West Bridgewater, MA - August 2, 2010 - Beginning this month the Switzerland-based Institute for Marketecology, aka IMO, will be certifying select Equal Exchange products as meeting Fair Trade standards. For over 20 years IMO has been a leading international certification and inspection agency, specializing in certifying organic and sustainable products. Many Equal Exchange farmer partners around the world are already familiar with IMO and work with them for their own organic certification.
Equal Exchange has been dedicated to Fair Trade since launching this concept in the U.S. coffee market over 20 years ago. Together with its many partners - farmers, food co-ops, cafes, markets, schools, congregations and consumers - Equal Exchange has helped build a movement that believes that trade can be powerful economic and social tool to create a more just and sustainable world.
While the program and network Equal Exchange has built is based on many philosophies and commitments - particularly the commitment to direct relationships - the co-operative has also chosen to work with a variety of independent certifying agencies. Equal Exchange believes that third-party certification allows its customers an added layer of confidence that it does what it says it does.
IMO will be certifying Equal Exchange's coffee, chocolate and sugar products as meeting Fair Trade standards and beginning this summer the IMO certification information will begin to appear on Equal Exchange materials and product packaging. Equal Exchange's line of organic, Fair Trade teas and bananas will continue to be certified by Transfair USA.
A benefit of IMO's certification program is that in addition to certifying Equal Exchange's trade practices with farmers, IMO also certifies Equal Exchange as a socially responsible workplace that internally meets the same standards as those demanded of farmer organizations in Fair Trade certification.
Co-founder and President Rink Dickinson stated: "By opening our doors to inspection and holding ourselves to the same high standards to which we hold our farmer partners, we see this added certification as one more way to demonstrate our commitment to holistic Fair Trade throughout the supply chain."
Additional information about the Institute for Marketecology and Equal Exchange's Fair Trade certification, please see the Equal Exchange website.