Guest post from Hope Williams at Equal Exchange
Equal Exchange was founded over 30 years ago with the purpose of redefining the way we approach trade. Our goal was to use trade to support and empower small farmers and democratically run coops around the world. We envisioned long lasting and tangible social change through honest and truly fair partnerships.
Today we still fight everyday against the ever changing market, social and climatic events that put at risk our farmer’s livelihoods. We continue this fight by not only paying the best price for our products to our farmers but also providing on-the-ground support to ensure their crops quality, longevity, durability, and productivity. We work with our farmers to organize and claim more control over the volatile market and demand a fair price for their products. We do all of this in the name of authentic fair trade.
simple ingredients: all fair trade and organic cocoa, sugar, and vanilla. We work on developing non-plantation models of fair trade tea using alternative trade models. To put it simply: we are proud of all of our products. By purchasing an EE product you are making a direct and noticeable impact globally. We can trace every purchase you make to the farmers who provided the product. Our supply chain is always transparent, always Fair Trade and always organic. We truly believe that small farmers create the biggest change.
Teaming up with Portland Pedal Power was an obvious choice. Jenn and her PPP team are a group of outstanding innovators, hard workers, and strict purveyor of the best local products you can find. PPP’s work strengthening local brands and transforming the Portland delivery system is necessary and exciting. PPP is a great resource to help Equal Exchange expand our work within the Portland market. With the help of PPP, Equal Exchange is eager to reach more local businesses and increase market impact for our farmers
Since Equal Exchange believes in holding ourselves to the same standards as our farmer partners, we organized ourselves into a worker-owned cooperative. Each worker-owner retains one share and one vote. We set very strict pay ratios for ourselves in order to maintain a fair and equal workplace. Additionally, Equal Exchange maintains a no-sell out clause in our bylaws that prevents the owners from ever making a profit by selling of the company. This is done to maintain accountability and responsibility for the company’s choices and actions. We work not for profit or personal gain but for the advancement of our farmers and social justice around the world.