New American Jewish World Service Fair Trade Project with Equal Exchange

West Bridgewater MA, December 8, 2009 - Equal Exchange is proud to announce the formation of a new fairly traded coffee and chocolate partnership with American Jewish World Service (AJWS). The Partnership is Equal Exchange's first Jewish partnership and its twelfth overall. The AJWS "Better Beans" Fair Trade Project was formally launched at the United Jewish Communities General Assembly held in Washington, D.C. on November 8th-10th. In celebration of this new partnership, Equal Exchange also donated fairly traded coffee at the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial in Toronto, Canada, on November 7th. Equal Exchange and AJWS will work together to involve the Jewish community in Fair Trade with small-scale farmer communities around the world.

AJWS is an international development organization dedicated to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among the people of the developing world, motivated by Judaism's imperative to pursue justice. AJWS invites all Jewish brotherhoods, sisterhoods, youth groups, or religious schools to serve Equal Exchange fairly traded coffee and chocolate at Oneg Shabbats, brunches, events or to use them for fundraising. When synagogues or Jewish organizations order fairly traded products through the AJWS Project, a portion of every pound of coffee or chocolate purchased will go to support AJWS's Fighting Hunger from the Ground Up campaign.

Equal Exchange is a democratically organized, worker-owned co-operative, founded in 1986, to pioneer a new model of trade built upon fairness and stronger relationships between farmers and consumers. Purchasing Equal Exchange coffee and chocolate allows participants to join a network that enables farmers in Latin America, Africa and Asia to stay on their land, support their families, plan for the future, and care for the environment. Equal Exchange launched its Interfaith program in 1998 and currently works with over 10,000 participating churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship. Equal Exchange applies the principles of democracy, ownership, participation and transparency to its own model; each worker has an equal stake in ownership, an equal vote, and a voice in key decisions.

The AJWS "Better Beans" Fair Trade Project includes Equal Exchange kosher certified coffee and chocolate products only. Equal Exchange coffee is kosher certified by the Orthodox Union or "OU". The Organic Hot Cocoa mix, Organic Baking Cocoa, and Organic Spicy Hot Cocoa are certified by the Kashruth Council of Canada. Chocolate bars are certified by Rabbi Abraham Hochwald, Chief Rabbi of the Northern Rhine-Germany.

Chanukah is a perfect time for the Jewish community to give gifts of AJWS fairly traded chocolate and coffee to family and friends. AJWS brochures and stickers are available.

About American Jewish World Service
AJWS is international development organization dedicated to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among the people of the developing world, and is active in 36 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas. AJWS also educates the American Jewish community about global issues, offers service volunteer opportunities, and is an advocate for human rights and peaceful conflict resolution. www.ajws.org

About Equal Exchange
A pioneer and U.S. market leader in Fair Trade since 1986, Equal Exchange is a full service provider of high quality, organic coffee, chocolate, cocoa, and other products. Customers include grocery stores, restaurants, cafes, schools and places of worship nationwide. 100% of Equal Exchange products are fairly traded, benefiting more than 40 small farmer co-operatives in 22 countries around the world.
For more information see www.equalexchange.coop/ajws

Contact:
Susan Sklar
Interfaith Program Manager
Equal Exchange
ssklar@equalexchange.coop
Tel (774) 776-7418