Categories: Farmer Partners

  • Mike Mowry
    April 3, 2012
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    In February I spent a week traveling around Ethiopia with representatives from other coffee companies as part of a Cupping Caravan. In two 15 passenger vans, top loaded with gas ranges, propane, and 5 gallon bottles of water, we spent the first few days cupping—the industry term for analyzing coffee—at various ECX field labs. ECX stands for the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange, which is the government agency responsible for grading all commodities produced in Ethiopia.

  • Mike Mowry
    February 12, 2012
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    Mike Mowry, Coffee Quality Coordinator, and Beth Ann Caspersen, Quality Control Manager, are in Ethiopia for two weeks. Here Mike talks week one and gives us an overview of what's still to come for the two travelers.

  • Susan Sklar
    February 5, 2012

    olives

    In early November 2011, Equal Exchange traveled to the West Bank to meet with the members of the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee (PARC) from whom we are now buying organic, fairly traded olive oil.

  • Beth Ann Caspersen
    October 13, 2011
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    I often think about how we are changing the world through trade - with relationships and the belief that everyone has rights, no matter where they are from. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the complex issues spanning the globe, from myriad protests to governmental conflicts to human right abuses. Look at a place like the Democratic Republic of Congo - a war-torn country in Central Africa with a devastated economy and massive sexual violence against women and girls of all ages. Did you know that the D.R. Congo has been called one of the worst places on earth to be a woman?

  • Tom Hanlon-Wilde
    July 6, 2011
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    Lost in Peru for Ten Years

  • Beth Ann Caspersen
    March 30, 2011
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    Over the last few years I have written about shifting gender roles in the coffee industry; how women are moving into different positions of power and influence within their own communities and co-operatives. The change is slow, but I believe this systemic change begins with individual women and the opportunities that are available to them.

  • Beth Ann Caspersen
    February 1, 2011
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    For many years, the specialty coffee industry has drawn parallels to the wine industry. The most widely used comparison is in the way we describe the flavors we taste. Consumers are familiar with wine labels that boast specialty flavors like mango or plum, bright acidity, and a host of other flavors.

  • Susan Sklar
    March 27, 2009
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    At the Tierra Nueva coffee and honey co-operative, some new initiatives are helping women to improve their economic standing. Gender roles in Latin America, as in most parts of the world, are inequitable.

  • Phyllis Robinson
    March 19, 2009
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    Each May we celebrate World Fair Trade Day. It feels important to take this opportunity to revisit the roots of Fair Trade, and reconsider what we aim to accomplish. Most people understand the critical importance of higher prices, advance credit and direct relationships; they allow farmers to stay on their land, send their children to school, and diversify their incomes. Yet, there's another equally - some would say even more important - goal of Fair Trade, one that seems to be slowly disappearing as new iterations of "ethical trade" and "direct trade" appear in the market: empowering communities and social movements. It is for this reason Equal Exchange chooses to work with small-farmer co-operatives.

  • Ashley Cheuk
    February 5, 2009
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    San Fernando Co-op is very young but has a lot of members - around 400. I was one of the first members in 2001. I've always been loyal to my co-op. It has grown little by little. What I like most is the organization. Before we were selling organic, but now the price is raised because it is Fair Trade. [People in the U.S.] should appreciate our coffee and that's important for us because we feel proud.

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