrade Living Wage Leader Award, Fairtrade Africa Award, Fairtrade Asia and Pacific Award, and Fairtrade Latin America and Caribbean Award.

“Their unwavering dedication to fairness, sustainability, and improving the lives of farmers and workers in countries of origin serves as an inspiration to the world,” Cheryl noted.

She emphasized that as the global community faces formidable challenges, these businesses show that by embracing ethical trade practices, creating a more equitable global trade system.