We Love Our Co-op Partners

Cacao coop members joyfully toss beans into the air.

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.

Read them all:

Two sugar co-op members hold up a chocolate bar in front of stacks of sugarcane.
Manduvirá members Emilce Garcete and Gilberto Martinez at the San Cayetano Collection Center in Paraguay.

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.


Two delicious chocolate bars unwrapped on a table with a cacao pod.


  1. Maureen Sloan | 6th Feb 18

    Could you provide the information on Equal Exchange and it’s coops in a form I could print off and include with my chocolate sales? I would love to be able to do that.

    • Kate Chess | 9th Feb 18

      Hi Maureen! These Co-op Profiles are formatted to be printable!

      We’ve got a lot more information about Equal Exchange and our partners on our website. If you’re looking for something specific that you can’t find, feel free to email our Customer Service team at communityorders@equalexchange.coop

  2. Shelley Shelor | 6th Feb 18

    Thank you for this information on the co-ops! As the lead for our church’s fair Trade Ministry, I often get questions about where the chocolate comes from, and this info will help me answer that question, and show our buyers who they are helping and how Fair Trade works! I plan to display these profiles to promote and inform our sales! Thank you, Kate Chess, for putting this together for us! I’m looking forward to more profiles on other co-ops and for coffee, as well!

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