Penny Newman, chief executive office of Cafédirect, is due to step down this week (10 March). Penny has been CEO for nearly a decade and was awarded an OBE in January's honours list for her services to ethical business.
Anne MacCaig will take over as chief executive from 11 March. She has 20 years of FMCG experience, with brands including Persil, Dove and Ribena, where she led the "95% of Britain's Blackcurrants Make it" campaign.
Krishna Gopala, chairman of Cafédirect, paid tribute to Penny in saying that her leadership had been ‘invaluable', and that "thanks to Penny's passion and drive, our foundation is solid, and we are well positioned for further growth."
It was Penny Newman who transformed the image of Cafédirect from a minor "conscience coffee" brand to one run on FMCG lines. She also drove the Cafédirect share offer in 2004, which was fully subscribed in under four months. At the time, she created a new executive board which gave positions to two grower-partners. Cafédirect is now the UK's largest Fairtrade drinks company.
However, a survey commissioned by Cafédirect now reports that many consumers still do not understand the principles behind the Fairtrade mark.
More than 2,500 consumers took part in the survey, conducted online at www.bbcgoodfood.com
Cafédirect also discovered that consumers have very little idea of how much money from each Fairtrade product actually goes back to the growers.
By Ian Boughton