We believe the health, happiness and future of the families who grow our food are just as vital as our own. Through Fair Trade and direct relationships with our partner cooperatives around the world, we are helping to put delicious meals on your table and theirs.
Fair Trade and What it Means to Us
Contract prices between Alter Eco and the supplying farmers are 10% to 30% higher than the local market price, with an additional Fair Trade premium set every year by the Fairtrade Labelling Organization (by product category and country of origin). In a global food system where farmers often carry debt three times their annual income, Fair Trade provides concrete opportunities for a stable, prosperous life.
Since 2007, Alter Eco has provided*:
- $1,116,000 beyond market prices
- $150,000 in premiums
- Sustainable development for 6 co-ops
- A living wage for 5,300 farmers
When producers tell us about the shift in their life after becoming a Fair Trade farmer, many describe the same proud moments you would: sending their kids to school, attending to the health of their families, and looking forward to the future. They also work together to build programs that benefit their entire community.
Experience real stories of how Fair Trade has impacted real people:
- VISIT - Fair Trade Rice Farmers in Thailand
- MEET - Beth, Robert and Miss Mujar - Fair Trade Sugar Cane Producers
- SEE - a Fair Trade Financed Community Center
- EXPLORE - the Connection Between Fair Trade and Gender Equality
Alter Eco sources 100% of its products from small-scale, farmer-owned cooperatives. Empowered farmers working for themselves invest their money directly into improving food production and living standards.
In addition to Fair Trade practices, we work directly with our co-op partners to create a supportive and mutually beneficial business relationship.
Eliminating middle men creates savings we can redistribute, providing farmers with higher prices for their goods. We sign long-term contracts and prepay for crops so that farmers can better plan for the future, maintaining consistent quality and output. Additionally, we act as guarantors on loans–and pay the interest on their behalf–to allow the farmers to properly prepare for a successful planting. Since 2007, Alter Eco has*:
- Provided $257,274 in pre-financing
- Guaranteed $1.2M in loans
In-person visits are a cornerstone of these partnerships, giving us a chance to truly know the people who grow our food, and to support them in attaining self-sufficiency at every level. Food sovereignty is at the top of that list. Most co-ops have a shared garden where they grow their own organic, local food, diversifying their diets. They also retain a set percentage of their cash crops each year for personal consumption and seeds.
Beyond the field, we have initiated and supported a variety of programs to meet specific needs, from providing new technology to starting a nursery and building a healthcare center.
*We provide our exact numbers because we are proud of the progress we’ve made. While potentially confusing when viewed out of context, they represent impressive gains for our partners. For more information, feel free to call or email us any time. As food activists, we love to discuss the details!