Alison Ward

CEO, CottonConnect

About Alison Ward

Alison Ward has over 20 years of international experience in sustainability and corporate affairs, shaping system change and translating social impact programmes into commercial value within the FMCG, food, and apparel sectors.

Alison is the CEO of CottonConnect, where she leads a team of 45 employees and over 270 implementing partners in India, Pakistan, China and Peru; impacting the lives of 700,000 farming families.

Under Alison’s leadership the organization: drives supply chain transparency connecting sustainable fibres from farm to store; focuses on the rights and skills of women in supply chains through pioneering gender programmes; and continues to develop innovations at a farm level. She leads cotton strategies and programmes with C&A Foundation, Primark, C&A, John Lewis and Kering.

Previously Alison worked with Mondelez International (Kraft Foods) and as part of a small team developed the business case to invest $400m into Cocoa Life.

Alison’s commitment to sustainable supply chains started during her four years at Cadbury where she was Global Head of Corporate Responsibility and pioneered the first mainstream Fairtrade chocolate bar across six commonwealth markets. With a mission to drive scalable change, Alison serves as an Advisory Board Member at Textile Exchange and on Forum for the Future’s Working Group, Cotton 2040. She also sat on the Sustainability Advisory Committee for the London Olympic Games and has been a Coach and Mentor to commercial teams at WWF and the Ethical Trade Initiative.

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