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Celebrate Fairtrade Month with equal exchange

a group of Equal Exchange employees, customers, and farmer-partners standing in front of a banana tree.
Equal Exchange Produce employees and customers visiting AsoGuabo in Ecuador. Delegations like this one provide a way to connect buyers with small-scale producer organizations. Photo Courtesy of Equal Exchange

Did you know that October is Fairtrade Month? To celebrate, we’re highlighting our partners at Equal Exchange and how to know if the products you buy are fairly traded. 

Rink Dickinson, Jonathan Rosenthal and Michael Rozyne founded Equal Exchange in 1986 as an answer to their question, “What if food could be traded in a way that is fair and honest, a way that empowers both farmers and consumers?”  Working with 40 small farm cooperatives across 17 countries, Equal Exchange continues to build lasting relationships almost 40 years later. 

For Equal Exchange, authentic fair trade means “knowing and working directly with the farmers who produce our food”.  Supporting democratically-organized small farms and producers, Equal Exchange holds fast to the original intent of fair trade. Each year with this model, the co-op proves that it’s possible to trade food fairly and honestly. 

how do you know if a product is fairly traded?

fairtrade banana bunches with stickers
Green Equal Exchange Fairtrade bananas grown by AsoGuabo in Ecuador. Photo Courtesy of Equal Exchange

In order to know if you have fairly-traded products in your cart, especially produce, you need to know what to look for. The word “fair trade” (two words) can be used to describe the movement, products, or ethical trade. The word is not regulated like “organic”, so companies may use “fair trade” to make consumers believe that their products were created ethically and sustainably. Products with a Fairtrade (one word) label have received third-party certification and meet the international Fairtrade standards. 

With better prices, decent working conditions, and fairer deals for farmers and workers in developing countries, Fairtrade changes the way trade works. Through Fairtrade, farmers and workers have a strong voice in how they invest in and run their local organizations. They also have an equal say in Fairtrade’s global decision-making.

equal exchange's fairly-traded products

avocados in a bag that says equal exchange on the front
Photo Courtesy of Equal Exchange

Equal Exchange’s inaugural import in 1986 was fairly trade coffee from Nicaragua. Since its founding, the co-op has diversified its offerings in order to introduce more small farms to the market place. Along with coffee, Equal Exchange sources fairly traded almonds, avocados, bananas, cacao, cashews, olives, sugar, and tea.

We are honored to partner with Equal Exchange to distribute its Fairtrade bananas and avocados. All of Equal Exchange’s banana and avocado farm-partners are Organic, Fairtrade, and Global GAP certified. 

By choosing Fairtrade produce and food products, you can create change within the food system through your everyday actions. As consumers, we have the ability to make positive change with our purchasing power. Even if you only have room in the grocery budget to purchase one product that’s organic and/or Fairtrade certified, purchasing that one thing still has a huge impact. 

If you are a produce buyer and would like to offer Equal Exchange’s Fairtrade avocados and/or bananas to your customers, send us a note

If you would like to support Equal Exchange’s mission beyond the grocery cart, learn more how you can become one of Equal Exchange’s Citizen-Consumers.

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