At That's Caring, we want to make sure that we are always doing as much as we can to leave a completely positive impact on our world, which is why every step of the gift-making process is considered in-depth. One of the most important steps is deciding which products to include in our gift boxes.
We are always looking for better and ethical products that we can feature, and when one of our partners, Northern Illinois Food Bank, suggested we speak with Equal Exchange, we leapt at the opportunity. After meeting the Equal Exchange team, hearing about their products and their mission, in Jamie's words, "we fell in love with them."
The chocolate, tea and banana industries are some of the most corrupt and unfair for farmers and workers. The majority of companies in these industries take advantage of laborers by paying them an unlivable wage, creating hazardous work conditions and destroying the environment they live in.
Equal Exchange is different by design. When they were founded in 1986, they were determined to challenge the existing trade model, which benefits the wealthy and exploits small farmers. Instead of following these practices, Equal Exchange supported their farmers by providing a fair and livable income, labor rights and ownership in the company.
They also focus on engaging consumers by educating them about the process of making these products, their farmers, the locations they’re grown in and other aspects of fair trade.
The processes of making Equal Exchange chocolate, tea and coffee are truly fascinating. They all start off the same, with farmers in different regions of the world growing tea leaves, coffee beans and cacao. Next, the farmers harvest the ingredients, plucking tea leaves, picking coffee beans and cutting down cacao pods.
From there, the processes differ from one another, but one thing remains the same: each step is carefully considered by Equal Exchange, ensuring that their products are ethical, sustainable and—of course—delicious.
Their People & Places
Over the last 30 years, Equal Exchange has developed relationships with farmer co-ops on four continents. We wish we could share the story of every partner they work with, but you can read all about them here. We can, however, share all of the countries they have partners in:
Central & North America
Equal Exchange offers a variety of products, including chocolates, teas, hot cocoas and even bananas, each of which is certified fair trade. We feature several chocolate bars, kinds of tea and hot cocoa in our gift boxes. If you'd like to buy their bananas, which we don't include in our gift boxes but totally recommend, you can look for the bananas with the Equal Exchange sticker at the grocery store.
Here are just some of the Equal Exchange products you'll find in That's Caring gift boxes:
- Mint Dark Chocolate Bar (Wine & Cheese Collection)
- Salted Caramel Chocolate Bar (Wine & Cheese Collection)
- Equal Exchange Organic Hot Cocoa (Holiday & Bakery Collections)
We are truly excited about our partnership with Equal Exchange and their mission to promote fair trade and high-quality products. If you'd like any more information on their work or on the products we feature, please give us a call at 224.366.5323 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have any ideas on other ethical products that give back we could feature? Please share them in the comments below!