Oro Verde

“Like Equal Exchange, we want to improve the lives of our small farmer members,” said Hildebrando Cárdenas Salazar, general manager of Oro Verde. The co-op was founded in 1999 with 56 members, and now there are 1,200 members. “Farmers realize the benefits of being part of the co-op,” Hildebrando said. “There are advantages that intermediaries can’t provide, especially around technical assistance.” 

Wed, Oct 23, 2013 - 4:54pm

Meet Two Co-op Managers from Peru

Ashley Cheuk
October 23, 2013

Last week, we hosted two managers from cacao co-ops we work with in Peru to source chocolate for our new Organic Chocolate Chips and for our line of Organic Candy Bars. Hildebrando Cárdenas Salazar from Oro Verde co-op and David Contreras from ACOPAGRO co-op visited our headquarters in Massachusetts to learn more about Equal Exchange, meet some of our store accounts, and work on 2014 planning for our USAID grant project with the two co-ops.


Equal Exchange is excited to announce a new partnership with PRAGOR, a progressive group of small-scale avocado farmers in Michoacán, Mexico. This region of Mexico is called “the avocado capital of the world.” However, powerful corporate interests have made it difficult for small-scale farmers to compete. In response, PRAGOR courageously organized and decided they would collectively control the entire process from growing to exporting.

Sun, Oct 6, 2013 - 8:02pm

Memories of Coyona… and Some New Reflections

Small Farmers, Big Change
October 6, 2013

Ten years ago, Equal Exchange brought a group of food co-op and natural food store representatives to visit CEPICAFE, one of our small farmer coffee co-op partners in northern Peru.  We stayed four days and nights living and working along side the coffee farmers, “helping” them with the harvest.  One of my most fond memories was during lunch following that first full morning (ie 4 hours) picking coffee. We had had a lot of fun, laughing, singing, and telling jokes with the farmers, while they tried to teach us their techniques.  But truth be told, the work is back-breaking, the hike to the farms was exhausting, and the sun was hot.

Fri, Oct 4, 2013 - 2:27pm

Fair Trade Your Halloween

Ashley Cheuk
October 4, 2013

Halloween is one of the biggest holidays for chocolate sales in the U.S.

Did you know that most mainstream chocolate comes from cacao plantations in West Africa, where forced child labor has been documented? This October, choose Fair Trade! Equal Exchange sources cacao fairly from small farmer co-operatives.

Here are ways you can get involved:


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