Categories: At Equal Exchange

  • Ashley Symons
    October 31, 2017

    Happy Halloween! This year, it's expected that Halloween candy sales will reach a record $2.75 billion in retail sales.​ According to the National Confectioners Association, Halloween is the biggest holiday for seasonal candy sales, accounting for about 34 percent of seasonal candy sales (outnumbering Christmas, Easter and Valentine's Day). And, i​f you took all the candy that’s sold during Halloween week​, it would equal about 300,000 tons or two pounds of candy per American!

  • Sara Fiore
    October 24, 2017
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    October is Co-op Month! At Equal Exchange, we’re proud to be a worker-owned co-operative and to trade with democratic farmer co-ops worldwide. Co-operative values are key to who we are, and they manifest in our daily and long-term work.

  • Daniel Fireside
    October 17, 2017
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    One of the first questions investors ask of a company is, “What’s your Exit Strategy?” In other words, when are you going to go public or sell your company to a larger company so I can cash out with 10 times my original investment?

  • Equal Exchange
    September 8, 2017

    If you've been following this blog over the last year, you've seen various critiques of the Fair Trade movement - both its history and the current state of the so-called movement that requires consumers to simply look for a certification seal. To help articulate an authentic version of Fair Trade that is shared by many Equal Exchange colleagues, allies, and partners, we created a comic book that presents the history of Fair Trade with illustrated condensed stories, and heroes and villains. Our hope is that readers will dig deeper, ask questions, and think about the future of small farmers, co-ops, and alternative trade organizations.

  • 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.

  • Equal Exchange
    August 8, 2017
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    ​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
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    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.

  • Danielle Robidoux
    June 20, 2017
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    What does democracy mean to you? Do you believe that you are an active citizen in a democracy? How about in your food system? To me, democracy goes beyond showing up for one day to vote for a presidential candidate, sharing a politically charged status on social media, or filling out your e-mail to sign another online petition. Democracy takes effort, commitment, collective responsibility, and passion. It’s not always easy, certainly not simple, but if we as a people are committed to a better world, it cannot begin and end on Election Day.

  • Ashley Symons
    June 13, 2017

    On June 9, we welcomed about 50 Equal Exchange worker-owners, 50 members of our Action Forum, and three coffee producers, together for a day of shared learning at our first-ever People's Food System Summit. With topics ranging from how climate change is impacting small-scale farming communities, to the manipulation of the "Fair Trade" movement, to the consolidation of the food system, it was a day that left many of us wondering, what can we do about it? How can we organize consumers?

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