Fair Trade

November 16, 2011 § 1 Comment

Mmmm, caffeine. We all need and love it! I know I feel like a zombie in the morning until I get my tea.

Our fearless leader’s mom recently found herself in the Equal Exchange Co Op. Equal Exchange has created Big Change for over 25 years. It all started with an idea: what if food could be traded in a way that is honest and fair, a way that empowers both farmers and consumers? Their founders – Rink Dickinson, Jonathan Rosenthal and Michael Rozyne – asked this question as they envisioned a trade model that values farmers and consumers. So they took a big risk and plunged full-force into changing a broken food system. In 1986, they started with fairly traded coffee from Nicaragua and didn’t look back. Read more about their story.

Today, Equal Exchange continues to find new and powerful ways to build a better food system. Their products now include fairly traded and organic coffee, tea, chocolate and snacks from farmers all over the world, including here in the United States. Their worker-owned co-op is based in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Because Equal Exchange was founded with democratic principles in mind, they strongly believe in a one-person, one-vote workplace without a corporate hierarchy. They partner with co-operatives of small-scale farmers who make their own decisions on business and community matters.

What I found was interesting is their Congo Coffee Project. An inspirational blend of East African Coffees that is smooth and balanced, with rich chocolate, sweet vanilla, brown spices and a hint of fresh berry, the Congo Coffee Project was created by Equal Exchange in partnership with the Panzi Hospital in the D.R. Congo, which offers programs for more than 2,000 survivors of sexual violence each year. The hospital provides life-saving treatment, counseling, and aftercare programs for women and others in need of healing. For every bag of coffee sold, Equal Exchange will donate $2 to the Panzi Foundation. Read more about it here and check out their online store here.

We love fair trade business here at Be Sweet. Did you know that we are a fair trade business as well? Read our story here.

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§ One Response to Fair Trade

  • Hi There,
    Thank you so much for telling your readers about our work with the Panzi Foundation. Their work deserves as much support as possible.

    You and your readers might also be interested in our work with a great co-op of organic coffee farmers in Uganda. It’s the Gumutindo co-op. Our Quality Control Manager, Beth Ann Caspersen, lead a trip to see them last week, and she is also the one who is leading our Congo Coffee Project.

    Beth Ann and a colleague, Lynsey, have posted a great collection of vignettes, stories and a video or two of their visit with Gumutindo. You can see it all at http://blog.equalexchange.coop/blog/

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