Q: Who's your hero?
Gillian: Leonardo da Vinci – a great artist with a great mind. As a child I longed to be a famous artist but my parents were adamant I follow a more predictable career path. However, my hero continued to inspire me and finally at FLOCERT I feel I have found balance: I'm earning a living doing something I really enjoy, while painting in my spare time for pleasure.
Q: What's your most memorable moment since working at FLOCERT?
Gillian: I've been fortunate, as there have been many: An audit in Mozambique that provided an opportunity to return to the village where I'd spent a large chunk of my childhood; auditing in the rain forests of São Tomé; interviewing workers under the trees on a mango farm in Limpopo; the earthy smell of fermenting grapes in a Western Cape wine cellar.
Q: What does ‘assuring fairness' mean to you?
Gillian: Monitoring the implementation of the Fairtrade Standards without bias and giving all my customers the same dedication. While this can be a challenging task, it's worth it, especially when a customer acknowledges my efforts on their behalf.
With our "3 Questions to" blog series we introduce the people behind FLOCERT to you: The human side of certification! Read also:
3 Questions to Wendy Yegon, FLOCERT’s Certification Manager Europe
3 Questions to Christian Jambor, FLOCERT’s Head of Human Resources
3 Questions to Sugumar Raman, FLOCERT’s Director of Operations
3 Questions to Murugiah Rajasingham, one of FLOCERT’s auditors in Asia
Gillian Leschinsky is a certification analyst and auditor based in FLOCERT's Cape Town office. She is also a keen photographer and artist, and writes a food blog in her spare time.