I came away from a recent visit to our cacao partner CONACADO with a feeling of tremendous appreciation for the way that co-operative has promoted women in roles that traditionally are assigned to men. I have even more appreciation for the strong women who have taken opportunities for leadership and have excelled, despite the challenges. According to the organization Farming First, “female farmers receive only 5% of all agricultural extension services from 97 countries, [and] only 15% of the world’s extension agents are women.”
Laura BechardDecember 11, 2017
As rain drizzled down from slate grey skies, thousands of visitors took refuge inside Smith Cove at Pier 91 to attend the Northwest Chocolate Festival in Seattle. The festival has been a staple of the city’s events scene since 2008. This year, the chocolate team at Equal Exchange participated in the festival workshops and unconference from Nov. 9-12.
Laura BechardJuly 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.
Equal ExchangeJuly 5, 2017
Sugar. It seems like such a simple thing. The essential ingredient we so often buy in the U.S. that ends up in something delicious that makes us happy - a morning cup of coffee, a celebratory cake, or a pan of brownies. The reality is, sugar is far from simple.
Dary GoodrichFebruary 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.
Equal ExchangeNovember 30, 2016
It may seem like a distant memory at this point, but you may recall that Ecuador was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in April of 2016. The epicenter of the earthquake was located near the town of Muisne – a community that is part of our partner organization UOPROCAE, or the Union of Producers of Cacao of Arriba Esmeraldas. One of the cities that suffered the worst infrastructure damage was Portoviejo, close to our other cacao partner organization Fortaleza del Valle. We reached out immediately to both groups and were very relieved to learn that there were no fatalities among the members and staff of the UOPROCAE or Fortaleza del Valle. However, damage to personal property and the property belonging to the farmer organizations is significant and will be slow to fully rebuild.
Sara FioreJanuary 19, 2016
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! What do you have planned for your special someone (or yourself)? This year, we’re celebrating love of all kinds – including our love for Fair Trade, of course. Here are a few ways you can incorporate your support of small farmers into your gift-giving and activities on February 14.
Sara FioreSeptember 30, 2014
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!
Jessica Jones-HughesAugust 4, 2014
Have you been following the outpouring of new research about the important role of bacteria in our body and its link to our health? There was very little information about how our microflora (a.k.a. gut bacteria) influenced our health until about five years ago. The new findings are truly revolutionizing our understanding of health and nutrition (think probiotics and prebiotics).
Ashley SymonsNovember 14, 2013
I just got back from a weeklong visit to the Dominican Republic, where a group of us--a mix of Equal Exchange staff, food co-op managers, and Interfaith liaisons--visited cacao-growing communities that belong to CONACADO Co-op, an umbrella organization of about 10,000 cacao farmers.