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Josephine Fairley - Green & Black's. Hastings, East Sussex, GB

Josephine Fairley

Co-Founder | Green & Black's

Hastings, East Sussex, UNITED KINGDOM

Entrepreneur and branding expert who co-founded Green & Black's chocolate - the world's first global Fairtrade brand



Jo Fairley is co-founder of the pioneering organic chocolate company Green & Black’s (with her husband Craig Sams), which has gone from a niche organic and Fairtrade brand to a global chocolate name. Recently, Green & Black’s was voted ‘Coolest Food Brand in the UK’ for the fifth year running, by Coolbrands, and is the first-ever global Fairtrade brand.

Jo he has been involved from creation through to the company's acquisition by Cadbury's (and now Kraft), and remains an Ambassador for Green & Black's.

One of the leading British businesswomen on the speaking circuit, Jo’s story is fascinating to entrepreneurs, women’s networking groups and to wider business or educational audiences both in the UK and internationally. Her brand-building experience is inspirational to anyone on a ‘business journey’ of their own, and her presentations also demonstrate that good ethics can be good for business generally, which is particularly relevant at a time when CSR is increasingly important within the business agenda.

Although she left school at 16 and never planned to become a businesswoman, Jo's success journey has given her true insights into the business process. Formerly Britain’s youngest-ever magazine editor (editing two mainstream fashion titles), Jo has translated her skills as a journalist into marketing, PR and brand-building. Through her presentations, Jo now takes audiences through every aspect of growing a business – from the bravery required to taking that first step (with £20,000 of her own savings), through to the practical and emotional aspects of an ‘exit’ strategy - and achieving that all-important (and elusive) work-life balance en route.

Jo continues to juggle her work as a journalist and author (including of Sweet Dreams: The Story of Green & Black’s) with being a brand ambassador for Green & Black’s, as well as running an organic bakery and one-stop local food store and an 11-room ‘boutique’ wellbeing centre, in her up-and-coming home town of Hastings. She is also in wide demand as a brand consultant within the food, beauty and wellbeing industries.

Jo’s presentations lead the audience through the rollercoaster story of Green & Black’s, using specific incidents to illustrate important business lessons. Engaging and passionate, Jo never fails to inspire – and is always happy to network with attendees, offering more direct input to individuals.

Industry Expertise (7)

Media - Print

Food Production

Cosmetics and Beauty



Food and Beverages


Areas of Expertise (6)


Ethical Business

Women in Business


Business Success

Inspiration and Innovation

Accomplishments (3)

Chairwoman, Cosmetic Executive Women (professional)

For the years that she ran Green & Black's, Jo continued to work as a journalist (as she still does today); she was invited to chair the leading women's networking group for women in the cosmetics industry in the UK, a post she held for four years.

Matron, Women's Environmental Network (personal)

Jo acts as a 'Matron' (board member) of the Women's Environmental Network in the UK.

Woman of the Year (professional)

Each year the Women of the Year lunch in the UK honours several hundred women of accomplishment, and for the past five years (2008-2012), Jo has been an honouree.

Education (1)

Bromley High School for Girls:

Jo left school at 16 with six 'O' Levels but now has an Honorary Degree from Kingston University. She still, however, attends the 'University of Life'...!

Affiliations (2)

  • Royal Society of Arts
  • Honorary Degree, Kingston University

Testimonials (7)

Tim Ankers, Conference Organiser | @LSE Sparks Conference 2012

'We are incredibly grateful to Jo for delivering a deeply interesting, humorous and also practical keynote on her Green & Black's journey. The audience were immediately captivated and feedback has been amazing! Jo’s passion for quality and experiences of growing an ethical brand has definitely had a profound effect on all of us. Thank you!'

Mark Froud, CEO, Sussex Enterprise | Sussex Enterprise Annual Gala Dinner

'Jo spoke eloquently about the challenges of running a business and how Green and Black's overcame them. Her no-nonsense approach is a lesson to us all about how to keep it simple, and Jo inspired a room of 80 top Sussex business people. Jo has no airs and graces. At both a one-to-one level and when speaking to an audience she is comfortable and relaxed. She explains herself clearly and in an entertaining way, was a delight to listen to, and as an organiser a dream to work with.'

Jo Fox-Tutchener, Director, BeautySeen PR | Jergens Naturals launch

'Jo met the brief and the objective 100%. She handled everything with the utmost professionalism and managed to keep the client at ease through every phase of the project. The reaction was very positive. Jo successfully engaged with the media. Event feedback included informative, well-balanced presentation and rich in relevant content.'

Jo Fox-Tutchener, Director, BeautySeen PR | Jergens Naturals launch

Jo met the brief and the objective 100%. She handled everything with the utmost professionalism and managed to keep the client at ease through every phase of the project. The reaction was very positive. Jo successfully engaged with the media. Event feedback included informative, well-balanced presentation and rich in relevant content.

Rose Padmore, Conference Organiser | Opening Doors, University of Wolverhampton

'The SpeedWM Dinner was a huge success enjoyed by everyone and Jo was simply a joy and a delight. I honestly can't imagine anyone else more suitable - she was not only inspirational but also so warm and empathetic... I heard many guests remark on what a coup it was to have her there.'

Jules Fernandes, Conference organiser | VISA Europe Marketing Division off-site

• 'I wanted to reiterate how much I appreciated your efforts to integrate additional elements into your story to help emphasise the key message of our conference. We have had many feedback comments saying how inspirational you were, and overheard one colleague at their desk saying "they could have listened to you all day..." As you know, we have already re-booked you to deliver the same speech to a different group within the company.'

Hayley Williams, Organiser | National Federation of Enterprise Agencies Conference, York

'Jo did exactly what we wanted by rounding off the conference on a high, reminding the delegates of what we are all aiming to achieve and sending them off with a very positive message about business support and social impact. Seeing as Jo was the last speaker of the event, after a late night before, the audience could have been disengaged. However, she completely captivated the group with her story and she certainly received the biggest round of applause at the end of her session.'

Event Appearances (10)

The art of business success

PUREOLOGY Annual Conference  San Diego, California


Your future in Europe

European Study Tours Conference  Paris


After-dinner speech

Scottish SME 300 Awards 2012  Glasgow Science Park


The story of Green & Black's

@LSE Sparks 2012 Conference  London School of Economics


The story of Green & Black's

Hay Group Annual Conference  Vienna


Your future in Europe

European Study Tours Conference  Paris


Keynote speaker

Epson Business Council  London


The story of Green & Black's

Diversity week event  Bank of America London


From vision to delivery

VISA Marketing Conference  The Oval, London


My business journey

Deloitte's Women in Business Networking event  Coworth Park


Sample Talks (1)

The story of Green & Black's: from a Portobello bedroom to a global ethical brand

Jo Fairley, co-founder of Green & Black’s, shares her experience building a business from an idea to a global brand... • Learn the importance of design for all brands and companies today • Discover why PR can be worth far more than paid-for advertising • ‘Ride the rollercoaster’: coping with a business’s financial ups and downs • Learn Jo’s personal business success secrets Jo Fairley’s session will inspire entrepreneurs at all levels, and would-be start-ups...



  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist
  • Workshop Leader
  • Host/MC


3000 to 10000