Part I of the "Avocado Obstacle Course" series.
Categories: Small Farmers Big Change
Small Farmers Big ChangeAugust 12, 2013
The first Fair Trade farmer-owned certification system, referred to as the Small Producer Symbol (SPP, for its Spanish acronym) will arrive this fall on Equal Exchange coffees in food co-ops and natural food stores across the country. Ten years in the making, the SPP certification system represents the small farmers’ persistent attempt to ensure a more just trade system for their fellow farmers everywhere. The colorful SPP logo will initially appear on Equal Exchange coffee bags and bulk coffee bins, and will soon become more prominent throughout stores.
Small Farmers Big ChangeJuly 11, 2013
Losing a cow is like having your savings account wiped out. Several animals were lost to the family farmers of the Cooperative José Gabriel Condorcanquí in Peru when this past March, unusually heavy rains fell for a few days and caused small mudslides. The innumerable shade and native trees farmers maintain around their coffee plants limited damage, but for those small-scale growers who lost livestock and stables, the loss can push them to the economic brink.
Small Farmers Big ChangeMay 28, 2013
The cold winter months were brightened up a bit when the Equal Exchange warehouse in Portland notified us that our first shipment of Salvadoran cashews had arrived. The nuts were so tasty they were practically sold before we could unpack the container. Once in the stores, the response was tremendous. Sales reps were hanging up the phones and reporting unexpectedly large orders. We immediately contacted Aprainores and asked for twice the quantity from the following year’s harvest. We were not going to have a problem selling these tasty snacks. Our challenge was actually the reverse: Aprainores already has two Fair Trade buyers in Europe, the trees are over fifty years old, and the co-op doesn’t have a lot of extra resources to put into farm maintenance: so how can we get more?
Small Farmers Big ChangeMay 18, 2013
Coffee. Tea. Chocolate. Bananas. Almonds. Olive Oil. Geobars. Last year we decided to add cashew nuts into the mix of new products we sell to food co-ops and consumers. You could sense the excitement in the meeting rooms of Equal Exchange from the moment the decision was made. For over twenty five years, food co-ops have been some of our strongest allies. They helped Equal Exchange launch the fair trade movement when we were just starting out, bringing Nicaraguan coffee from small farmer co-operatives into the U.S. for the first time.
Small Farmers Big ChangeApril 24, 2013
Fair World Project (FWP), a project of the Organic Consumers Association, the nation’s largest network of green and ethical consumers, opposes Fair Trade USA’s recent changes to its labeling policy, which undermine fair trade farmers, consumers and committed fair trade brands.
Small Farmers Big ChangeMarch 18, 2013
How many of you shop at a farmer’s market when you have the chance? Especially when you’re traveling, don’t you love stumbling upon a local farmer’s market wherever you are? What better way to get to know a new place than by seeing what food is being produced in the area, and to see, smell, and touch the products; having the chance to meet the actual growers and learn what’s involved in the cultivation and processing of the food you’ll soon be eating is an extra bonus. Two years ago, when Equal Exchange decided to bring Geobars into the U.S., I couldn’t help but think of this new product in much the same way: that these cereal bars were akin to walking through an international farmer’s market, where apricots from Pakistan, blueberries and honey from Chile, rice from India and Thailand, and raisins from Chile and South Africa were being presented… only in my scenario, through our Geobars, we bring the farmer’s market direct to you!
Small Farmers Big ChangeMarch 16, 2013
I woke up this morning in Valdivia, the principal city in this southern province of Chile. Quite a beautiful one, situated at the juncture of four rivers: Rio Calle Calle, Rio Valdivia, Rio Cruces, and the Rio Cau Cau. I arrived here around 7:00 pm last night and as we drove past the Rio Valdivia, lined with a beautiful walkway, it was full of strollers, kids playing, and crowds gathered around food and beverage stands, giving it a holiday feel. The river was full of crew boats, kayaks, and tour boats which take visitors around the various rivers to the nearby forts, cloud forests and other attractions for which the region is known.
Small Farmers Big ChangeFebruary 21, 2013
aúl del Águila Hidalgo, General Manager of Equal Exchange’s trading partner COCLA and a leader in the international fair trade movement, died suddenly on February 13. EE’s Tom Hanlon-Wilde shares this memory.