Blog

  • Equal Exchange
    July 10, 2017
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    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.

  • Mildred Alvarado
    April 4, 2017
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    The first five months of the year are usually the most difficult for our small-scale banana farmer partners due to weather difficulties. Problems due to the rainy season are expected. However, what’s happening this year is unusual. The intensity of the rains has put our farmer partners and the Oké USA banana team against new challenges that we were unprepared for. There has been a lot of creative problem solving and last minute decision making in order to fulfill orders on time. In these challenging times, we do everything on our end in order to support our farmer partners by: coordinating with shipping lines, giving credit to buy inputs such as boxes, and supporting staff through logistics and technical assistance, all in order to help them harvest the fruit and fulfill orders on time.

  • Equal Exchange
    April 3, 2017
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    Torrential rainfall in Peru has triggered landslides and flooding, causing devastation across large parts of the country, including Lima, Piura, Lambayeque, Tumbes, Cajamarca and Ica. Many communities have been cut off by damaged roads, making access to services very difficult. Equal Exchange has had particularly deep relationships with farmer cooperatives in Piura, dating back 20 years with coffee. Our banana affiliate, Oké USA, also began sourcing bananas from co-ops a decade ago, and more recently we have sourced mangos from the region.

  • Mildred Alvarado
    March 13, 2017
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    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.

  • Small Farmers Big Change
    October 20, 2016
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    Do you regularly purchase avocados at your local grocery store? If so, have you noticed that it was not possible to purchase avocados from Mexico during the first two weeks of October? Are you curious what’s behind this disruption in supply?

  • Jessica Jones-Hughes
    June 18, 2013
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    Hello Summer! Humidity, sunshine and travel. If you are like most, your summer schedule is already filling up rapidly. With travel comes the hassle of meal planning on the go…..eating out more, grabbing junk food at the convenience store - we all do it. The past few years, I have challenged myself to continue to live out my principles of eating nutritious food, and eating food from companies and farmers that I believe in, while on the road. What? Is this possible in a world where most people can’t even eat this way in their home?

  • Jessica Jones-Hughes
    March 6, 2013
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    March is Equal Exchange Bananas Month! We are proud to be able to share our successes and challenges with you during March. Here are a few accomplishments.

  • Jessica Jones-Hughes
    February 6, 2012

    You may have heard about food co-op general managers, employees, church members, or Equal Exchange staff making the trek down to the places where coffee, tea and cocoa are grown. In October of 2011, Equal Exchange took our first delegation to see a very different product: bananas!

  • Jessica Jones-Hughes
    January 25, 2011
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    What is a heart-healthy diet? A heart healthy diet is low in saturated and trans fats (mostly found in animal products), high in omega-3 fatty acids (ex: olive oil, fish), high in fiber, and low in salt and sugar. Do not forget healthy unsaturated fats (mostly found in plant based oils such as nuts), as these fats are very important to consume in moderation as part of a heart-healthy diet. To help you out, we created a fun Heart-Healthy, Small Farmer Breakfast-In-Bed menu.

  • Phyllis Robinson
    October 8, 2009
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    The road heading south between Guayaquil and Machala, on the coast of Ecuador, is lined with banana plantations. Endless rows of green banana plants stretch as far as the eye can see. Economic activity in this tropical region revolves almost exclusively around banana production and export. In fact, Ecuador is one of the world's largest banana exporting countries.