I get really excited about our chocolate at Sacred Ground. Like, sometimes I do a happy dance when people buy a bar. it's not just because it's super delicious, it's not just because it's some quality cocoa (although both of those are true), it's because our chocolate is super-chocolate. It's changing the world.
You see, we at Sacred Grounds specifically source our chocolate bars from a company called Equal Exchange and in the grand scheme of how cool a company can be, Equal Exchange is pretty swank. You see, this company comes with a mission:
"Equal Exchange's mission is to build long-term trade partnerships that are economically just and environmentally sound, to foster mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers and to demonstrate, through our success, the contribution of worker co-operatives and Fair Trade to a more equitable, democratic and sustainable world."
How cool is that? And they implement this mission by selling only fair trade products founded on co-op principles. What exactly is a co-op? Well nothing explains it better than the Equal Exchange site itself: "A worker cooperative...is not designed to maximize profits, nor returns to investors, but rather to bring to the workplace many of the rights and responsibilities that we hold as citizens in our communities. These principles include one-person/one-vote equality; open access to information (i.e., open-book management); free speech; and the equitable distribution of resources (such as income.)" Everyone in a worker's co-op is both worker and owner in the process so there is no work/income differentiation, those doing the work are those receiving the income.
It's a company model founded entirely on equality and transparency and Equal Exchange has a particularly interesting story. The company was founded by three men: Jonathan Rosenthal, Michael Rozyne and Rink Dickinson. they met at an East Coast co-op and realised that there was no co-op-like set up for many producers outside the U.S. where the practice was sorely needed and where some of America's most beloved imports (named coffee and chocolate) were coming from. So they jumped in, quit their jobs, invested life savings and started Equal Exchange.
Equal Exchange sells coffee, tea, and chocolate, as well as what they call "Fair Foods" which includes a variety of products such as bananas, nuts, avocados, and other goods whose production is usually most affected by unfair and inhuman business practices.
So, all of Equal Exchanges products are Fair Trade. The chocolate which Sacred Grounds sells from them is also certified organic, kosher, vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free. In essence it's the purest chocolate with the purest cause. So, go ahead, come to Sacred Grounds and buy a bar, this indulgence is good for everybody.
Origins: Great Lakes Tea and Spice Co.
March 23, 2014
May 1, 2013
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