It’s not a secret: due to human activity - particularly the activity of the most privileged - the Earth is in crisis. This year, to commemorate Earth Day, we are uplifting the work of those on the frontlines of healing the environment while feeding people, the producers who have spent their lives working towards sustainable agriculture. Read on for news from avocado and banana producers from Mexico and Ecuador.
Frankie PondolphApril 22, 2019
Frankie PondolphMarch 14, 2019
By Angelica Hicks
The U.S. market tends to treat bananas as commodities, as in unspecialized products that are virtually interchangeable, regardless of origin. Following a century of well-documented exploitative practices by U.S. banana companies, the fruit remains a top seller at U.S. grocery stores. Thanks to the conventional system, bananas are everywhere, cheap as can be, and divorced entirely from the circumstances of their production in the minds of consumers. One banana is like any other.
Frankie PondolphOctober 8, 2018
When you purchase a conventional banana at a grocery store, there are certain costs that your everyday low price covers: the fruit itself; the international shipping costs; the trucking from the warehouse to the grocery stores. These costs are internalized, meaning they’re accounted for in the final price you pay.
Frankie PondolphMarch 5, 2018
There are many tangible pieces to the Equal Exchange model. Organic. Fair Trade. Small Farmers. Cooperatives. While these are all important elements of our holistic approach toward trade, the small farmer piece is critical. First and foremost, the Equal Exchange mission is to give small farmers a place in the global marketplace. This is exactly why our tagline reads Small Farmers. Big Change.
Ravdeep JaidkaNovember 7, 2017
As the banana buyer for Equal Exchange, this September, I got the opportunity to work and live alongside Guabo, a small farmer banana co-operative in southern Ecuador. Guabo is Equal Exchange’s longest banana partner; the two organizations have worked together for over 10 years to bring Fair Trade, organic bananas from small-scale growers to the U.S. marketplace.
Equal ExchangeJuly 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.
Mildred AlvaradoApril 4, 2017
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 ExchangeApril 3, 2017
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 AlvaradoMarch 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.
Jessica Jones-HughesOctober 25, 2013
With the holidays approaching, I always get questions about how to avoid packing on the pounds when our offices, homes, parties and stores are full of tempting, delectable treats. I, for one, am a huge sucker for my grandma’s fresh-baked rolls and chocolate chip cookies made with our new Equal Exchange chocolate chips.