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Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.
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Social enterpreneurship is all about using business to solve social and environmental problems. In this audio lecture, Paul Rice, CEO of TransFair USA, observes that business is, in fact, often the cultprit. Despite increasing trade and economic growth, the poorest of the poor still reap none of the benefits of globalization, for example. Rice talks about his own challenging and exciting journey using business principles to empower the poor with Fair Trade, a movement that secures fair product prices and labor conditions for farmers around the world. Rice spoke in a Stanford University social entrepreneurship class.
Paul Rice is the president and CEO of TransFair USA, the only Fair Trade certification organization in the United States today. Since launching the Fair Trade Certified label for coffee a decade ago, Rice has helped establish Fair Trade as one of the fastest-growing segments of the food industry. He came to Fair Trade by way of the mountainous Segovias region of Nicaragua, where he worked for 11 years as a rural development specialist. Rice spent most of the 1980s working directly in the field with cooperative farmers, creating and implementing training programs aimed at developing small farmers’ organizational and business capacity. In 1990, he founded and became the first CEO of PRODECOOP, a highly successful Fair Trade organic cooperative representing almost 3,000 small coffee farmers in northern Nicaragua. Subsequently, he served as strategy consultant and development advisor to 22 cooperative enterprises in Latin America and Asia. He launched TransFair USA in 1998. Rice has received numerous prestigious international awards for his pioneering work. He holds a political science degree from Yale University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.