Happy New Year!
We hope that the start to 2014 brings with it new energy and positive growth, both personally and professionally, to everyone in our Bananacado network.
Part Two: Here in South India, we can report there have been positive changes in the last few years in the effort by Peeramade Development Society (PDS) and Tea Promoters of India (TPI) to empower small tea farmers. Peeramade Development Society is a Catholic church of India based NGO that has a variety of projects to support the rural poor. Tea Promoters of India is a unique family-owned tea operation that has a foundational commitment to authentic fair trade and to small tea producers.
The following post was written by Rink Dickinson, Co-founder and Co-President of Equal Exchange
Paul Mathew, Phyllis Robinson, Binod Mohan, Rink Dickinson, O D Wilson following a tour of the tea factory
I am on a trip with my colleagues, Wells Neal, Deepak Khandelwal, and Phyllis Robinson. We have been visiting tea farmers and cashew farmers in South India. This post focuses on what we have seen on the tea part of the trip and how it relates to the overall story of small farmers in tea: that is to say; authentic fair trade in tea.
We just received this summary of recent events in the world of Fair Trade certification from our friends at the Fair World Project. If you’re concerned about the integrity of labeling schemes, please read the various links which explain changes in labeling requirements, sourcing standards, and our responses to those changes.
Responses to Fairtrade International’s Fairtrade Sourcing Partnership
Rosa Guaman, Executive Director of Jambi Kiwa, an association of small medicinal herb producers in Ecuador, speaking at the Third International Gathering of the SPP
I just got back from a weeklong visit to the Dominican Republic, where a group of us--a mix of Equal Exchange staff, food co-op managers, and Interfaith liaisons--visited cacao-growing communities that belong to CONACADO Co-op, an umbrella organization of about 10,000 cacao farmers.
By Carly Kadlec, Equal Exchange Coffee Purchaser
Over the past several weeks I have been in Central America, visiting our producer partner groups. At every stop along the way, I get gems of knowledge dropped on me at totally unexpected moments. Sometimes this is as straight forward as a farmer explaining a new organic practice that I have never seen before. However, more often than not, producers shatter my worldview with their incredibly refined and pointed observations of the world in which we live.
With the holidays approaching, I always get questions about how to avoid packing on the pounds when our offices, homes, parties and stores are full of tempting, delectable treats. I, for one, am a huge sucker for my grandma’s fresh-baked rolls and chocolate chip cookies made with our new Equal Exchange chocolate chips.
Last week, we hosted two managers from cacao co-ops we work with in Peru to source chocolate for our new Organic Chocolate Chips and for our line of Organic Candy Bars. Hildebrando Cárdenas Salazar from Oro Verde co-op and David Contreras from ACOPAGRO co-op visited our headquarters in Massachusetts to learn more about Equal Exchange, meet some of our store accounts, and work on 2014 planning for our USAID grant project with the two co-ops.