Halloween is all about the sweets, and if you’re like us, you’re getting creative in the kitchen this month! If you’re looking for the perfect shareable treat for your costume party or spooky soiree, try some of our favorite recipes below. Each features our fairly traded, organic chocolate or cocoa, sourced from co-ops in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Panama and Peru. We’re proud to offer delicious ingredients that support small farmers and an alternative cacao supply chain, and we hope you’ll enjoy sharing them! Tell us your favorite Halloween or fall recipe in the comments.
Multiply the ingredients for desired quantity.
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease muffin pan(s) or line with muffin papers.
Mix flour, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
In another bowl, break eggs and add pumpkin and butter. Stir rapidly until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour over dry ingredients and fold in. Do not over mix.
Scoop into pan and bake 20-25 minutes. They should still seem a little underdone when removed from the oven – test with a toothpick.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8x8 square baking dish.
Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Bake until the top is dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of Katrina Morales from Rollin' Oats Market and Cafe, from a Cooking with Equal Exchange Chocolate Class.
Give back to your community and to small-scale farmers around the world by offering conscious consumers meaningful and unique gift basket options. Consumable gifts like coffee, tea and chocolate are wonderful because they won’t collect dust on a shelf and are good gifts for “the person who has everything”.
Combine your creative talents with recycled baskets and assemble one-of-a-kind pre-made gift baskets this year. By offering people a few kinds of gift-giving options, you’ll sell more and make things quick and convenient for last-minute shoppers or the less-than-crafty.
Send a call out to your congregation a few weeks in advance of your sale for donations of old baskets hanging out in the attic. Give them new life by putting together baskets full of organic, fairly traded coffee, tea, cocoa and chocolate. A basket with a variety of a bag of coffee, a box of tea and a few chocolate bars makes a delicious, well-rounded and inexpensive gift.
Have fun creating themed baskets like a “Baker’s Basket” with our Organic Baking Cocoa, Organic Chocolate Chips and Organic Olive Oil, or a “Bold and Beautiful” basket with Organic Lemon Ginger with Black Pepper Dark Chocolate, Organic Spicy Hot Cocoa and Organic French Roast coffee.
Dress each gift basket up with some colorful tissue paper, add a ribbon and a price tag that’s easy to remove and you’ve made a ready-to-give gift! We suggest offering a variety of price points so folks can choose the right gift for each person on their list, ranging from something small but thoughtful for your co-worker to an overflowing basket of goodies for a significant other.
For lower price point gifts, you can assemble bite-sized chocolate minis in gift bags or start with our Minis Packaging Kits and add your own special touches. Another option is to buy some bulk bags of whole bean coffee and let folks fill their own bags with beans. Decorate our tin-tie bags with stickers and glitter glue, then fill them with beans from some of our most popular blends and single origin bulk coffee bags. This is a great activity for both kids and adults! Don’t be afraid to ask for help from others – this is a great way to get more folks involved and let their creativity shine.
Announce your sale ahead of time in your church’s bulletin or put up posters that let people know they can come shop ready-made gift baskets. Use these free resources to advertise your upcoming sale. Let people know the price ranges you’ll be offering so they can bring enough cash with them. We recommend dividing your wholesale case price by the number of items in the case and then rounding up to the nearest dollar for product mark-up.
If you’re short on time or not the craftiest, give each person an empty basket that they can fill with items of their choice. Offer complimentary ribbon or a bow to top off the basket or charge a dollar or two to cover your costs.
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 meeting in Uganda. Since that time, I have met countless women farmers that have both prospered and found themselves stuck in a society without a voice. Some of these women have created strong networks that reach deep into their communities, united by weekly meetings, song and a sisterhood that is based on where they are physically located. Many of these same women also struggle to find their voice at home in their families and through their coffee businesses. Coffee farming is a difficult job; women are intimately involved in their coffee farms along with caring for the home, preparing the meals, caring for the animals and raising the children. I have listened to women’s stories of starting the day as early as 4am and ending as late as 10pm at night. Their work is hard. Many women have felt left out of trainings due to their familial responsibilities — if they leave for the day, who will watch the children, prepare the meals and take care of the home?
This has to change. The future of coffee depends on women and there are many women in coffee that are moving forward, attending meetings and ascending the cooperative management ladder. For example, at PRODECOOP in Nicaragua, you will see Dona Alexa Marin, a coffee farmer and gender equity champion and Fatima Lopez, who started out as the quality assistant in the cupping laboratory and now manages one of the most successful coffee mills in all of Nicaragua. The question is, what is gender equity and how are these women different from the women that are struggling? It’s a complex question.
I had the opportunity to participate in a gender equity workshop in 2015, and one of the many lessons I learned in this mixed group training was that ongoing training, education and communication are a continuous need. The reality is that many of the successes I have seen are separated by training, education and support. While women are the center of the home, being gender-inclusive and providing these same tools to husbands and families will make coffee farming families stronger. Equal Exchange has supported the Coffee Quality Institute through their Gender Equity Program to research gender issues, design programs and train hundreds of people. While there are countless case studies of women in agriculture who are successful leaders and have decision-making power in their work, we will continue to strive to do more. Each woman I have met is different, and many of them I would call my sisters in coffee. This spans the supply chain, from farmer to co-op manager to buyer to barista. Let’s continue to tackle some of the complex questions that arise. There are no easy answers, but I do know that our sisters in coffee are the future.
Ligia Lopez, Commercial Manager at PRODECOOP
Equal Exchange Green Coffee Buyer Carly Kadlec in the Quality Control Lab at PRODECOOP in Nicaragua with cuppers Ligia, Fatima, Agueda and Iris.
In honor of our sisters in coffee, and the work of women in co-ops and communities around the world, we bring you Organic Sisters’ Blend. It’s a rich Full City blend of Nicaraguan and Peruvian beans, and we hope you’ll share it with people who inspire you.
There are lots of opportunities to raise money while supporting authentic Fair Trade. Here are some suggestions to try out with your community group, school, club, or congregation.
A table sale can be really effective if you are interested in running a special fundraiser on your high school/college campus or at your congregation. You will receive discounted prices when you order by the case and then you can mark items up, keeping the profit. If you are unsure of what products to order, give our customer service team a call at 774-776-7366 and they’ll help you determine what’s best for your goals or you can read our FAQ’s. We recommend selling the products at 1.5 times the cost that you purchased them for, but you can go higher or lower depending on your fundraising goal. Selling pre-packaged bags of dark chocolate minis using our mini chocolate packing kit is also a wonderful way to fundraise.
If you’re looking to hold a table sale on your campus, think about setting up the table outside a sports game, in your dining hall, or at a concert or festival. Fair Trade Month (October) and Earth Day (April) are great times to sell. Promotion is key with this type of fundraiser. Put up posters around campus before the event letting people know where, when, and what they can purchase. Post on social media and share our short videos leading up to the sale and during the sale. And don’t forget to let everyone know what you are raising money for. Giving out samples like our bite-sized chocolate minis will attract people to your table.
If you are looking to hold a table sale at your congregation, consider doing so after services. Put a notice in the bulletin, explaining more about Equal Exchange and your fundraising efforts. The perfect time to have your first table sale is around the holidays! Check out this blog post with tips for holding a holiday sale.
Create a new tradition and lasting memories by putting together a community-wide fundraising event! This is a great way to get your everyone involved in a fun and exciting way. From bake sales highlighting fair trade ingredients, to silent auctions of Fair Trade gift baskets to a walk-a-thon serving fairly traded iced coffee and tea, there are hundreds of events you can choose from. One of our favorite fundraiser event ideas is hosting a coffee and chocolate pairing event and charging a small admission fee for participants who get to sample a few different varieties of chocolates paired with different roast levels of coffee!
With an event, you have a platform to share more about your group and why you are raising money. While you can include this on posters and social media posts, at an event you can meet people face-to-face who are interested in helping your group. This is a great opportunity to share more about your group, your mission and how the fundraising event will help your group achieve your goals.
Identifying and communicating the “why” regarding why people should support your group and why these products are special is the key to success. Here are some talking points to get you started on the product side.
However you decide to fundraise, we hope you reach your goals, share your mission and engage your community through positive action!
You already know how important it is to care for the environment through conservation and smart buying choices. Another great way you can make small but impactful changes is with your fundraiser! Here are a few tips to make your fundraiser more eco-friendly.
PDF Catalog: Use less paper by sending out the PDF version of our catalog instead of handing out the print version. Folks can easily browse the product selection and fundraiser info online!
Email Orders: Encourage people to submit their orders via email! We have created an Excel version of the order form that is included with the print catalog. Participants can fill out this order form and then email it to you, the organizer. Not only will this save paper, it’ll make your process easier: instead of typing every order into the Master Order Form, you can simply copy and paste the information from the “Subtotals” column into the Master Order Form.
Below is the template for an email you can send along with the PDF catalog to introduce your fundraiser, your monetary goals and what you are raising the money for.
We are kicking off our annual fall fundraiser! This year we are partnering with Equal Exchange, a worker-owned co-operative that sells fairly traded, organic products sourced small-scale farmers from across the globe.
We are offering delicious chocolate, coffee, cocoa, tea, gift box assortments and more! The items are reasonably priced and our group makes 40% of the profit on every product we sell.
Our group’s fundraising goal is $X,XXX.
Together we can raise the funds to support:
This year, we are going eco-friendly and will be using an online version of the fundraising catalog. Please consider saving paper by sending out the PDF version of the catalog to family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues who will be purchasing items.
We have also attached the order form to this email. You will fill out one column per customer. Once you have collected all your orders, please email this to me at [Enter Email]. Order forms are due on [Enter Date].
Please make sure you collect the payment at the time of the order. Customers may pay by cash or by check. If they decide to pay by check, they can make it out to [Name of your School/Organization]. Please also turn this in on [Enter Date].
Thank you for your support and please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns!
Instead of hanging posters throughout the hallways of your school, use social media to promote your fundraiser. Here are some tips on how to promote your fundraiser online.
If you’d prefer to hand out the hard copy version of the catalogs, that is okay too! The catalogs are recyclable, so please make sure you communicate that with participants and your fundraising helpers. At the end of your fundraiser when you are distributing the products, make sure that you recycle all the boxes and packing paper .
Go one step further and share information with your participants about how to recycle our bags and wrappers, some of which have special requirements due to the nature of the products. Listed below is the recycling and composting information for each product.
Chocolate Wrappers: The outer paper wrapper is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and also recyclable. If your local recycling center accepts No. 5 plastics, then the white plastic wrapper is recyclable.
Single Serve Cups: The cup is #5 recyclable plastic. The aluminum lid is recyclable and the filter is 88% compostable.
Tea Bags: The tea, bag, tag, and string are compostable. If the tea leaves are removed from the bag, the bag, tag, and string can be recycled.
Coffee Bags: To maintain freshness and quality, we use a foil and poly bag with a degassing valve in both applications. Unfortunately, there are no recyclable coffee bags available that can provide a needed barrier to keep coffee fresh.
Just by choosing Equal Exchange’s organic products, you are supporting environmental stewardship and eco-friendly practices. Not only do organic farming methods protect farmers, the land and you from harmful chemicals, they contribute to healthier ecosystems, biodiversity and farm resilience.
As part of our alternative trade partnerships, farmers receive above-market prices for their crops along with an additional premium. These funds help farmers invest in their land, from farm renovation projects, to development of organic materials, to sustainability projects and more.
For example, our Peruvian cacao partners at Oro Verde are currently working hard to identify high quality, productive and disease-resistant cacao trees to build up an elite tree program allowing them to provide their farmers with improved varieties for the future. This includes a reforestation project that involves planting two million trees to help the co-op achieve a carbon footprint of zero! Learn about the work that our farmer partners are doing in their communities here.
We have the perfect treat for fall! This easy-to-make spiced hot cocoa tastes like chocolaty pumpkin pie, and you’ll want to drink it all year long. This recipe makes enough for 16 servings, which we recommend storing in a mason jar. These jars make great gifts or items to sell at your harvest fair, fall fundraiser, or your congregation’s usual table sale. Watch the video to see how it’s made!
The key ingredient in this recipe is our Organic Baking Cocoa, which is made with organic cacao from CONACADO co-op in the Dominican Republic. This co-op is unique because the farmer members own their own cacao processing plant, which puts a key step of cocoa production into the hands of co-op members and farmers themselves. We’re proud to have partnered with CONACADO for over 10 years!
We hope you enjoy this fun fall treat. Thank you for supporting small farmers!
I worked with my high school’s World Language Honor Society throughout most of my time in high school, and I loved every minute of it. The World Language Honor Society (called the WLHS by members) is committed to fostering awareness and understanding of other cultures while providing service to multicultural communities both locally and internationally. Our biggest projects involve visiting a Spanish-speaking after school program during the holiday season and donating backpacks full of school supplies to an elementary school in Haiti. These projects represent the core values of WLHS, and are a ton of fun. They do, however, cost money to run. WLHS projects require months of planning, and fundraising comprises the bulk of the planning process. For this reason, the success of our annual Equal Exchange fundraiser is absolutely essential for our projects to be successful.
Equal Exchange’s values line up pretty evenly with my organization’s values: international cultural awareness and respect. So, when it comes time to promote our fundraiser, we focus a lot on the good both organizations can achieve with the profits of our sales.
Personally, when I’m talking about the fundraiser to family members, neighbors, teachers, or my friends, I like to highlight specific uses of the money raised – usually by talking about my experiences participating in service projects and by explaining the meaning of “fair trade.”
A lot of my family and friends already know about the good that WLHS does for the surrounding community, but many people forget that our Equal Exchange fundraiser is beneficial to more than just our local community. Our members each receive a catalog of items that they can sell, and attached to each catalog is a paper explaining why we’re fundraising with Equal Exchange. When members get excited about the products they’re selling and the benefits they have for the international community, that enthusiasm spreads to anyone who might be interested in buying from our fundraiser – translating into more money for both our organization and for Equal Exchange.
In general, I find that people love to buy the quality products that Equal Exchange sells – and love it a little more when they know that their money goes to such a worthwhile cause. Emphasizing the link between our organizations through our members is one of the best ways for us to ensure our fundraisers are the best that they can possibly be.
When is a bar of chocolate more than just a piece of candy? It becomes something more when it is used to educate students and encourage them to use their critical thinking skills, do real-world math, participate in the economy, and learn about other cultures.
High school campus budgets don’t always fund extracurricular activities, so students need to find other ways to support their clubs and sports teams. Fundraising is both a necessity and an educational activity. Students learn goal-setting, budgeting, and social skills. High Desert Young Writers, a creative writing club for which I am the faculty advisor, practices writing skills by creating newspaper articles and essays. Using Equal Exchange as one of the fundraisers, they also learn about being a global citizen.
When preparing for a fundraiser, my students first set goals for the year: what do they want to do? This year, they want to make club t-shirts, print an anthology of their writing, and go on a field trip. With goals in place, they create a budget. Armed with some very basic accounting skills, they do the math. They quickly learn that things are more expensive than they thought and their Associated Student Body (ASB) account doesn’t have enough to cover everything. The students then brainstorm ideas on how to raise the money. The list usually looks like this: car wash, sell stationery, bake sale, sell candy, beg. They often narrow it down to “selling candy.”
With the top contender chosen, they begin to list companies that do school/club/team fundraisers. There are many choices, and all offer different amounts of revenue. At this point, I suggest a “compare/contrast” table to help sort all the information. They make a chart with columns headed: percentage profit, prepaid, shipping cost, minimum order, quality of the product, etc. One company quickly gets eliminated with its requirement to prepay fifty cases and the shipping, which adds up to five hundred candy bars at $250 and $100 shipping. There are only six students in the club, and if they had $350 in their ASB account, they wouldn’t need to fundraise.
The decision to choose Equal Exchange’s chocolate doesn’t come easy. They like how it’s set up and believe they can make most of the year’s budget. The catalog contains a wide variety of items, but they are not something your average fourteen to eighteen-year-old would buy. As writers, these students tend to be the quiet ones, so the difficulty is the need to sell the product to adults. To get them to overcome this we role-play, practicing their sales pitch and learning how to communicate to peers and adults why they are raising money and why this product isn’t “just candy,” but is making the world a better place.
It is this last reason, making the world a better place, which gets them the most excited. I share with them the videos on the website. They are surprised that the common items in their house – tea, coffee, chocolate – often come from small farmers around the globe. We discuss how products move around the world, how our choices make us global citizens, and how small things (like a bar of chocolate) can make a difference.
With one small bar of chocolate, the students have learned many things and touched on many subjects. They have set goals (critical thinking), set a budget (math), chosen a product (economics), submit an Op/Ed piece to the school newspaper (writing) and learned how their actions could help others they’ve never met (social studies).
When shopping for olive oil, you might notice a few terms commonly used to describe it: extra virgin, unrefined, cold-pressed, organic — but what do all these words really mean? Here, we’re going to define a few key olive oil terms to help you understand the way your olive oil was grown and processed, and what that means for you.
One of the most common terms you’ll see used to describe olive oil is “extra virgin.” This means that the oil is a product of the first pressing of olives. Olives are pressed to extract as much oil as possible, producing different tiers of quality. So, the first batch of oil that’s produced is “extra virgin” — after that, the olives are further pressed and processed to extract more oil, but the flavor and quality decreases from there. Extra virgin olive oil has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams. Finally, extra virgin olive oil must taste like olives and must not have any negative tastes that professionals refer to as “defects.” It is considered the highest quality olive oil, and you’ll want to use it in ways that highlight the inherent flavors and characteristics of the olives.
Extra virgin olive oil is made using a process called “first cold-pressed.” This means that the oil was extracted (“pressed”) from the olives without exceeding 81.9 °F. No heat or chemical additives are used to extract the oil from the olives, which can alter and destroy the flavors and aromas of the olive oil. Without adding heat to the processing, the olive oil also retains its full nutritional value. Lower quality oils, on the other hand, are the products of a process which adds heat to the olives in order to extract the most oil possible, but the resulting product is diminished in flavor. Something to keep in mind: all extra virgin olive oils are cold-pressed.
Unrefined olive oils are the immediate result of oil pressing, and have not been processed or treated. These oils may have visible, tiny pieces of olive flesh or visible sediment — this is normal and desirable for flavor and nutrients. Refined olives oils have been processed to make them easier to blend with other oils. All extra-virgin olive oil is unrefined, but you might still see this quality called out on labels.
Organic olive oil, like other organic products, is grown and produced without the use of chemical pesticides, fertilizers or other harmful additives. Instead, farmers use alternative, sustainable methods to ward off insects and invasive plants, and develop natural, biodynamic fertilizers to encourage growth. These methods allow olive farms to flourish while preserving the surrounding ecosystems. Because olive oil is a raw food, and high quality olive oil is minimally processed, the potential for chemical exposure is high in conventionally-grown olives. With organic olive oil, you can feel better about avoiding these chemicals.
We hope that this guide has helped demystify olive oil just a bit! Once you understand these key terms, understanding what you’re getting (and how it got to you) becomes a lot easier. If you’re looking for an organic, fairly traded, extra virgin olive oil, try Equal Exchange’s special Nabali olive oil from our partners at the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee in the West Bank.
A holiday sale is a great way to bring fair trade gift options to your community while raising money and sharing your group’s social justice mission. Here are some of our best tips for a successful sale!
Team up If you plan early, you can incorporate your Equal Exchange product table into an existing gift market that has other ethically sourced products, like artisan crafts from Ten Thousand Villages, symbolic gifts from Heifer International, or handmade products from local artists. You can capitalize on the existing buzz and foot traffic.
Promote your sale Announce your sale early and remind people often. Let them know that they can do all of their gift shopping in one place and feel good about their choices. Spread the word by making announcements during services, put up a sale poster and use our customizable bulletin inserts. Promote to your broader community in e-newsletters and on your town’s web site or social media pages, community bulletin boards and the local news.
Try this example wording: “Give gifts that give more! Join us for our Holiday Sale [insert date, time and location] Give fairly traded, organic gifts this holiday season. Equal Exchange products are sourced from small-scale coffee, tea, cocoa and olive oil farmer co-operatives worldwide and profits from our sale go towards [insert your group, committee or reason for the sale here]. Through Fair Trade, farmers are better able to support their families, protect the environment and strengthen their communities.”
Choose the best products Here are our gifitiest products, best sellers and suggested amounts to order along with how much you could earn depending on your mark-up.
Order your way Shop online and get wholesale pricing when you choose the case pack quantity or call your order into our customer service team at 774-776-7366 M-F 9-5 eastern. We recommend leaving 10 business days between the time you order and when you expect things to arrive.
Dress up your table Use a colorful tablecloth to make it festive and eye-catching. Organize products neatly and use vertical display racks to save space. Use our table signs, olive oil gift tags and brochures to share information and draw people in. We even offer authentic and inexpensive burlap coffee bags to display.
Offer samples Everybody loves the chance to try something delicious, and odds are good that they’ll want to buy more once they have a taste! Break chocolate bars into pieces and arrange them on a decorative plate. (Don’t forget tongs!). Brew batches of coffee offer samples in small paper cups or set up a hot cocoa bar and charge a few dollars a cup. The aroma alone will draw people to your table.
Set the right prices You can raise funds for special congregation projects, trips or activities by marking up your products 25% to 40% of your cost. Round up to the nearest dollar to help cover your costs and make giving change easier. Remember to tell folks what you’re raising money for — they’ll love being able to gift shop and help your cause! You can also make gifts more accessible by selling them close to the discounted cost you paid when you bought by the case. Sell multiple items at slightly reduced prices to help encourage more sales. An assortment of chocolate bars tied with a ribbon makes a beautiful, decadent but affordable gift!
Share the mission You know that Fair Trade is important for our global community, and now is a great time to tell shoppers why it matters. The meaning behind the products you sell will really set them apart – so don’t be afraid to talk about it! Our talking points and brochures make it easy.
For more selling tips, check out our general, comprehensive how-to guide.
Read our favorite ideas for a festive and creative display with DIY and ready-to-give gifts
Download the PDF of our latest catalog for our product and price list