Georgie Cella - Photo 2

Name: Georgie Cella

Age: 29

Job title: Partnerships manager

Company & location: Fairtrade Foundation, London

Education: University of Bristol, MSc Global Development and Environment

Why did you decide to go for a career in food? I started out working in the charity sector and I got into food through taking a job with a food sharing app, Olio. I was really excited by their mission to reduce food waste, as it’s one of the most effective ways of tackling the climate crisis.

That led me to learn more about the social and environmental challenges facing the food sector, and my current role at Fairtrade. I come from a very food obsessive family, so maybe the move was inevitable!

Explain your job to us in a sentence (or two): I manage the relationships for some of the brands in the UK which use the Fairtrade mark. These are companies which source their ingredients on Fairtrade terms, and some also have programmes with us to help farmers improve their livelihoods.

I am the go-to person for my accounts, so I report back on our impact, make sure we are promoting what they’re doing, and work across teams to encourage our partners go further in their Fairtrade commitment and address challenges in their supply chains.

“The food we buy is a daily choice and so there’s huge potential to have a positive impact through influencing consumer purchasing”

What does a typical day look like for you? It’s such a cliché but really no two days are the same. The great thing about managing our partnerships is you get to work across all elements of what we do at Fairtrade.

At the moment we are making plans for Fairtrade Fortnight, our flagship consumer campaign in September 2024, so I am having conversations with partners about how they can get involved in as creative a way as possible. I also have to stay on top of all the different things we do (which is a lot!), as well as regulatory changes within the sector, so I’ll often have internal meetings with colleagues across different teams to make sure I’m kept in the loop about how we can best support our partners.

Our office is in central London, but we have very effective hybrid working so I’m usually at my desk from home, if I’m not out and about.

Tell us about how you went about applying for your job: After taking a year out of work to study, I found the opportunity on CharityJob, a great place to look for jobs in the non-profit sector. The application process involved sending off a CV and cover letter followed by two online interviews where I was asked competency-based questions and had to prepare a task related to the role. Luckily, I had lots of experience from my previous jobs as well as knowledge from my master’s that I could draw from for this.


What’s the best part about working for a food company? Fairtrade Foundation isn’t a food company, but working with lots of food and drink brands means we are really embedded in the industry on a global level. It’s an industry full of passionate people and has a great energy to it.

The best thing about it for me is seeing products with the Fairtrade mark in stores – the food we buy is a daily choice and so there’s huge potential to have a positive impact through influencing consumer purchasing, which is exciting to be part of… and the free samples!

And what’s the biggest misconception people have about working in food & drink? Maybe that working in the sector means working directly with food. There are so many opportunities in the industry that require such a range of skills – from tech wizards to strategists to creatives, there really are all sorts of aspects you could get involved with.

What advice would you give to other young people looking to get into the food & drink industry? I think I’d give the same advice as I would for any job: say yes to as much as you can!

Experience can come from anywhere and you never know when a certain skill might put you above others in an application. Also, demonstrating passion is always key, so don’t underestimate the value of experience gained outside work too.

What’s your ultimate career dream? That’s a tough question! I want to continue working to improve the food system, but this space is changing so rapidly, particularly with developments in technology, that I’ll have to see what the future holds.

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