Episcopal Relief & Development Partners with Equal Exchange to Offer Fair Trade Products

Episcopal Relief & Development Web StatementJune 23, 2015

Episcopal Relief & Development and Equal Exchange have launched a new Fair Trade partnership, offering customers an opportunity to enjoy premium products while supporting small-scale farming communities and healing a hurting world.

The Episcopal Relief & Development Fair Trade Project offers a range of products including coffee, tea, chocolate and snack items.  Equal Exchange donates 15 cents per pound of product purchased* to Episcopal Relief & Development, supporting programs that alleviate hunger, promote health and fight disease.

“I am so pleased to begin our Fair Trade Project with Equal Exchange,” said Sean McConnell, Episcopal Relief & Development’s Director of Engagement, “since they not only support farmer-run cooperatives but are actually a co-op themselves.  With our own focus on asset-based community development and empowering small-scale farmers to earn a living while protecting the environment, this partnership is in perfect alignment with our mission.”

Samples of Fair Trade products will be offered at Episcopal Relief & Development’s booth #501 at the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Three coffee blends (medium roast African Roots, darker Love Buzz and Full City Roast decaf) and three premium chocolates (dark with almonds, dark with sea salt and caramel crunch and milk with a hint of hazelnut) will be offered on a rotating basis throughout the days that the exhibit hall is open, June 23 through July 1.

“Even though the formal partnership is just beginning, some Episcopalians have been purchasing Equal Exchange products for their congregations for years. I think it’s because they’ve trusted our long-term commitment to small farmers and our leadership in the world of Fair Trade,” said Susan Sklar, Equal Exchange’s Interfaith & Community Sales Manager. “Our relationships with producer co-ops ensure steady income and premium prices for the high-quality organic goods that folks enjoy. As a nearly 30-year-old organization, our mission is to respect the dignity of farmers and to enable them to remain on their land, invest in education for their children and strengthen their communities.”

New and existing Equal Exchange customers who wish for their purchases to benefit Episcopal Relief & Development should sign up online or contact Equal Exchange at interfaith@equalexchange.coop or 774.776.7366.  Both individuals and groups, such as congregations and community organizations, can purchase products online through the Equal Exchange website or request a catalog and order form via mail.

“Fair Trade enables small-scale farmers to support their families and stay on their land with fair and steady income through their cooperatives,” said Abagail Nelson, Episcopal Relief & Development’s Senior Vice President of Programs.  “And organic farming keeps toxic pesticides and chemical fertilizers out of the soil and water, which preserves the environment.  Additionally, shade-grown crops improve the soil and prevent erosion, while providing habitat for birds and other wildlife.  Equal Exchange does a wonderful job of ensuring that their products create the greatest real benefits for farmers, consumers and the world.”

To learn more about Episcopal Relief & Development’s programs worldwide, visit www.episcopalrelief.org.

Episcopal Relief & Development works with more than 3 million people in nearly 40 countries worldwide to overcome poverty, hunger and disease through multi-sector programs that utilize local resources and expertise. An independent 501(c)(3) organization, Episcopal Relief & Development works closely with Anglican Communion and ecumenical partners to help communities rebuild after disasters and develop long-term strategies to create a thriving future. In 2014-15, the organization joins Episcopalians and friends in celebrating 75 Years of Healing a Hurting World.

*15 cents per pound donation does not include Equal Exchange’s Palestinian olive oil.