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 to get to know the individuals whose hard work comes together in Equal Exchange’s tantalizing bars, chips and cocoas.
Equal Exchange is an employee-owned co-op. And we’re proud to partner with farmer groups around the world who operate the same way we do – sharing rights and responsibilities, and taking part in collective decision-making. We purchase Fair Trade cacao from AGOPAGRO and Oro Verde in Peru, Fortaleza del Valle in Ecuador, and CONACADO in the Dominican Republic. The Fair Trade sugar in our bars comes from Manduvirá, in Paraguay. Our Chocolate Team compiled profiles on these co-ops.
The Co-op Profiles make facts about our partners easy-to-see. Sidebars show the groups’ certifications, as well as volume produced and income earned. And Cristina Liberati, EE’s Grants Projects Manager, points out that the profiles will be updated regularly. That means they’ll serve as a tool to look at changes with our partners over time. She says, “We might answer questions such as — How much are they producing now versus three years ago? What amount of their product were we purchasing then versus now?” Through the profiles, Cristina says, we’ll “highlight the stories of particular farmers and staff and the great work that they do to provide us with quality ingredients for our chocolate and cocoa products.”
And we have our own Co-op Profile! Using a similar format, the Chocolate Team created a Spanish-language overview of Equal Exchange, so partners can learn about us, too!
We’re delighted to share these co-ops’ stories – and their fantastic chocolate – with you.