Blog

  • Rink Dickinson
    September 5, 2017

    Fair trade has gone further in the U.K. than perhaps any other country. And now fair trade—as viewed from the perspective of labeled product—is falling off the cliff. Sainsbury, one of the largest supermarkets in the U.K., is slowly abandoning the seal in favor of in-house certification. Tesco, another major supermarket, is abandoning the seal but on a faster timeline. Likewise, Mondelez, one of the largest chocolate companies, is replacing the already weakened, corporate-dominated seal with its own fully controlled, in-house seal.

  • Nicole Vitello
    August 28, 2017

    In August, I traveled to Michoacán to visit PRAGOR, the avocado co-operative that we partner with in Mexico. I visited both the avocado growers and the management of the co-op that buys the avocados from individual growers and gets them from the farms to the pack house into Equal Exchange branded boxes, and then sends them on the road to us here in the U.S. every week.

  • Equal Exchange
    August 22, 2017
    Categories:

    One of the most important tea sourcing regions for Equal Exchange is Darjeeling, India, a municipality of the West Bengal state located in the foothills of the Himalayas, just under Nepal. Since early June there have been widespread protests and strikes, and the entire area - including the entire tea industry - has been shut down for over 60 days. The reason for the unrest is the fight for Gorkhaland.

  • Carly Kadlec
    August 15, 2017
    Categories:

    Do you remember hearing about coffee leaf rust, or la roya, over the last few years? Coffee leaf rust is a fungus that has greatly impacted coffee production across the producer world in Central and South America during the last few harvest cycles. While it is not a new fungus, this most recent flare up has wreaked havoc on the household level across not only the Equal Exchange supply chain but throughout Latin America. Besides being a top-level crisis in and of itself, it also has helped to more fully reveal long-term challenges and problems in coffee supply chains.

  • Equal Exchange
    August 8, 2017
    Categories:
    Tagged:

    ​Twelve years ago this week, Equal Exchange began roasting after building the largest worker-owned coffee roasting operation in the U.S. ​- ​and maybe the world​. ​We import green (unroasted) coffee from small farmer co-ops and roast it, making it a direct, cooperative supply chain from farmers to Equal Exchange to you. ​The beans are roasted on two machines: the G120​, which was installed in 2005, and the R1​000, which came two years later.​​​ In July, we roasted an average of about 22,000 pounds of green coffee per day!

  • Rink Dickinson
    August 1, 2017

    Is there a Fair Trade movement? How significant does a citizen’s social activity have to be to qualify as a participant in a movement? At its peak, Fair Trade social activity may have made it to the movement level in the U.S. and in some other Northern countries. We are past that period now, but can still learn from its history.

  • Daniel Fireside
    July 25, 2017
    Categories:
    Tagged:

    Have you ever thought about how food companies are financed? We think about it a lot at Equal Exchange, and we’ve created a capital structure that reflects our cooperative values, and even allows participation from our regular customers and supporters.

    Equal Exchange is unusual in lots of ways. You might know that we always pay above-market prices to farmers, buy directly from small-farmer co-operatives around the world, facilitate pre-harvest financing, and provide a ton of other benefits to farmers in the form of direct aid as well as training.

  • Jenica Caudill
    July 13, 2017
    Categories:

    Here on the Equal Exchange blog, we often discuss the woes surrounding the consolidation of natural foods, from the farm level to the store level. Equally as important though, are the discussions around family farmers who are creating success, even along the inherently difficult path that is organic farming. Earlier this month, myself and several others at Equal Exchange had the opportunity to visit with our almond partners, Burroughs Family Farms. At their farm outside Denair, Calif., we shared a meal, toured the grounds, and learned about their methods of organic, regenerative agriculture.

  • Laura Bechard
    July 12, 2017
    Categories:

    In April 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador’s coastal region, killing over 650 people and wounding another 16,000. The epicenter of this destructive phenomenon was located within one of our cacao partner co-operatives, UOPROCAE. Last year, Equal Exchange, the Cooperative Development Foundation, Pronatec (our Swiss partner for chocolate making), food co-operatives, and caring individuals came together to donate over $35,000 to support recovery efforts to two of our partner co-operatives in the region.

  • Equal Exchange
    July 10, 2017
    Categories:

    At Equal Exchange, our goal is to build supply chains that empower small-scale farmers, inform and educate consumers, and create long-term partnerships between the various actors at each stage of the food import-export process. In a conventional supply chain, these different players all operate in their own spheres, each doing what they do best: growing bananas, exporting bananas, ripening bananas, running businesses, distributing and selling produce.

Pages