Blog

  • Ashley Cheuk
    June 5, 2009
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    We held a contest here at Equal Exchange in West Bridgewater, Mass., to answer the question, "Who can come up with the best chocolate cocktail?" The judging panel consisted of me (Ashley Symons, nice to meet you), as well as Chocolate Products Coordinator Kelsie Evans, and Chocolate Products Manager Dary Goodrich.

  • Mike Mowry
    June 2, 2009
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    What's a worker-owned co-op? We get that question a lot. And sometimes, it can be hard to explain. But every May, we experience exactly what worker-ownership is about: democracy in action.

  • Susan Sklar
    March 27, 2009
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    At the Tierra Nueva coffee and honey co-operative, some new initiatives are helping women to improve their economic standing. Gender roles in Latin America, as in most parts of the world, are inequitable.

  • Phyllis Robinson
    March 19, 2009
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    Each May we celebrate World Fair Trade Day. It feels important to take this opportunity to revisit the roots of Fair Trade, and reconsider what we aim to accomplish. Most people understand the critical importance of higher prices, advance credit and direct relationships; they allow farmers to stay on their land, send their children to school, and diversify their incomes. Yet, there's another equally - some would say even more important - goal of Fair Trade, one that seems to be slowly disappearing as new iterations of "ethical trade" and "direct trade" appear in the market: empowering communities and social movements. It is for this reason Equal Exchange chooses to work with small-farmer co-operatives.

  • Ashley Cheuk
    February 5, 2009
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    San Fernando Co-op is very young but has a lot of members - around 400. I was one of the first members in 2001. I've always been loyal to my co-op. It has grown little by little. What I like most is the organization. Before we were selling organic, but now the price is raised because it is Fair Trade. [People in the U.S.] should appreciate our coffee and that's important for us because we feel proud.

  • Ashley Cheuk
    February 5, 2009
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    During the five days I stayed in San Fernando, a coffee-farming community remotely located 6,000 feet up in the Andes Mountains of Peru, I only started to understand the complexities of rural life for the farmers and their families. Because of my academic background in gender studies, I was particularly interested in the breakdown of gender roles in San Fernando.

  • Beth Ann Caspersen
    December 2, 2008
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    Everyone is born with the ability to be a specialty products taster. In fact, we have thousands of taste buds in our mouths, but most of us are just learning how to describe the sensations we experience with everything we eat. The key is to relax, take a deep breath and enjoy the tasting!

  • Beth Ann Caspersen
    December 2, 2008
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    Chocolate and coffee offer a variety of flavors that are nurtured through the cultivation and processing of the finished products that you enjoy every day. Both products are incredibly complex in flavor independently, but can also provide us with delicious flavor combinations when paired together. Enjoy a few of our pairing selections by yourself - or invite a few of your friends over for a pairing event!

  • Equal Exchange
    August 21, 2008
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    Agroecology. Food sovereignty. Food systems. This might not be everyday vocabulary, but these concepts relate to some very basic questions regarding our everyday food choices: Where does food come from? Who owns it? How is it produced? What affect does food production have on the earth? Here's a quick run-down of what these terms mean:

  • Ashley Cheuk
    August 6, 2008
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    It's a question Dr. Phil Howard, an assistant professor at Michigan State University, has spent a lot of time trying to answer. Howard's research focuses on the food system, the changes occurring within that system, and how those changes affect communities.

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