Equal Exchange is a worker-owned cooperative that builds long-term trade partnerships that are economically just, environmentally sound, and mutually beneficial for small farmers and consumers alike. Equal Exchange pioneered the fair trade movement in the United States in 1986 and have worked tirelessly ever since in an effort to change trade for better! They are a rowdy group of rabble-rousers, dreamers and doers that span from Boston, Massachusetts to Portland, OR!
When Equal Exchange opened up shop in 1986, the Reagan administration had imposed an embargo a year earlier on all products imported from Nicaragua’s Sandanista government. However, importing coffee from Nicaragua was exactly what they wanted to do, as an effort to stand in solidarity with the Sandanistas and this critical people’s movement. Equal Exchange found a loophole in the embargo law which allowed them to import the coffee beans into the U.S., however upon their arrival at port they were confiscated by U.S. officials. Equal Exchange spent the next two years with trade lawyers at their side fighting to get even just small amounts released at a time.
Average costs: $2.00-$12.00, depending on the product
You can find their products at People’s Food Co-op, Alberta Cooperative Grocery, The Green Zebra, New Seasons Markets, and Whole Foods.
Most of Equal Exchange's products are vegan and they don’t use soy lecithin or any such emulsifiers in their chocolates. "We pride ourselves on using ingredients that are not only traceable, but also understandable!"