Equal Exchange, Fair Trade & Murray Church

Murray-Unitarian-Universalist Church
-North Main St, Attleboro, MA 02703
 Phone: 508-222-0505
office@murrayuuchurch.org   map/directions



Equal Exchange & Murray Church
Murray Church serves Equal Exchange coffee & tea during Coffee Hour. Equal Exchange als0 sells a variety of products, including coffee, tea, chocolate and cocoa. including coffee, tea, chocolate and cocoa. When you purchase products from the Equal Exchange fair trade cooperative, this benefits farmers (pictured at right), Equal Exchange employees (a local company), and you.  Equal Exchange is a certified Fair Trade association, working directly with coffee growers. By serving Equal Exchange coffee, the Welcoming Committee is aligning our weekly Coffee and Fellowship Hour with our Unitarian Universalist Principles and Purposes.  Equal Exchange coffees are certified Fair Traded, certified organic and certified kosher.

Equal Exchange Fast Facts:

  • Equal Exchange is the leading Fair Trade brand of food and beverages in the United States.
  • First US food or beverage company to adopt the international Fair Trade standards (1991)
  • Fair Trade Certification: 100% of our coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate and sugar is Fair Trade certified™ by TransFair USA.
  • Credit: In 1995 Equal Exchange became one of the first US coffee importers to actively provide pre-harvest credit to the small farmer cooperatives. In 2006 we helped provide $1,911,000 in affordable credit to our coffee farmer partners.
  • Full-time employees: 100
  • Members of our worker cooperative: 77 (employees must work one year before becoming eligible to join)
  • Equal Exchange is one of the largest worker cooperatives in the United States, and, we believe, the world’s largest worker-owned coffee roasting facility.

Fair Trade includes:

  • Direct purchasing from those who are poorly served by conventional markets, specifically small farmers and their co-operatives.
  • Agreed upon commodity floor prices that provide for a dignified livelihood.
  • A promise by importers to make affordable credit available to the farmer co-operatives.
  • A worldwide network of non-profit certifying organizations.
  • A fee paid by the importers and wholesalers to cover the cost of certification.
  • A seal that assures consumers that a product was fairly traded.

The Fair Trade business model attempts to share the benefits more equitably across the supply chain. For coffee to be officially "Fair Trade Certified," coffee brokers and/or roasters must pay a premium price per pound for their coffee and source the coffee from farmer-managed cooperatives that meet certain labor and farming standards. Even though the companies pay a premium price for the coffee, most of them continue to be profitable.


Join the Banana Revolution

Equal Exchange and Oké USA, the only 100% Fair Trade banana company in the United States sourcing exclusively from small farmer co-operatives, have joined forces to revolutionize the banana industry and make fairly traded, organic, small-scale farmer bananas available to consumers. Equal Exchange is a part owner of Oké USA, launched in 2006. Oké USA bananas now carry the red Equal Exchange logo sticker.

The bananas are from a small farmer co-operative in Ecuador called El Guabo. After a recent visit, Phyllis Robinson, Educations and Campaigns Coordinator for Equal Exchange, discovered how, "In the three regions where El Guabo is operating, the members have voted to spend 80% of the Fair Trade premium they receive ($1 per box) for the sale of their bananas on community medical clinics, teachers, and a school for autistic children. )n 2009, the Association designated $1.8 million for social projects to benefit the wider community."

Read Join the Banana Revolution to learn about El Guabo and how by purchasing Equal Exchange bananas you become part of making a stand against a long history of violence and oppression in the banana industry. As Joe Riemann, Equal Exchange worker-owner and banana guy, states, "The 'cheap' price that is often celebrated for this grocery staple is in reality subsidized at the expense of social, environmental and financial well-being of farmers and their surrounding communities throughout the world. With only 5 companies controlling roughly 90% of the entire banana market, it only makes sense that we stepped in to offer an authentic alternative. Equal Exchange is the only company in the U.S. that guarantees a high quality, small farmer banana committed to structural change and empowerment of workers and farmers in every bunch."

Currently Equal Exchange bananas can be found in some grocery stores, natural foods stores and co-ops in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and parts of the Mid-West. Bradley Russell of Oké USA explains that "Fair Trade bananas are still in their infancy, like coffee was 20 years ago. So, we rely on committed consumers to show stores that Fair Trade produce is important." If you cannot find Equal Exchange bananas, ask your local grocery store to carry them.

Visit www.beyondthepeel.com for more information




Fair Trade in the U.S.

When buying coffee and other fairly traded products in the United States, consumers need to be sure they are buying a certified fair trade product. If your bag carries the label at right (Fair Trade Certified), it has been certified by TransFair USA , the only independent fair trade certifying agency in the United States. The presence of this label means that every step involved in getting the coffee, tea, cocoa and sugar from the crop to your cup has been monitored by this neutral third party certifier, ensuring the farmers received a fair price. Many other faith-based, consumer and advocacy organizations are part of the larger movement for fair trade that is spreading across America.