Equal Exchange is sources olive oil from two olive grower co-ops in Palestine's West Bank: Al Zawyeh Agricultural Co-operative and Mis-ha Co-operative for Organic Production and Livestock. Our direct relationship is with PARC, or the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees. PARC is a non-profit, non-governmental organization in the West Bank and is a member of the World Fair Trade Association.
PARC's projects include: helping olive farmers establish infrastructure and farming techniques to enable them to compete in the olive oil export market; supporting women's economic empowerment through projects like a couscous co-operative; and improving soil and sustainable growing practices.
So, why Palestine? We pursued this relationship in this part of the world to help farmers with few other options to stay on the land and earn an independent living for themselves and their communities. We believe this is a positive step in a part of the world that faces a multitude of seemingly intractable challenges.