Josephine Fairley: Biography highlights

Dedication and a belief in the Green and Black’s brand, combined with determination, enthusiasm and communication skills allowed Fairley to found a successful ethical business. As a speaker, Fairley is keen to share her secrets of success, focusing on the importance of understanding the needs and beliefs of customers.

Known for:

Business Leaders

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Full biography of Josephine Fairley

Josephine Fairley’s background

Leaving school at 16 with six ‘O’ Levels, through hard work and determination Jo Fairley went on to become the UK’s youngest-ever magazine editor, setting out on her entrepreneurial journey in 1991 when she co-founded Green & Black’s Chocolate, now approaching a £100 million a year brand – ‘bigger than Marmite’ (in sales terms) and ‘cooler than Prada’ (Coolbrands).

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 home town 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. Jo has been involved in the judging of many different awards, bringing her wide experience to the judging process, including the RSPCA Good Business Awards, YOU/Clarins Dynamisante Woman of the Year Awards and the HSBC Business Thinking Awards. She also joined Lauren Laverne on R4’s Desert Island Discs.)

Jo is one of the UK’s leading motivational speakers, sharing the inspirational story of Green & Black’s and sharing her business insights with audiences from financial institutions to FTSE 100 companies, universities and more across the UK, Europe, the Middle East and USA. Jo now travels the world speaking to audiences on sustainable business, leadership, women in business, change management and entrepreneurialism.  Jo believes in offering the very highest level of service to a client, as a speaker (and in addition may be able to supply chocolate for guests and delegates, including a Q+A chocolate incentive prize!).

Alongside her business ventures, Jo contributes to a wide range of publications. Throughout the years she ran Green & Black’s, Jo continued her successful career as a journalist, writing articles for a wide range of publications from The Times to Red, National Geographic Green, Elle, Natural Health, Harpers & Queen etc.

Today she is a Contributing Editor to The Mail on Sunday’s YOU Magazine (readership: 5 million+), Waitrose Food and Waitrose Weekend, and writes regularly for Telegraph Online. (Read some of Jo’s Wonder Woman columns here.) She’s author of over 20 books including Sweet Dreams: The Story of Green & Black’s and is a three times winner of the Fragrance Foundation’s Jasmine Award, for excellence in fragrance writing.

Jo works as a consultant for a wide range of companies, from start-ups to household names (see below), sharing her branding and business insights, working on a product, sales and marketing initiatives, launches and trend reporting/forecasting.

As a copywriter, she has compiled clear and engaging brochures, launch documents, PR materials and training materials. Jo has also prepared content for many brand websites, in some cases completely creating or revising them from scratch.



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Available for:

After Dinner Engagement

Watch Josephine in action

1/2 videos
Inspiring Entrepreneurs: Marketing Maestros - Jo Fairley, Green & Black's
Inspiring Entrepreneurs: Marketing Maestros - Jo Fairley, Green & Black's
Anti-ageing debate: Dr Daniel Sister vs beauty editor Josephine Fairley with Mariella Frostrup
Anti-ageing debate: Dr Daniel Sister vs beauty editor Josephine Fairley with Mariella Frostrup

We received excellent feedback on Jo’s session, with a vast number of delegates citing it as their conference highlight.”

The Solus Club

“Jo was excellent – she spoke well and what she said was entirely relevant for the audience, and she had a lot of good feedback from those present”



Jo Fairley was a truly inspiring speaker at KPMG Enterprise … free chocolate too!”

Vivienne Hodgson
Senior Marketing Manager

We had someone come up after her speech and saying, `I could have listened to Jo all day’”

RBC Wealth Management

“We thoroughly enjoyed working with Jo. She was so engaged with the event and really took time to understand the themes, audience and what other speakers were bringing to the event. We really appreciated the time Jo put in to mingle with the guests and how approachable and open she was. The evening was a fantastic success and we’d love to use Jo for future events.”

Property Week

“Jo – you did a fantastic job of hosting the Best Places to Work in Property Awards … your speech was inspirational and I genuinely have never seen so many people in an audience listening to every word. Well done!”

Epson Business Council

Jo chaired the Epson round table discussion with a skillful, light touch. Her relaxed style and anecdotal-filled introduction put participants at ease and encouraged them to contribute. Her perceptive questioning ensured that the debate flowed smoothly and her concluding remarks ensured the key points were reiterated and participants left with them front-of-mind.”

Jergens Naturals

"Jo met the brief and event objectives 100%. She handled everything with the up-most professionalism and her comments were enlightening."

T Mobile

“Jo met our objectives very well - she was an excellent speaker, engaging, on subject and very motivating”.

Venture Marketing Group

“Jo was well prepared for the presentations she delivered, a delight on-site to work with, and inspired our audience”

Josephine's speaking topics

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