Green & Black’s was started with just £20,000 of Jo Fairley’s savings and has grown into a brand worth approaching £100 million worldwide in less than 20 years, showing Josephine has an exceptional understanding of brand creation and development.
Despite its widespread global availability, Green & Black’s has retained its luxury cachet: it is the only food brand featured in the UK’s CoolBrands Top 20. Since co-founding Green & Black’s chocolate in 1991, she has built the brand into the world’s leading organic chocolate, continuing to champion its worldwide success in co-operation with its new owners, Cadburys.
The success of Green & Black’s has enabled Jo to become a serial entrepreneur, via an award-winning organic and natural food store/bakery (Judges Bakery), The Wellington Centre (a boutique nine-room wellbeing centre) – both in her hometown of Hastings – and most recently The Perfume Society, which sets out to help individuals develop their sense of smell via exploration of fragrance and the scented world.
In recognition of her work, Jo has received many awards for her own enterprise, including WorldAware Award and many Soil Association Awards (both for Green & Black’s and Judges Bakery). She has also received an Honorary Doctorate in Business Studies from Kingston University, and The Shackleton Medal for leadership and citizenship, from The Scottish Royal Geographical Society.
With Josephine’s background as a female entrepreneur and creator of Green & Black’s, her presentations deliver a real insight into how to create, launch and grow a brand. From its inception, Green & Black’s has also been an ethical brand and was the first brand to be awarded the UK Fairtrade Mark with Maya Gold in 1994. Josephine draws upon such ethical issues and shows how working for a company with a strong CSR programme can boost team spirit and dedication.