Tue, Mar 28, 2017 - 11:40am

The Citizen-Consumer Dilemma, Part Two: Reforming the System, Continued

Equal Exchange
March 28, 2017

In Part One, we described key problems we need to address, challenge and solve if we want to create a just food system. In Part Two, post one, we dug into the successes and failures of Fair Trade and Certifications as food system reforms. And now, we look to Food Co-ops and Boycotts. Equal Exchange grew directly from the food co-op movement. The Equal Exchange founders—Michael Rozyne, Jonathan Rosenthal and myself—all worked at the New England food co-op warehouse. This was a secondary, consumer-owned warehouse that was initially collectively run when we began and then had a general manager four years later as we were exiting Northeast Co-ops for the birth of Equal Exchange in the mid-1980s.

Tue, Mar 21, 2017 - 9:36am

The Citizen-Consumer Dilemma, Part Two: Reforming the System

Equal Exchange
March 21, 2017

There have been movements and models that have attempted to address, challenge and change problems in the food system, and create food justice, solidarity, and authentic citizen-consumer actions. Over the next two posts we will examine and analyze four different reforms spawned by these movements and explore what they accomplished and failed to accomplish. From this learning we believe we can be more effective in all of our food justice work and, ultimately, lay the framework for what we need to do as the Equal Exchange Action Forum.

Mon, Mar 13, 2017 - 11:05am

Why Do Banana Farmers Organize?

Mildred Alvarado
March 13, 2017

Last October, we welcomed organic banana farmer Mariana Cobos to the Twin Cities to celebrate our 10 year anniversary importing bananas from AsoGuabo Cooperative in Ecuador. “I would like to express my gratitude for the opportunity to tell my story about the true history of small-scale banana farmers,” Mariana said during the visit. That story is filled with the difficulties, the challenges, and the inequity that small-scale farmers face.

Tue, Mar 7, 2017 - 9:42am

Q&A: A Conversation on Coffee Buying, Gender Justice, Climate Change & More

Ashley Symons
March 7, 2017

Carly Kadlec is the Green Coffee Buyer at Equal Exchange, and one of the women that inspires me in our work toward trade justice. I’ve been fortunate to travel with Carly on visits to coffee farms in Honduras and Guatemala. Since March 8 is International Women’s Day, I wanted to sit down with Carly and talk about her work with coffee producers ... but, she’s on the road, as she often is, so we bring you this Q&A, across 2,500 miles.

Tue, Feb 28, 2017 - 9:02am

Building Democracy in Tea

Leif Rawson-Ahern
February 28, 2017

Equal Exchange has worked in the tea industry for more than 20 years. Our tea program is still relatively small, but we have leveraged our limited volume to support and strengthen a number of small-scale farmer groups in India and Sri Lanka. Small farmer cooperatives are incredible rare in the tea industry which was built on colonial plantations from the ground up. When considering the larger industry context, it is remarkable that our small-scale tea co-op partners exist at all.

Tue, Feb 21, 2017 - 8:03am

The Citizen Consumer Dilemma, Part One: The Problems

Equal Exchange
February 21, 2017
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At Equal Exchange, we think about food every day. We think about the foods we sell, the farmers we purchase from, shipping logistics, the marketplace, and other day-to-day details. We are also deeply consumed in thinking about the broader food system: what is working, what is broken, how ownership and power are distributed, and how to develop alternative models. Ultimately, we are working to bridge the gap that exists between farmers and consumers.

Tue, Feb 14, 2017 - 8:10am

Connecting Over Chocolate

Dary Goodrich
February 14, 2017

For me, this Valentine’s Day feels different. Yes, I’ve got chocolate on the mind—as Chocolate Products Manager, I think about it all the time—but there are two other things I keep coming back to. First is the current state of U.S. politics and the division that seems to be the defining character of our country at this time.

Tue, Feb 7, 2017 - 10:52am

The Path Forward

Equal Exchange
February 7, 2017

Over the course of our first 30 years, Equal Exchange has set out to do essentially three things: Build supply chains that work for small-scale farmers and their democratic organizations. The manifestation of this work in the U.S. market is high quality products at prices that can compete with the corporate-controlled food system. But to arrive at that point, countless hours and dollars have been expended, and many failures have been experienced along the way.

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