The Board

The Board

Fair Trade Wales is a not for profit company limited by guarantee, and has a strong Vision and Mission.  It reports to Companies House and the Inland Revenue and is governed by a board of voluntary directors including a Chairperson, Company Secretary, Treasurer and between 5-9 other board members. Their role is to support the work of the executive team and provide strategic direction, strong governance and financial accountability.

Here at Fair Trade Wales we are looking for three new people to join our board.

Lila Haines, Chair

Lila has considerable experience in policy development across the spectrum of devolved matters and has a particular interest in sustainable development and equality. She’s been an author for the Economist Intelligence Unit and a journalist. Lila has worked in politics as Policy Director for Plaid Cymru and in international development as Policy and Advocacy Officer for Oxfam Cymru. Lila is a Director of Egino, a Community Interest Company which supports organisations and communities to deliver sustainable development and wellbeing. She speaks Welsh, Irish and Spanish.

  Tamsin Wallbank,Treasurer

Tamsin Wallbank graduated with a BA(Hons) Philosophy in 1996 from University of Hertfordshire & Aston University. She spent several years working for various high street banks returned to university in 2000 to do an MSc in Business & IT and is currently looking to learn how to eat fire & sky dive.

 Nia Higginbotham, Conwy County Fairtrade Coalition

Nia Higginbotham is currently the Chair of the Conwy County Fairtrade Coalition and has overseen the certification of five FT towns in the period of her chairmanship.  Previously in her work with TCC she helped steer Wrexham to be the first FT County in Wales and develop Wales as a Fairtrade nation.

Nia originally trained as a social worker, becoming team leader and manager in residential and fieldwork settings in both statutory and voluntary organisations in Scotland and Northern Ireland.  She founded the first Community Organising charity  in Wales, bringing together a range of faith and secular groups, which, through a programme of action and training, develop leaders able to translate their beliefs into community change. TCC is the oldest Community Organising group in the UK.

Nia has also taught in University, college, distance learning and community settings and continues to be involved with a range of voluntary organisations.

 Laura Karadog

Laura Karadog has a degree in International Relations from Aberystwyth University and is a yoga teacher. She has experience of working at the local authority level in Gwynedd and at the National Assembly. Laura was Education Advisor at Oxfam Cymru between 2010 and 2014. She now combines teaching yoga with being mum to 2 young children.

 Rita Singh

A qualified engineer with her first degree from Cardiff University,and an MPhil from Cambridge University, Rita has over fifteen years’ experience working within the private, public and third sectors on sustainability issues, bringing a wealth of experience on policy development, networking, and leading action to deliver change with senior industry figures and governmental departments on sustainable development policies.

Her work has included, among others, supporting Welsh Government to produce the Well-being of Future Generations Act, helping establish the Office for Future Generations Commissioners, leading the national conversation on The Wales We want, developing a new organisation for the community energy sector in Wales; working on the London Leaders’ programme for the Mayor of London and managing the London Sustainable Development Commission; establishing a networking forum for the construction industry to discuss the barriers to and opportunities for sustainable construction.

Rita is also a Wales Committee Member for Big Lottery Fund, Director of Common Cause Foundation, an alumna of the Prince of Wales’ Business and Sustainability Programme, and a Fellow of the British American Project.

 Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams studied theology at Swansea University. He is an ordained Minister of the Union of Welsh Independent Churches and worked as a local Church Minister for seventeen years before joining the staff of Christian Aid in 1986. In 1990 he was appointed Head of Christian Aid Wales. Jeff travelled and worked with the organisation in eighteen countries in Africa, Asia and South America. He served as Chair of the Welsh Committee of The Jubilee 2000 Debt Campaign, Chair of the Disasters Emergency Committee Wales and an active member of a number of Welsh coalitions campaigning for global justice. Since he retired in 2013 he acts as Trustee/Board member for a number of charities. Married with three children Jeff enjoys cooking, reading and whittling wood.

 Dr Alastair Smith

After taking interest in Fair Trade as a student of global trade justice, Alastair completed his PhD at the University of Cardiff: investigating how the concept of ‘fair trade’ is negotiated and stabilised around certain interpretations that then allow coordinated international actions to support poor producers. During this time Alastair founded and continues to administer the international Fairness UK network, which aims to facilitate the generation of knowledge between researchers and fair trade practitioners. In this capacity, Alastair organised the International Fair Trade Symposium 2012 and participated in the Steering Committee of the 2015 event. Beyond his work on trade justice, Alastair has been involved in a wide range of published research on international development issues, from microfinance in the informal economy, to island food security. Alongside consultancy work for development practitioners, including the Fairtrade Foundation and DFID, Alastair has developed his experience as a Higher Education Teaching Professional: working at Cardiff University, the School for Field Studies and now the University of Warwick, where Alastair holds the post of Senior Teaching Fellow for the new B.A.Sc. in Global Sustainable Development. Alastair currently lives in Coventry, England, and enjoys finding reasons to overturn the usual preconceptions of this vibrant and fascinating city.



Natalie Rees

Natalie is a sustainability expert with over 15 years’ experience and currently works for WRAP Cymru as a Business Account Manager in the Food and Drink Team. Natalie joined the Board of Fair Trade Wales as she has always been passionate about Fairtrade. Natalie set up and chaired the Fairtrade Neath Port Talbot  County Group, and set up the Port Talbot and Neath Town Groups gaining the Fairtrade status for all three areas. Natalie is also a partner in a vegetarian and vegan catering company. In her spare time Natalie likes going to the gym, cooking and spending time with her husband and their 3 children Chloe, Laila and Kobe.