Jason Clay is SVP, Markets and Executive Director, the Markets Institute at WWF-US. His focus is on spotting global issues and trends that affect WWF’s conservation mission and strategies with a particular focus on soft commodities, e.g. agriculture (plant based and livestock), seafood (aquaculture and wild caught), and forests. Over the course of his career he has worked on a family farm and in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He has taught at Harvard and Yale and spent more than 35 years with human rights and environmental organizations.
In 1989, Dr. Clay invented Rainforest Marketing, one of the first fair-trade ecolabels in the United States, and was responsible for co-creating Rainforest Crunch and more than 200 other products with combined retail sales of $100 million. Since then he has co-convened (with the IFC and others) multi-stakeholder roundtables of producers, investors, buyers, researchers and NGOs to identify and reduce the social and environmental impacts of such products as salmon, soy, sugarcane, cotton and tilapia. Clay created WWF’s aquaculture, agriculture and livestock strategies and built that work out globally. He created WWF’s Market Transformation program to work with private sector companies to improve their supply chain management. He also pioneered precompetitive approaches in WWF and beyond to convince companies to work together to address sustainability issues.
Dr. Clay is the author of more than 20 books, 500 articles and 1,000 invited presentations. Clay was the first ever National Geographic Food and Agriculture Fellow. In 2012, Clay won the James Beard Award for his work on global food sustainability. Clay studied at Harvard University and the London School of Economics before receiving a Ph.D. in anthropology and international agriculture from Cornell University.