According to a recent study, 64 percent of Americans drink a cup of coffee every day (that’s up from 62 percent in 2017). And as we continue to consume our favorite morning pick-me-up, our desire to know what’s behind each cup is also on the rise, particularly when it comes to ethical sourcing. Equal Exchange shares this passion, which is why every one of its blends is Fair Trade Certified and organically farmed. But the brand’s innovative approach to business doesn’t stop there. Equal Exchange is also one of the largest worker cooperatives in the country, and steers away from a traditional for-profit structure in order to give its worker-owners an equal voice in the brand. Learn more about this trailblazing coffee favorite.
The History of Equal Exchange
Founded by Rink Dickinson, Jonathan Rosenthal, and Michael Rozyne in 1986, Equal Exchange started with a single idea: What if food could be traded in a way that’s honest and fair, empowering both farmers and consumers in the process? In an attempt to change a broken food system the group took a leap and launched a worker-owned brand (more on that below) committed to sustainable and ethical practices. Equal Exchange started with fairly traded coffee from Nicaragua and is still expanding its globally sourced selection today.
Equal Exchange Company Mission
This forward-thinking brand fosters mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers. In doing so, the Equal Exchange team hopes to demonstrate how incorporating worker cooperatives and Fair Trade practices contribute to a more equitable, democratic, and sustainable world.
Benefits of Equal Exchange
Equal Exchange is just as unique in its approach to business as it is in its approach to coffee. The company is organized as a democratic worker cooperative or worker-owned brand—meaning it’s not designed to maximize profits or returns to investors. Instead, Equal Exchange encompasses over 120 “worker-owners” who each have an equal stake in the company and share its high product standards.
In terms of the products themselves, each Equal Exchange blend is:
- Certified organic
- Fair trade
Top Equal Exchange Products
Step up your java game with these beloved blends.
Here’s a classic morning coffee with flavors of chocolate, roasted nuts, and caramel. Enjoy a cup or two in the a.m. to perk up the rest of your day.
Love is sweet—especially when it comes to this dark, rich brew with notes of chocolate brownie, caramel corn, malt, and toffee.
Busy day? Transport yourself into a state of zen with a soothing cup of this creamy, balanced blend with hints of almond, malt, and dark chocolate.
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Enjoy a refreshing sip with a distinctive mix of cold brew coffee, coconut milk, vanilla bean, dates, cardamom, and maple syrup—all poured over ice.