Tue, Aug 15, 2017 - 11:05am

Resilience in the Coffee Supply Chain

Carly Kadlec
August 15, 2017

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.

Tue, Aug 8, 2017 - 9:19am

Our Worker-Owned Roastery

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!

Tue, Aug 1, 2017 - 9:41am

Strands of the Fair Trade Movement

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.

Tue, Jul 25, 2017 - 10:10am

Cooperative Capital

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.

Thu, Jul 13, 2017 - 10:05am

A Day of Learning at Burroughs Family Farm

Jenica Caudill
July 13, 2017

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.

Wed, Jul 12, 2017 - 11:16am

Farming on the Fault Line

Laura Bechard
July 12, 2017

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.

Mon, Jul 10, 2017 - 9:08am

Seven Days in Ecuador

Equal Exchange
July 10, 2017

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.

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