How does she manage?: Ethical Trading Manager - Cristina Talens Bettys & Taylors

WHEN DID YOU BECOME A MANAGER?

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Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

I took this job three years ago. I'd studied international business, but decided to work on labour and human rights issues. I volunteered at Anti-Slavery International and built a 10-year career in the NGO sector, including consulting for the UN. But I kept business in mind. It has all the impact.

WHAT DOES MANAGEMENT MEAN TO YOU?

Sensitivity. I do social audits of our suppliers and growers, looking into working and living conditions in the fields. We pay good prices for coffee, so we've got to be sure the benefits are passed to everyone in the supply chain. Farmers suddenly have us going through their systems and chatting with staff about conditions. I have to respect the local reality I'm working in. We've got to cap overtime, for example, but in Nicaragua the season lasts only three months and a worker may have to support a family for a year on that income. It's not all altruistic: it means we get the best coffee and tea.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE/DISLIKE ABOUT YOUR JOB?

I love the strong home-grown values of the family business. I always learn something new talking to farmers, and there's a lot of humour in the fields. Most of my job is office-based, but I love the travelling. It's nice to get out of the UK six weeks a year. I just really hate the jetlag.

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