This year, fair trade pioneer Equal Exchange marks its 30th year as an organization and its 10th year in the banana trade. Since its inception, Equal Exchange has worked tirelessly to give small farmers a place in the global marketplace with the mission of connecting farmers with consumers. Embedded deep within Equal Exchange’s mission is the importance of long-term trade partnerships, as evident through its partnerships with small farmer banana cooperatives in Ecuador and Peru. Equal Exchange has worked with El Guabo cooperative in Ecuador for 10 years and CEPIBO cooperative in Peru for 6 years.
Equal Exchange’s cooperative supply chain stands as an alternative to the conventional banana industry, which is dominated by multinationals. Equal Exchange bananas are grown by farmer cooperatives, imported and distributed by Equal Exchange (a worker-owned cooperative), and sold on the shelves of cooperatives like Seward Coop. Together, Equal Exchange and its partners are creating a trade model that supports small farmers, builds communities, and enriches the environment.
This coop month, celebrate this important milestone in the cooperative movement and radical banana trade with a special celebration at Lakes & Legends Brewery in Downtown Minneapolis on October 27th. Join Equal Exchange for an evening of discussion, food, and fun that celebrates small farmers striving to change the way American consumers view and eat bananas.
The evening will begin with a meet and greet with Dan Koeppel, renowned author of Banana, and Anibal Cabrera, Ecuadorian banana farmer from El Guabo cooperative. This is a rare opportunity to dig into the realities of the banana business with these banana experts, one Equal Exchange is excited to share with its Minneapolis partners.
The remainder of the evening will include a screening and panel discussion of the award-winning documentary Beyond the Seal, an intriguing piece that portrays the story of a group of small farmers – and the activists and visionaries behind them – striving to change the banana industry. Join us for a truly thrilling evening focused on bananas, small farmers, and the cooperative movement.
For more information about the event, visitfacebook.com/equalexchange/events. The event is free and open to public.
Thank you for supporting Equal Exchange bananas over the past 10 years. To many more decades in the future!
Ravdeep Jaidka is the Supply Chain Coordinator at Equal Exchange Bananas. Ravdeep manages the domestic end of the Equal Exchange banana supply chain, making sure the bananas get from the Port of Philadelphia to the shelves of coops and stores on schedule every week. Her favorite way to enjoy a banana is in smoothie form.