Supply chains and sourcing specialist at the University of Hull's Wilberforce Institute, with a background in labour, human rights and modern slavery
Cristina Talens is, first and foremost, a practitioner in labour and human rights, with over 20 years experience in ethical trading, sustainability and supply chains. She started her working life with the Antislavery movement in France where she worked with migrant workers who had been exploited and went on to develop a best practice guide for the re-integration of victims of trafficking in host and origin countries.
In 2000, she moved to the UN Global Programme Against Trafficking and Smuggling of Human Beings, where her role was to gather intelligence on organised crime, smuggling and trafficking practices in Africa and Central and Latin America. She analysed police and judicial measures to prevent trafficking and worked on various bilateral and regional programmes to strengthen technical co-operation between origin, transit and destination countries.
Thereafter, she moved into the private sector where she became the Ethical Trading Manager for a leading tea and coffee company. Whilst there, she worked alongside conservation organisations developing the United Bank of Carbon (UBoC) which was created to help the private sector address climate change and deforestation in their supply chains. She subsequently set up Source Climate Change Coffee as an example of how companies could work with farmers to ensure rainforest protection.
She regularly conducts social audit assignments on behalf of major UK supermarkets and has advised a number of household names on their compliance with the Modern Slavery Act.