Organic Valley: Our Co-op

Co-op of the Month: March

In recognition of the International Year of Cooperatives, we will be sharing the stories of different cooperatives throughout the year.  This month, we're highlighting Equal Exchange. Read on and enjoy!

Equal Exchange: Do Good and Eat Well.

Who knew the purchase of some of the tastiest chocolate on earth or the finest “cupping” coffees could be so deeply satisfying? Equal Exchange fans tend to sum it up perfectly: “It’s easy to choose organic and fair trade when it tastes great!”

Small Farmers, Big Change. That’s what this cooperative has been all about since 1986, when its founders envisioned a just food system that would bond farmers and consumers into strong communities that would promote a spiritually and ecologically healthier planet. Equal Exchange started with fairly traded coffee from Nicaragua and didn't look back.

Today, Equal Exchange partners with co-operatives of small farmers who provide high-quality organic coffees, teas, chocolates, bananas, olive oil, and almonds.

CROPP Cooperative and Equal Exchange have grown in parallel, sharing what quantum mechanics would consider a covalent bond. Our cooperatives exist to empower and enable small farmers to jointly market their products to consumers around the world. Just as CROPP has fought to establish an alternative to industrial agriculture, so has Equal Exchange fought to build an alternative to an exploitative trade system, one that gives consumers the power to support small farmers with their purchases.

“Ultimately, it’s all about the farmers,” says co-Executive Director, Rob Everts. “The cooperative model of business is their best hope of success. Because of that and cooperative exporters like Equal Exchange that get the products to consumers, these farmers can persevere.”

Want to bring great taste, big change and fun to your community, school or congregation?

Support authentic Fair Trade:


Previous Co-op Features

February: La Montanita Co-op

Founded in 1976 by 300 families seeking healthy food, La Montanita Co-op Food Market now tallies about 15,000 members and serves New Mexico out of six locations in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Gallup. Learn what sets La Montanita apart from your basic grocery store.

January: CROPP Cooperative

Most folks think of Organic Valley and Organic Prairie as sources of delicious and healthful organic foods. What they don’t know is that the key to our success is our cooperative business model known as Cooperative Regions of Organic Producer Pools (CROPP).

Everything's Better Together!

In recognition of the International Year of Cooperatives, we will be sharing the stories of different cooperatives throughout the year. Please join us this year to celebrate the benefits of working together!
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