Equal Exchange Introduces Organic, Fair Trade Candy Bars in Classic Flavors

Fair Trade Just Got Sweeter for Small-Scale Cocoa Farmers
and Socially Conscious Consumers

West Bridgewater, Mass.- October 9, 2012 - In the world of artisanal Fair Trade chocolate, kids and adults who crave sweeter, traditional candy bar flavors made with high quality, organic chocolate are left behind.

Equal Exchange, the nation's leading Fair Trade brand, is proud to launch a new line of organic, fairly traded bars that is sure to please both parents and kids. The three new bars include a Dark Chocolate Fruit and Nut bar, a Milk Chocolate Crisp bar with puffed rice and quinoa, and a Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter bar. For people who are tired of waxy, tasteless mainstream chocolates, and who care about both quality and small-scale cocoa farmers, these bars are a welcome offering.

The bars are available in natural food stores, independent grocery stores, food co-ops, and on the Equal Exchange website for both retail and wholesale customers. For more crowd-pleasing treats, including dark and new milk chocolate minis that are perfect for Halloween, check out the Equal Exchange online chocolate store.

"With this new line of affordable bars in traditional flavors, we hope to reach new chocolate-loving customers who want to support small-scale farmers, but have yet to find a Fair Trade, organic bar that appeals to their taste," said Rob Everts, Co-Executive Director for Equal Exchange. "By broadening the market for Fair Trade, we can have an even greater positive impact on farmers."

The Milk Chocolate Crisp bar is made of rich, creamy milk chocolate mixed with the satisfying crunch of puffed rice and quinoa. Its sweetness is balanced by hints of vanilla and caramel. The Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter is a classic flavor combination with the perfect balance of sweet and salty flavors. The smooth chocolate melts away to reveal a creamy peanut butter center with a crave-worthy, rich, buttery taste. Dark Chocolate Fruit and Nut is like trail mix in candy bar form! With 55% cacao content, the slightly sweet dark chocolate is nicely complemented by chewy, tangy raisins and crunchy, roasted almonds.

The organically-grown cacao in the chocolate bars is sourced from three Fair Trade co-ops in Peru: CACVRA, Oro Verde, and ACOPAGRO. The organic sugar is fairly traded and sourced from the small-farmer co-operative Manduvira in Paraguay. The Milk Chocolate Crisp bar weighs in at 1.34 ounces (38 g) while the Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter bar and Dark Chocolate Fruit and Nut bar each weigh 1.58 ounces (45 g). The suggested retail price of each bar is $1.59.

About Equal Exchange
Equal Exchange has been a pioneer and U.S. market leader in Fair Trade since 1986 and is a full service provider of organic coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa, olive oil and other products. 100% of Equal Exchange products are fairly traded, benefiting more than 40 small farmer co-operatives in 25 countries around the world. In keeping with its Fair Trade mission Equal Exchange is a democratically governed, employee-owned co-operative, one of only a few in the US. Equal Exchange has been honored for its social entrepreneurship by Fast Company magazine, The Financial Times, WorldBlu and others.

Twitter: EqExCoop
Facebook www.facebook.com/equalexchange

Sandra Marquardt