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Category: Farmer

Of Caravans, State Terror and Climate Disruption

01 November

A closer look at the U.S. role in creating refugees from Latin America November 16th marks the 29th anniversary of the slaying of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter by government-run death squads in El Salvador in 1989.  This past October 14th, slain Salvadoran archbishop Oscar…

Who Grows Your Chocolate? An Update

15 October

You probably already know that cacao is the crop from which cocoa and chocolate are made. West African countries like Ghana and Côte d’Ivôire produce most of the world’s cacao. Starting a few years ago, labor abuses in West Africa began to get international attention. You…

USAID Grants and the Democracy of Information

08 October

We recently interviewed Cristina Liberati, who administers grants that support farmer cooperatives in Latin America as they improve their quality, productivity, and financial stability. Because of this project, small-scale cacao producers in rural areas can taste samples of the product they grow and assess its quality. This democratization of…

Worker Cooperatives and Democracy: A Long, Proud History

21 September

It was the early 2000s at Equal Exchange when it became clear that the company was growing fast. We had many opportunities — like looking into building our own cafes, expanding the markets of our fair trade producer partners, and getting more advanced in the coffee products we were offering…

High Quality Tea, from Leaf to Cup

10 September

Tea provides a taste of place – the growing region’s soil and elevation, its rainfall, the season. Cultivating it requires hard work and skill. And it’s a crop which can be vulnerable to climatic variation and environmental pollutants. That’s why we source 100% organic tea from small scale…

What’s It Like to Grow Coffee?

29 May

HANDS IN THE DIRT In early spring, gardeners in the USA welcome warmer weather by pouring over our seed catalogs, readying the soil in our plots, and starting plants indoors. By June, we’ve moved those seedlings outside. We’re beginning the rounds of weeding and watering that will…

Our Quality is Top-Notch

06 March

At Equal Exchange, our concern for the quality of small-scale producers’ lives is matched only by our attention to the quality of our finished coffee. From farmers to cuppers, we’re professionals. And every choice we make contributes to the exceptional character of Equal Exchange coffees. We’re proud…

We Love Our Co-op Partners

06 February

We’re pretty sure that chocolate made under fair conditions tastes the best! That’s why we only buy cacao and sugar from democratically-organized farmer collectives whose members have a say in business decisions. A new tool — Co-op Profiles — now makes it easier than ever…

Small Farmer Fund Project Updates

05 February

Did you know that your purchases support projects that help level the playing field for small-scale farmers? Equal Exchange allocates a portion of sales from over 7,000 participating congregations to the relief, development and human rights organizations that make up our Interfaith Partner groups. Here are just a…

Our Sisters in Coffee

17 October

by Equal Exchange Quality Control Manager Beth Ann Caspersen. Pictured above: Beth Ann with participants in the Gender Equity Training hosted by Coffee Quality Institute in 2015.  I first started talking about the role of women in coffee production in 2010, after I participated in a women’s coffee producer…

Love Buzz Starts Here: Reflections on a Trip to Nicaragua

15 March

In January, fellow Equal Exchange co-owner Laurie Foote and I were on a plane bound for Nicaragua. We were part of an Equal Exchange/Presbyterian Hunger Program Delegation, a special immersion experience focused on Fair Trade and the journey of coffee, starting at its origin. Once in Nicaragua, we…

Organic Chocolate vs. Conventional: What’s the Difference?

13 March

Chocolate is undeniably one of the most popular treats around, and one of the most widely available. But do you ever stop and think about where that chocolate comes from and how it’s made? While you may be used to choosing organic produce, you might not be familiar with…