GWF board will continue to focus on three main areas education, finance and networking for women and girls in agriculture

International women’s networking platform Global Women Fresh (GWF) has named its new Board of Directors for 2023/24.

GWF board

Clockwise, from top left: Jennie Coleman, Leah Patterson, Dana Chahin, Danitza Sanchez and Nina Patil

The five directors are Jennie Coleman, president of Canadian Fairtrade banana company Equifruit; Leah Patterson, director of strategic sourcing at Calavo Growers; Danitza Sanchez, director of business development at Dole Europe; Colombia-based fresh produce consultant Dana Chahin and Nina Patil, director of Indian table grape grower-exporter Fresh Express.

Coleman has been at Montreal-based Equifruit since 2013. The women-owned and women-led fairtrade and organic banana specialist was named winner of GWF’s EmpowerHER Company Award this year.

Patterson has worked in several different food sectors, bringing insight to where there are opportunities for gender equality on a global scale. She is passionate about mentorship and education for women in agriculture because it has been so valuable in her own journey.

Sanchez was born in Peru and is currently based in the Netherlands. Prior to joining Dole she worked at Driscoll’s and Camposol. She aims to use her knowledge and experience to manage initiatives and projects that empower women in our produce sector.

Chahin has worked as consultant, trainer and researcher in the field of international trade promotion for more than 10 years. In recent years, she has put a focus in the fresh produce sector, on Europe as a target market and on gender, both as part of her work assignments, and through her pro-activeness taking part in initiatives to empower women.

Patil, who has been marketing fresh produce from India across the globe successfully for the last 27 years, is passionate about gender equity and has worked relentless with her small women farmers to bring more equality in the agricultural space.

GWF founder Julie Escobar commented: “I am delighted to announce our new board members and am filled with anticipation for the future of our organisation.

“It is an honour to be part of a group that is dedicated to empowering and supporting women in the fresh produce industry worldwide. I look forward to the discussions and decisions that will shape the direction of our organisation, and I am excited to work together towards our shared goals.

“We will continue to focus on three main areas Education, Finance and Networking for girls and women connected in the agricultural space.”