Sophi Tranchell on the importance of external recruitment
When Sophi Tranchell joined Divine Chocolate as CEO she knew nothing about the product or the food industry, but plenty about challenging authority and about running an international business. She had a campaigning background, having been an anti-apartheid activist for South Africa during the pre-Mandela years, and when she applied to Divine she had been running a film distribution and cinema business, bringing foreign-language films to the UK. She says that it was that lack of knowledge of the chocolate industry that gave her the edge in running Divine and making it one of the leading lights of the Fairtrade movement; she didn't know the accepted norms for the industry and so she "had the cheek to ask questions" and to challenge the decisions that were made. In a one-minute video she explains this approach and how it has worked for nearly twenty years, and an article published by the BBC three years ago gives much more background about Divine and how Fairtrade chocolate has become an established part of the chocolate market.