Jason Clay

Senior Vice President
WWF, Markets

JASON CLAY is the Senior Vice President for Markets and Executive Director of the Markets Institute at WWF, which was created to identify and address emerging global issues, trends, and tools impacting conservation in more timely, cost-effective, and scalable ways. His career has ranged from working on a family farm and for the US Department of Agriculture. He taught at Harvard and Yale and spent more than 35 years with human rights and environmental NGOs.

In 1988, Clay founded Rainforest Marketing, set up a trading company within an NGO, helped Indigenous people and local communities access global markets, and launched Ben & Jerry’s Rainforest Crunch, plus more than 200 other products with sales of $100 million.

From 1999 to 2003, he co-directed a WWF, the World Bank, UN FAO, and NACA consortium to identify the most significant environmental and social impacts of shrimp aquaculture, as well as practices to reduce them.

From 2004 to 2012, he convened multistakeholder roundtables to create performance-based standards for commodities including salmon, soy, sugarcane, cotton, and beef. He developed WWF’s Market Transformation program in 2006 to work on agriculture, aquaculture, livestock, and corporate engagement. Clay continues to lead WWF-US efforts to improve private sector supply chain management and help their producers address the most significant impacts.

In 2008, he created the Carbon and Commodities program to address supply chain GHG emissions. He has helped whole sectors improve their sustainability performance (e.g., the Global Salmon Initiative). He is now working with the global leather industry to support a DCF leather fund and is testing support for a 1% environmental performance payments to support the transition costs and incentives to finance what producers need to do to become legal and deforestation and conversion free. He is launching a two-year proof of concept for Codex Planetarius, a set of minimum global standards to reduce the key impacts of food and commodities traded internationally.

Clay has authored 18 books and 500 articles, and has given more than 1,500 invited presentations. He studied anthropology and agriculture at Harvard, the London School of Economics, and Cornell (PhD).