Your church’s bulletin is a terrific way to let the people in your congregation know why you partner with Equal Exchange. And Fall is the perfect time for a reminder! But what to write?
Maybe an example will help! Here’s a bulletin insert shared by Peter Buck, who works at Equal Exchange and worships at Parish of the Sacred Heart in Roslindale, Massachusetts. Use it as inspiration. Or copy it — Peter doesn’t mind! Just insert your church’s name and the ways you serve or sell Equal Exchange in the second paragraph. Don’t forget to delete the brackets.
That Coffee the Hospitality Committee Buys
We’re all back from the summer. The kids are back in school, or soon will be; or our grandchildren have gone back home; and our jobs and activities are gearing up.
Here at [church name ], we’re getting back into our schedule, including [name of activity #1] and [name of activity #2], using fairly traded products from Equal Exchange.
Fellowship hour is important for building community; it brings us the opportunity to spend time together in the afterglow of worship. It also affords us the opportunity to build community with our neighbors across the world, by enjoying a cup of fairly traded coffee, tea or cocoa grown by small farmer communities and brought to us by Equal Exchange.
Why do we purchase our coffee from Equal Exchange?
Equal Exchange purchases coffee, tea, cocoa beans and other crops from forty communities in twenty countries. They pay a stable, above-market price; they purchase in advance of harvest (when farmers need the money) and collaborate, over the long term, in the sustainable development and empowerment of their partner communities. They sell their products through grocery stores and cafes, and through partnerships with a dozen religious denominations.
What does this have to do with church?
A lawyer asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus asks him what is written in the law. Replies the lawyer: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus tells the lawyer he got it right. “And who is my neighbor?” says the lawyer.
Jesus replies with the parable of the Good Samaritan: A man is robbed, beaten and left for dead on the road to Jericho. A priest and a prominent citizen of his own community both see him and cross the road to avoid getting involved. But a Samaritan, a foreigner, a member of a despised community, stops and cares for the victim. So who was the real neighbor, asks Jesus. “The one who showed him mercy” replies the lawyer. “Go and do likewise.” says Jesus. (Luke 10:25-37)
Using fairly traded coffee, tea and other products is one of the many ways we can “Go and do likewise.”
While you’re here, why not download the Full-Color e-Bulletin digital template or the Printable Bulletin Template to add some visual appeal to your message? And read our other tips for spreading the word about Fair Trade.
Written by Rose Smith, Megan Straughen and Frankie Pondolph
On June 22-24th workers-owners of Equal Exchange Frankie Pondolph and Rose Smith along with Action Forum member Megan Straughen attended New Economy Coalition biennial conference, CommonBound. This year the conference was held in St. Louis, Missouri bringing together individuals over the course of three days to work towards owning our collective power and building the seeds for a new and transformative economy both locally and internationally. Below both Megan and Rose reflect on their experiences at CommonBound and what they learned to build capacity, tools and resilience for the future.
Equal Exchange Citizen-Consumer member
I was extremely grateful and honored to be invited to join Equal Exchange in St. Louis at the 2018 Commonbound Conference as a member of the Equal Exchange Action Forum. As a big believer in Equal Exchange and their mission, I’m happy to seize any opportunity in which I can spread their message a little bit further. In addition to being able to hand out tasty fair trade mangoes and nuts to grateful conference goers, I was also able to make time to attend a few sessions.
The Plenary “Owning Local Power” drew on the experience of community organizers working in different contexts to discuss strategies and approaches to building local power. It was very interesting to learn about how activists across the globe are leveraging impact to make big change. The most powerful experience I had was attending a screening of “Whose Streets?” followed by a panel discussion with community members and activists. The documentary recounts the uprising in Ferguson, MO in 2014 after the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, and is the only documentary to do so from the perspective of someone from the area. The panel discussion that followed the screening was intimate and powerful; it was incredible to hear about their experiences and what life has been like for them since 2014.
Megan (L) and Frankie (R) pictured above.
I found myself reenergized to do this work after spending time with Equal worker-owners Frankie and Rose, meeting amazing folks at the conference who are committed to building an inclusive economy, and attending sessions that taught tangible skills that can be applied in the field immediately. I was also lucky enough to connect with several folks doing amazing work where I now call home, New Orleans. Thanks to Equal Exchange for this incredible experience!
Cafe Barista + Shift-Supervisor, Equal Exchange
Attending CommonBound was a wonderful experience for me. I attended several sessions with topics ranging from developing worker cooperatives to inclusive governance to feminist economies and housing justice. It was incredible to learn how well these were all connected to each other. There was a focus on the intersections of different issues and how no issue of social justice can be discussed as completely separate from any others. I learned about movements I was unfamiliar with, and the ways in which grassroots movements are enacting major change.
Rose pictured above secound from right with CommonBound attendees.
One theme throughout the discussion was learning about Just Transition. Just Transition is a model that ensures our transition into a new economy is intentionally aware of marginalization and injustice, and that every step is one that encourages equity. I was happy to participate in conversations with others where we acknowledged our privileges and discussed with those who are systematically denied access to capital how we can best reallocate resources for a more fair economy. I also want to highlight that the conference organizers devoted a lot of resources and time to the history of St. Louis. Attendees could participate in local outings that focused on art, history, and education efforts rooted in the city.
pictured above are three CommonBound organizers closing out the conference.
CommonBound was an incredible experience that connected me with amazing resources around the country, furthered my understanding of various social justice issues, and reminded me that there are so many of us out there fighting for a new world and it feels possible.
For more information on New Economy Coalition visit https://neweconomy.net/
Rally your troops to create a fundraising goal board and watch those dollars come in!
Creating a goal board as a team is a show of solidarity. It gets your group excited about your fundraiser so they can see exactly what the money means to your organization.
In addition, by showing that thermometer rising during your campaign, you can motivate supporters to buy more and help you reach – or exceed – your goal. So be sure to take pictures and share them frequently throughout your campaign. This invites your community to become part of your fundraiser. In turn, they’re more likely to share your news and progress. The more they share, the more people you’ll reach and the more money you can raise!
To get started, remember to order a free Equal Exchange goal poster when you request your fundraising catalogs (also free) as you sign-up for your fundraiser. The thermometer graphic is the perfect way to get started! The poster(s) will arrive with your catalogs so you can plan your goal board project on the day you hand out catalogs. What a way to kick off your fundraiser! If you wish to start making your goal board earlier, you can download the poster and just print it out. For more graphics, you can even print out other Equal Exchange educational resources.
The next step is to start gathering other materials. For inspiration, look at the supply list below. Keep in mind that it’s best to customize the goal board to be about your organization and what you need funding for. You can include information about your mission, Equal Exchange’s mission and anything else that will motivate!
Once you have your supplies together, be sure to have a specific dollar amount for your goal, what you’re raising money for (example: $9,000 for new lap tops) and the dates of your fundraising campaign.
We want to see! Share photos of the making of your goal board as well as your campaign’s progress with other Equal Exchange Fundraising Coordinators on Facebook. We look forward to watching you reach your goal!
The best way to set dates for your catalog fundraising campaign is to plan backwards!
As you know, the 40% profits you earn from our catalog program are immediate. You collect money as you sell, then simply pay wholesale pricing for your order. So the best way to plan your campaign dates is to pick the day that you want for people to receive their products.
This planning guide illustrates how create a successful schedule by allowing enough time for each step throughout your fundraiser. This way, you’ll have your delicious, organic and fairly traded Equal Exchange products when you want them!
Let’s say you want products from your catalog campaign distributed before December 25, 2018.
No matter the day, month or year for your campaign, you must make necessary adjustments for holidays and weekend days that fall into your timeline as they will affect shipping schedules.
Participants need time to pick up and distribute their orders before December 25th so you need to products to arrive sooner. Because the holiday season causes so many scheduling conflicts, we strongly urge you to allow plenty of time for you participants to pick up and distribute their orders and recommend you count back two weeks (skipping weekend days) and set your distribution day for December 10th.
We guarantee delivery within 10 business days so count backwards from December 10th (do not include weekend days or holidays), and send your catalog order to us before November 26th.
Please note: We highly recommend allowing as much time as possible for shipping, especially around the holidays. Orders too large for UPS require freight delivery, which may take more time. If you have any questions about shipping times, please call Customer Service at 774.776.7366. We’ll be happy to consult with you!
Allow 3 weeks for your fundraising campaign, but do not tell your team! Instead, allow them only two weeks to sell and turn in their orders to you. This way, you’ll eliminate unnecessary stress by giving yourself an extra week to collect late orders (you’ll be glad you did!) and send your order to us. So, counting back three weeks from when you have to send your order, your campaign’s start date is November 5th.
You’ll need catalogs and your fundraising goal board built before November 5th. Allow yourself a few weeks to receive all of your materials, build your customized goal board, plan your promotions and distribute catalogs. You need to order your catalogs and poster before October 19th!
TIP TO BOOST SALES – This is the perfect time to get your team excited for the campaign! Feel free to forward videos and other resources on our website. This can help you reach your fundraising goal faster.
This timeline example can get your order distributed properly before Christmas. For this time of year especially, you need to allow two and a half months to organize a smooth and successful fundraiser! This schedule did not take into account any unforeseen issue, such as a weather event, so do consider adding in even more time.
No matter when you plan to run your campaign, check one thing off your list today and reserve your catalogs now. Just tell us how many to send and when you want them by when you sign up. This way, there’s plenty of time for you to prepare for success!
Check out more tips for catalog fundraising to help you raise more money:
Do you have fundraising tips/ideas/photos that you’d like to share to help others succeed? Please join our conversation with other Equal Exchange Fundraising Organizers on Facebook.
A steep drop down from the Andes mountains, entering into the Amazon Rainforest basin, two cooperatives just 20 miles apart, simultaneously formed parallel visions. Both the Producer Association of Santa Rosa de Chiriari (APROSAROCH) and the Producer Association of Sonomoro Naylamp (APANS) were founded in 2002 as fruit co-ops, producing bananas and oranges, respectively, for the Peruvian internal market. Around ten years ago, the volatile market took a swing for the worse. The co-ops were unsure if they would be able to continue working in fresh fruits and were forced to look for alternative crops. Both found hope in cacao and have been dedicated to its commercialization ever since.
APROSAROCH and APANS beans are used in chocolate chips blended with beans from two San Martin co-operatives: Acopagro and Oro Verde. In June, two members from Equal Exchange and one from our Canadian sister co-op, La Siembra visited with these co-ops and many of their farmer members. A common theme from our conversations was the challenges around climate change- more specifically the difficulty in predicting the harvest cycle. The wet season is becoming wetter and the dry season is becoming drier. Floods and droughts are becoming more and more common.
For example, last winter 2017, Peru experienced well above average rainfall in the rainy season. This excess precipitation affected the co-ops with waterlogged soils that delayed flowering and cocoa pod production on the trees and washed out roads that delayed the transport of cacao beans to external markets. This year again, the cocoa harvest is a bit behind schedule, but farmers are learning to adapt with different tree pruning and compost techniques on the farm.
At the same time, warmer weather has changed the climates of nearby mountain foothills, such as in the nearby Llaylla district. Cool, high altitude micro-climates once suited for coffee, are now warming enough to be suitable for cacao. The prevalence of the devastating effects from coffee leaf rust have further encouraged farmers to make the switch to cacao. APROSAROCH and APANS cooperative leaders noted that they have increased in cocoa farmer members from these once coffee-growing regions.
Our visit highlighted that the hard work and dedication to cacao is at the core of these co-operatives. It is inspiring to know that APROSAROCH and APANS are working closely with their farmers and technical teams to come up with solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Maybe you’re searching for ideas for what to do with leftover melted chocolate from another project or dessert. Or maybe your delicious bars suffered accidental hot-weather neglect and you need a way to use up the squishy, melted results. Never fear — chocolate is wonderfully versatile. We like using chocolate molds to turn liquefied chocolate into treats with a custom look.
Let these instructions be your guide as you melt (or re-melt), temper and form it into all kinds of creative shapes, right in your own kitchen. Break out of the square and try it today!
-A mold. You can buy specially-made candy molds in fun shapes online and in many retail stores. You can also try old-fashioned muffin tins or silicone ice cube trays. Another option is to position your favorite cookie cutters on a baking sheet covered with waxed paper!
-A microwave-safe bowl.
-A candy thermometer.
Real chocolate melts at just below 100° F. After it’s melted, it must be re-tempered, so that it will set correctly and retain its sheen and snap. You can do this at home! Chop up a bar and heat it in a bowl for 30 seconds at a time in your microwave at half-power, stopping to stir every time the microwave beeps. When all the chocolate is completely melted, heat it in short bursts to bring it to 115° F. Keep track with the candy thermometer. Then, stirring the chocolate continuously, allow it to cool to 90° F.
Pour or spoon the melted the chocolate into your mold. A gentle shaking motion can help the chocolate work into corners and crevices. If you’re making lollipops, this is when you insert the stick! Twist to coat the stick to help it adhere to the chocolate, and then lay it flat in the stick-channel of the mold.
For this step, patience is required! Set your mold or baking sheet in the freezer, making sure it’s level. Your candy will be ready to pop out in 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of the mold. Wipe off any excess moisture with a paper towel and enjoy!
As with all fine chocolate, make sure to store leftovers in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
… not that there will be any leftovers.
If you’ve mastered chocolate molds, you may like our post on Chocolate Covered Strawberries.
Or sign up for our biweekly newsletter to get all the latest fair trade recipes.
A coffee cocktail? Why not! This Cold Brew Lime Daiquiri is for the adults in the room. The berry and chocolate notes of the African coffees we recommend for the recipe pair beautifully with tart lime juice.
This cold brew cocktail can elevate your dinner party -- or help you unwind in the backyard on a hot summer day.
That was simple! Now, enjoy your Cold Brew Lime Daiquiri. Cheers!
By Frankie Pondolph, Action Forum Organizer
Building off of the success of our June Summit, the Action Forum hosted our second summit of the year on July 7th and 8th-bringing together EE worker-owners, action forum members, farmer partners and alternative trader friends for two days of learning, engaging and connecting. On the first day, forty of us gathered in a room overlooking Chicago’s downtown, the room filled with threads of conversation about what brought each of us to the gathering and how far we had traveled.
Picture above attendees at Midwest Summit Photo Credit: Danielle Robidoux
Our day opened with a keynote from Silvia Roblero Torres from CESMACH cooperative in Chiapas, Mexico. Silvia told the courageous story of CESMACH and how they organized against a behemoth buyer (Starbucks), who began imposing business practices and ultimately tried to leverage control over the cooperative. The farmers organized a strategy of sending faxes to other coffee buyers announcing their break from Starbucks. CESMACH sought new buyers that would respect and support their community-based organization of small farmers. Todd Casperson and Phyllis Robinson of Equal Exchange received their fax and wasted no time-traveling down to Chiapas. Equal Exchange went on to purchase ten containers of coffee (60% of CESMACH’s harvest that year).Thus beginning Equal Exchange and CESMACH’s long standing relationship. I encourage you to read the full story of CESMACH’s break from starbucks by visiting this link, to read a blog post written by Phyllis Robinson.
Pictured above Silvia Roblero Torres of CESMACH and Phyllis Robinson of EE Photo credit: Danielle Robidoux
Silvia’s keynote set the stage for our time together, echoing themes of strong relationship building, the power of organizing and the importance of building people and planet-centered models of trade. After the keynote, we highlighted various workshops ranging from themes of the consolidation of our food system, lessons from building alternative trade organizations, the story of CESMACH and operating independant grocery stores in todays market climate. We heard stories from Pushpika Freitas founder of Marketplace: Handwork of India, Professor Phil Howard from the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University, Silvia Roblero Torres certification and sales manager at CESMACH, and Jeff Heinen owner of Heinen’s independent foodstores. The goal was to highlight and bring together people telling their story of alternatives, speaking honestly about their mistakes in building these alternatives, and analyzing the consolidation of US supply chains to try to understand how we can work together in new ways for the future ahead.
On day two, we carved out time to learn more deeply about what brought each other to this summit and what each participant hoped to gain. The room was filled with stories of people organizing a food co-op in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood, student activists, community organizers focusing on nutrition and health, people launching buying clubs out of their homes, and travelers from Equal Exchange delegation trips to name a few. Attendees than organized into three working groups comprising of themes around education/communication, consolidation of the food system and markets/sales. This was our work for the year ahead- to begin to organize ourselves into working groups around three emerging topics, co-sharing our work to build the action forum alongside our membership base.
Pictured above attendees of EE Midwest summit Photo Credit:Danielle Robidoux
Through our summits we envision creating a physical space for people to learn about and engage around issues affecting our food system- we hope to create ways for people to stay connected and to use the Action Forum space as a bridge to connect long after the summit. We have a lot to learn from each other, our communities, histories and past- and it is my hope that after we embark to our homes, we continue to carry our Action Forum community with us- to continue on a path of building a just, democratice food system, together.
Our new Fundraising Catalog is here! It’s time for your organization to join other community groups, schools, clubs and non-profits and help small-scale farmers succeed while funding your important programs.
Get free fundraising catalogs and posters when you sign up!
Keep your fundraiser on track with the new pull-out, color-as-you-go Goal Tracker thermometer.
Friends, family and supporters can now easily see the fundraising progress throughout your campaign. They’ll want to help participants reach their goals faster. (To determine how much each participant needs to raise, take your overall fundraising goal and divide it by the number of participants. To get an idea of what Equal Exchange products will get them to their goal, use our profit calculator.)
On the back cover, you can now find a cool, blank Doodle Space. Here, each fundraiser can personalize their own catalog by writing or drawing a message to describe what the funds mean to them.
Both interactive tools are designed to engage more people throughout your fundraising campaign to help you raise more money.
Fundraising tip: Ask your fundraisers to photograph their interactive features throughout your campaign so you can share with your community. Post on your social media channels, website, e-news, texts, and anywhere else you can think of to reach your supporters to help raise more money!
We can’t wait to see how much you raise for your organization with our new catalog! Remember, each purchase helps you raise money while also supporting small-scale farmers. The more you raise, the more you help.
The EE Fundraising Organizer’s group is a great place to exchange ideas and help other fundraisers be successful! Join us on Facebook. And, don’t forget to take advantage of our educational resources throughout your campaign.