Relief For Parents This Fall: Equal Exchange’s Green Fundraiser Is Here

Sep 20, 2011 9:00 AM ET

(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) West Bridgewater, MA - September 19, 2011 - During this back-to-school season many beleaguered adults will no longer need to dread the knock on the door from the neighbor’s child peddling waxy chocolate or magazines for a local fundraiser. This is because thousands of parents are making the switch to the recently expanded green fundraiser from Equal Exchange, the pioneering Fair Trade company best known for their organic coffees, teas and chocolates.

Until recently the parents who organize fundraisers for their children’s schools or sports teams lacked decent choices as the most familiar programs are often built on cheap, generic, low quality products and must rely on guilt or peer pressure to drive sales.
In contrast Equal Exchange’s green fundraiser offers something new − high quality, organic, Fair Trade foods and beverages, plus fairly traded hand-made gift items from artisans around the world.  The fundraiser offers a range of delicious and environmentally-friendly products that people actually want, at reasonable prices, while simultaneously making positive change at home and abroad.
“The Equal Exchange green fundraising program is an excellent way for kids to help their own communities, while also learning vital lessons about our world and making a big difference for others.”
- Frances Moore Lappé, author of 18 books including the forthcoming EcoMind and the best-selling Diet for a Small Planet.
This unique program is now bigger and better than ever. Equal Exchange has added a collection of popularly-priced gift baskets ($30−$60) that mix and match some of their best-selling chocolates, teas and coffees. The fundraiser has also expanded the variety of gifts due to the popularity of these items last year. New products include beautiful hand-made cotton-fiber gift wrap, filigree jewellery from India, and a popular set of whimsical alpaca wool finger puppets from Peru.
Another new feature is an eye-catching, full color, twelve page catalog that is sure to be a welcome sales tool for participating families.
Because the food and beverage products are organic and fairly traded the fundraiser is supporting sustainable agriculture and small-scale family farmers around the world. The gift items are sourced from artisans in developing countries through a partnership with Ten Thousand Villages, the non-profit organization who helped pioneer Fair Trade over 50 years ago.
Equal Exchange’s fundraiser is designed for elementary, middle and high schools and works both as an event or catalog sale. It is an easy way for PTAs and student groups to raise funds at a competitive margin (40%) while at the same time reinforcing social and environmental responsibility and encouraging global citizenship. 
"Participating in the fair exchange of goods that benefit farmers and students is way more satisfying than being forced to sell over-priced wrapping paper for needless consumption." 
- Dixcy Bosley-Smith, a parent of children attending the Capital City Charter School, Washington D.C
To complement the fundraiser Equal Exchange also offers a free, downloadable 16 unit curriculum, “Win Win Solutions”, that helps demonstrate the link between personal actions and community efforts to create a more just and sustainable world. The curriculum incorporates participatory teaching methods and satisfies many basic U.S. curriculum standards for social studies, geography, math, economics, and other subjects.
About Equal Exchange
Equal Exchange has been a pioneer and U.S. market leader in Fair Trade since 1986 and is a full service provider of organic coffee, tea, chocolate, olive oil and other products. 100% of Equal Exchange products are fairly traded, benefiting more than 40 small farmer co-operatives in 25 countries around the world. In keeping with its Fair Trade mission Equal Exchange is a democratically governed, employee-owned co-operative, one of only a few in the US. Equal Exchange has been honored for its social entrepreneurship byFast Company magazine, The Financial Times, WorldBlu and others.
About Ten Thousand Villages
A fair trade retailer, Ten Thousand Villages offers home and garden decor, jewelry, personal accessories and gift items rich in ancient global traditions. Ten Thousand Villages features products from more than 130 artisan groups in 38 countries via a network of more than 150 retail outlets throughout the United States. For more than 60 years, Ten Thousand Villages has established fair, long-term buying relationships in places where skilled artisans lack opportunities for stable income. Ten Thousand Villages is a nonprofit program of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and in the 1980’s was a role model that helped to inspire the three co-founders of Equal Exchange.
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