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Halloween is just around the corner, and that means it's time for candy, trick-or-treating, costumes and more candy. Every year, Americans spend over a billion dollars on millions of pounds of Halloween chocolate — enough for every sweet tooth in the country and then some!
The Cooperation in Productivity event was the first time Equal Exchange has organized a peer-led, on-farm learning experience between farmer organizations. It was incredibly exciting, not just because it was the first event of its kind for us, but because of all the farmer-driven content.
In Part 1, I explained the groundwork philosophy that the members of COMSA (Honduras) shared with the members of Las Colinas (El Salvador). Now let's get a little nerdy and dig into the more practical, technical side of what COMSA shared and how it has contributed to their success.
Don Mario Pérez likes to learn, and he likes to challenge the people around him to learn. While visiting his home and coffee farm during an organic workshop in early June, Don Mario and his wife, Joselinda Manueles, explained their philosophy to me.
Equal Exchange is proud to launch a new joint tea project with our sister co-operative in the United Kingdom, Equal Exchange Trading Ltd.
Co-ops have represented the heart of Fair Trade and its goal of building markets for small farmers from the beginning and we have joined forces to advance the work of authentic Fair Trade. At a time when corporations and plantations threaten the integrity of this movement, we are excited to be working in partnership to bring consumers and farmers around the world closer together.
I was in a hot room, sitting in a circle with colorfully dressed Ugandan women representing the 10 primary societies of Gumutindo Coffee Co-op. Right away I knew that I was taking part in something special.
Ten years ago, Equal Exchange brought a group of food co-op and natural food store representatives to visit CEPICAFE, one of our small farmer coffee co-op partners in northern Peru. We stayed four days and nights living and working along side the coffee farmers, “helping” them with the harvest. One of my most fond memories was during lunch following that first full morning (ie 4 hours) picking coffee. We had had a lot of fun, laughing, singing, and telling jokes with the farmers, while they tried to teach us their techniques. But truth be told, the work is back-breaking, the hike to the farms was exhausting, and the sun was hot.