Fair Trade USA Founder & CEO to Deliver Keynote Address at SeaWeb Seafood Summit 2019

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

Portland, Maine (February 14, 2019) — Paul Rice, founder and CEO of Fair Trade USA, North America’s leading certifier of Fair Trade products, will give the opening keynote address at the 15th edition of the 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, scheduled for Tuesday, 11 June from 09:15-09:45, titled The Human Face of Sustainability: Empowering Fishers, Farmers and Workers, Rice 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, Event Director for Diversified Communications. “Paul’s work across several consumer industries is inspiring and instructional and we’re thrilled to welcome him to the Summit as our keynote this year.”

The SeaWeb Seafood Summit is the world’s premier seafood sustainability conference, bringing together diverse stakeholders from all facets of the sustainable seafood movement. Summit speakers and registered 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.

Prospective attendees can register now to gain access to the keynote and all other Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday sessions. The post-conference field trip is not included with the purchase of a conference pass and requires an upgrade. To register now or upgrade your registration, visit

About SeaWeb: SeaWeb serves the sustainable seafood community by fostering communication and networking and promoting the exchange of knowledge and ideas to help guide, inspire and reward progress towards greater seafood sustainability. SeaWeb is a project of The Ocean Foundation, a unique community foundation with a mission to support, strengthen and promote organizations dedicated to reversing the trend of destruction of ocean environments around the world. SeaWeb produces the SeaWeb Seafood Summit in partnership with Diversified Communications. For more information, visit:

About Diversified Communications: Diversified Communications is a leading international media company with a portfolio of face-to-face exhibitions and conferences, online communities and digital and print publications. As producers of these market-leading products Diversified Communications connects, educates and strengthens business communities in over 14 industries including: food and beverage, healthcare, natural and organic, business management and technology. The company’s global seafood portfolio of expositions and media includes Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America, Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global, Seafood Expo Asia and Diversified Communications, in partnership with SeaWeb, also produces SeaWeb Seafood Summit, the world’s premier seafood conference on sustainability. Established in 1949 and headquartered in Portland, Maine, USA with divisions and offices around the world, Diversified Communications remains a privately held, third generation, family-owned business. For more information, visit:

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