Equal Exchange

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This article is about the U.S. trading cooperative. For UK trading cooperative, see Equal Exchange Trading.
Equal Exchange
Founded 1986 (1986)
Headquarters West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, United States
Products coffee, tea, sugar, chocolate
Number of employees
Website equalexchange.coop

Equal Exchange is a for-profit Fairtrade worker-owned, cooperative headquartered in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Equal Exchange distributes organic, gourmet coffee, tea, sugar, bananas, avocados, cocoa, and chocolate bars produced by farmer cooperatives in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Founded in 1986, it is the oldest and largest Fair Trade coffee company in the United States. The highest paid employee of Equal Exchange may not make more than four times what the lowest paid employee receives.[1]

Equal Exchange is currently[when?] collaborating with cranberry, pecan, and almond farmers in the United States.


Equal Exchange was founded in 1986 by Rink Dickinson, Jonathan Rosenthal and Michael Rozyne. Before founding Equal Exchange, Dickinson, Rosenthal and Rozyne were managers at a food cooperative in New England and were actively involved in American food industry reform. For three years prior to Equal Exchange's birth, the three founders met once weekly to discuss how global food trade could be changed to increase incomes and stabilize economic situations of farmers.[2] The meetings resulted in the development of an alternative trade model that utilized direct trade, established long term contracts, and offered higher-than-market prices to small coffee farmers. This differs from the traditional trade model, in which buyers go through a series of middlemen to purchase coffee beans from plantation farmers.[3]


Equal Exchange operates two cafés in the United States. The Boston café, located in the historic North End, serves Equal Exchange tea, coffee and espresso drinks as well as locally sourced pastries, sandwiches and other lunch items.[4] The Seattle café serves Equal Exchange coffee and espresso drinks exclusively.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Equal Exchange: About Our Co-op
  2. ^ "Our Story". Equal Exchange. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  3. ^ Simpson, Charles R.; Rapone, Anita (Summer 2000). "Community Development From The Ground Up: Social-Justice Coffee". Human Ecology Review. 7 (1): 46–57. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  4. ^ "Equal Exchange Café". Equal Exchange Co-op. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  5. ^ "Equal Exchange Espresso Bar". Equal Exchange Co-op. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 

External links[edit]