FAQs

Placing an Order

You can reach us by phone, email, fax or mail. We are in the office Monday - Friday from 9am to 5pm EST.

Phone: 774-776-7366
Fax: 508-587-5955
communityorders@equalexchange.coop

15 Campanelli Circle
Canton, MA 02021

You can order on this store, just like anybody else!

Sure! You can always call in your order, or email, mail or fax it to us.

Our web store only contains records of accounts that have ordered online before, so if you have never placed an order via the store you will need to sign in as a new customer. When we process your order we will link your web account with your existing one in our system so that we know you are not a new customer. While only your web history will show up on the web store itself, we will see all of your history in our systems under a single account.

We changed our pricing system in January 2019. Read more here >>

If you are ordering for an organization, we may be able to bill you for your order. To set up a billing agreement with us, or if you already have one offline and would like to activate it on the web store, please contact customer service at 774-776-7366 or communityorders@equalexchange.coop.

returns or exchanges

If you are selling or fundraising with Equal Exchange products, please note that our products are not sold on consignment; please purchase only the quantities that you feel confident you can sell before their best by date.

Please notify us of any errors in your order within ten days of receipt and we will do whatever we can to correct the issue. We do not generally accept returns except in cases of error. Please contact customer service with any errors or questions at 774-776-7366.

In the unfortunate event that there is an error with your order, please contact us within 10 business days of receipt of the order so we can swiftly correct this for you. Contact customer service at 774-776-7366 to report any errors and please have your order number handy if possible.

About Equal Exchange

Equal Exchange is best known as the unorthodox, employee-owned company that pioneered the practice of Fair Trade with small coffee farmers in the U.S. The company is unique for having voluntarily adopted, and for aggressively promoting, these Fair Trade standards for years when our peers insisted that it was impossible. But Equal Exchange has persevered with this unusual course because it was founded with an unusual mission — to create a new model of bringing the best from farms to the consumers in a manner that was direct, fair and sustainable to all involved: the environment, the farmers, our employees, our wholesale customers, and the public.

And though hundreds of companies, some 200 times our size, have now joined us in the Fair Trade sector, Equal Exchange remains the market leader, even as we continue to improve the benefits we offer to our co-op partners. By our consistent growth and profitability we have demonstrated Fair Trade's viability, expanded the definition of "great coffee,” and have raised the bar for ethical business practices.

No. Equal Exchange is a tax-paying, for-profit worker cooperative (one of the largest in the U.S.), with both inside and outside shareholders, and is controlled by its employees.

Equal Exchange has demonstrated that Fair Trade, and worker cooperatives, are viable, self-sustaining business models. Our financial structure, and the way we allocate revenue and income, may be the only one of its kind in the United States.

A worker cooperative is an alternative for-profit structure based upon standard democratic principles such as one person one vote and open access to information (i.e. open-book management, etc.) Instead of being owned by outside investors or founders, a worker co-op is owned, equally, by its employees.

Directors, managers, and entry-level employees all own one, identical share, and receive an equal share of any profits. These worker-owners‚ both elect the Board of Directors and fill six of the nine Board seats. The Board in turn is responsible for hiring and supervising management. Consequently a circle is formed, as in American civic democracy, where everyone is accountable to someone else.

The delegation of responsibilities is very much like that of conventional company - which allows for efficiency - except that at Equal Exchange those at the "bottom" of the organizational chart are, as owners, also at the "top" of the same chart.

Learn more here.

Fair Trade is a way of doing business that ultimately aims to keep small farmers an active part of the world marketplace, and aims to empower consumers to make purchases that support their values. Fair Trade is a set of business practices voluntarily adopted by the producers and buyers of agricultural commodities and hand-made crafts that are designed to advance many economic, social and environmental goals, including raising and stabilizing the incomes of small-scale farmers, farm workers, and artisans, connecting consumers and producers, and increasing the organizational and commercial capacities of producer groups. Read more here.

At Equal Exchange 100% of our coffee is fairly traded. For other companies‚ Fair Trade coffee usually constitutes only a small percentage of their total sales. In such cases Fair Trade coffee products are something added on to, and possibly subsidized by, a much larger conventional coffee operation.

We were the first company to bring fairly traded coffee to the United States back in 1991, and remained the only organization using the Fair Trade model until 1998.

As a worker co-operative Equal Exchange operates in the same democratic, equitable, and transparent manner that the Fair Trade certification system requires of participating farmer co-operatives. Conventional companies are neither obliged to, nor do, operate in accordance with these Fair Trade principles.

Learn more here.

Our Coffee

The majority of our coffee is organic. All of Equal Exchange's organic coffee is certified by Oregon Tilth. Oregon Tilth Certified Organic (OTCO) is an internationally recognized symbol of organic integrity. The purpose of organic certification is to ensure that the agreed upon conventions of organic agricultural systems are being practiced not only by growers, but also by all the people who handle and process organic food on its journey to the final consumer. To accomplish this, OTCO provides a system which combines strict production standards, verifiable third party inspections, and legally binding affidavits to protect the producers and buyers of organic products. For more information, visit the Oregon Tilth website.

The majority of our coffee is certified "OU" Kosher. The "OU", Orthodox Union, is the largest and oldest Kosher supervising agency in the world. The OU has supervised Kosher products for seventy five years. The OU certifies over 2,300 companies with 4,500 plants in 70 countries around the globe with a total of over 300,000 labels.

Kosher supervision means that a qualified Rabbi or Rabbinic organization supervises the production of a food item to insure that the product is Kosher (prepared in accordance with Jewish dietary law). For more information, visit www.ou.org.

A 12oz bag will make between 40-50 cups in a drip brewer. Our 1lb bags will make between 80-90 cups in a percolator. Please keep in mind that this is not an exact measurement, as different people brew coffee at different strengths. Learn more about preparing and storing coffee here.

Pillow Packs contain drip-grind coffee that's pre-measured for use with specific brewers. The 1.5 oz, 2.25 oz and 2.5 oz packs work best with 12-cup machines. The larger the size, the stronger the brew! The 8 oz packs make 1.5 gallons of coffee.

Here at Equal Exchange, our coffee is roasted to bring out the finest characteristics in each bean. Using a series of strict quality controls, we evaluate the characteristics of each bean to determine the proper roast and blend combinations. We offer four different coffee roasts, as well as a number of post-roast blends where two roast levels are paired to create new and exciting flavor profiles. Read more about roast levels here.

Equal Exchange is committed to supporting sustainable agriculture practices. For over 30 years we've developed relationships with small farmer co-ops. Each of these co-ops has its own unique social, political and ecological history and is engaged in fostering sustainable agricultural production systems. Our mission to work with small farmer cooperatives has led us to work in regions with extensive landscape degradation. The market access we provide to producers in these regions is critical to restoring these landscapes.

Over 98% of Equal Exchange coffees are certified organic by volume. The overwhelming majority of these organic coffees are shade grown. Some of the coffees that are not, are produced in locales where deforestation has occurred. The land in these areas is in transition; it is in the process of being restored with agroforestry systems using coffee as the principal crop.

While the shade grown certification system is appropriate for some growers we do not believe it provides sufficient additional benefits for us to ask our producer partners to go through this process on top of the Fair Trade and organic standards they are already meeting. Both organic and Fair Trade standards have environmental components that cover much of what shade grown certification requires. From our perspective, shade certification does not significantly alter the practices of farms that are already Fair Trade and organic certified.

Equal Exchange coffee is primarily decaffeinated using  CR3 Natural Liquid Carbon Dioxide Decaffeination. This natural form of decaffeination preserves the quality of the coffee beans, which is why the flavors aren't affected. Read more about the decaffeination process here.

Our Tea

This tea is special, from the people who grow it and the stories and communities behind it to its unique flavor. Most teas, even Fair Trade-certified teas, come from large plantations where workers have little say. We are helping to build a different system that values the voice of small farmers, their products, and democracy in trade. Learn more here.

Yes. All current Equal Exchange tea products are certified organic by Oregon Tilth. For more information, visit the Oregon Tilth website.

We do! We offer an Organic Decaffeinated English Breakfast Tea. We also offer many herbal teas that do not include caffeine. Try Rooibos, Rooibos Chai, Vanilla Rooibos, Chamomile, Peppermint and Ginger teas.​

Our Chocolate & Cocoa

Our Organic Hot Cocoa mix, Organic Baking Cocoa, Organic Spicy Hot Cocoa are certified by the Orthodox Union.

Our chocolate bars and minis are certified by Rabbi Abraham Hochwald, Chief Rabbi of the Northern Rhine-Germany.

To request a copy of the Kosher certificates, please e-mail customer service at communityorders@equalexchange.coop.

Many of the chocolate bars found in stores today have a cacao percentage on the label. This refers to the percentage of the bar (by weight) that is derived from the cacao bean.

The two main ingredients in a chocolate bar derived from the cacao bean are "chocolate liquor" (a.k.a. cocoa mass) and "cocoa butter". For example, Equal Exchange's Organic Very Dark Chocolate bar has a 71% cacao content. This means that 71% of the bar is chocolate liquor plus cocoa butter and 29% is other ingredients (e.g. sugar and vanilla).

Equal Exchange bars range from 43% cacao content (Organic Milk Chocolate) to 88% cacao content (Organic Extreme Dark Chocolate).

The ingredients that go into our chocolate bars and cocoas are farmed sustainably, without harmful pesticides or fertilizers. This is better for farmers, the planet, and for your body.

Our farmer partners do not use synthetic chemicals for pest and weed control. This prevents harmful chemicals from entering the local ecosystem and water supply, which is also healthier for farmers and their families.

As an alternative, many farmers use organic material for making compost, use fertilizers and pesticides made of local and natural inputs, and use natural barriers, such as plants, to control water flow and prevent against erosion.

Many organic farmers also have diverse farms, meaning they plant a variety of cacao trees (which lowers the risk of disease), tall shade trees, and fruit and vegetable plants. This diversity allows for more diversity of wildlife as well as stronger protection against extreme weather, such as flooding and erosion.

Other Product Information

Organic means that the product was grown without harmful chemical pesticides, as per standards set by the USDA. Most of our products are certified organic. A large number of products that are not organic come from farmers currently working towards organic certification.

Nutritional info can be found in the product descriptions on our webstore within the "Nutrition" and "Ingredients" sections.

You can view our collection of recipes, ranging from chocolate cake to rooibos popsicles, here. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share, please email it to us at communityorders@equalexchange.coop.

Equal Exchange has been working for over two decades to transform the coffee, tea and chocolate industries. Now we're setting our eye on the world of bananas as well! Learn more about the banana revolution Beyond the Peel.

Getting Involved

You may purchase Equal Exchange products for your store or cafe by calling our sales customer service team at 774-776-7333. You can also request more information and learn more here. We ask that you go through these channels rather than simply shopping online - our sales reps can provide you with resources that the online store cannot!

From holding a catalog fundraiser with your school, youth group, or organization to buying our products and reselling them at a table at your congregation, you can learn more about our fundraising program here.

Learn more about Equal Exchange's unique capital structure and investment opportunities, including our unique CD (Certificate of Deposit) here.

Coffee Hour: Serve fairly traded coffee, tea and cocoa after services at your church of congregation.


Buying Club: Form a Buying Club for fairly traded products at your home and office.


Alternative Gift Market: Host or visit an Alternative Gift Market for the holidays.


Fundraising: Use products as a fundraiser for your youth group, school, or other organization.


Farmers Market: Buy from your local farmers market and also set up a booth to sell there.


Stores: Look for a Ten Thousand Villages or other Fair Trade store in your area.


Co-operatives: Look up your local co-operatives and support them.


Cafes: Look for a local independent cafe that serves Fair Trade coffee, tea and cocoa.


Online: Go online to find fairly traded, sweat-free, and co-operative-made items. This store and Ten Thousand Villages, SERVV, and Global Exchange are good places to start.


One Step at a Time: If Fair Trade is expensive, then decide to buy one item of Fair Trade per set period (like a month or week), or for just one or a few of your gifts.


Expand your Fair Trade Realm: Before you buy anything, even something you think might not be available in Fair Trade-form, double check first. There are many new small farmer and fairly traded items out there.

If you are interested in receiving email notifications regarding special offers, promotions and new products, sign up in the footer below. You can unsubscribe from this email list at any time, and will never share your contact information. We invite you to stay in touch with Equal Exchange on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram too!

Discover a wealth of information about our products, partner co-ops and ethos on our main site, and our blog. You'll find brewing tips, farmer stories, recipes, news and more! We also have display and educational materials to download or to add to your order.

Interfaith Partnerships

Equal Exchange currently has partnerships with thirteen different faith groups. They include: American Friends Service Committee, Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, Catholic Relief Services, Church of the Brethren, Disciples of Christ, Episcopal Relief & Development, Mennonite Central Committee U.S., Presbyterian Church USA, United Church of Christ, United Methodist Committee on Relief, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, and Women of the ELCA. If you don't see your denomination represented, you are still welcome to order from us and support small farmers.

Congregations that buy products from Equal Exchange use them in a variety of ways. The most wide-spread use is for a "coffee hour" or "fellowship hour" after worship.

Congregations also resell our products one or more pre-advertised days in a month to provide a source for fairly traded, organic products to their members. This can be used for fundraising by marking up the goods by an amount they deem appropriate. Equal Exchange can provide you with fundraising materials.

Other congregations sell our products to raise money at certain designated times of the year during rummage sales, craft fairs, holiday festivals, or town celebrations. We even have a small but growing group of customers who serve our products at "Coffee Houses" that are open to the community, raising money and increasing local awareness of Fair Trade.

Finally, our congregations sometimes join together with their local council of churches or other organizations interested in social justice to hold a "Fair Trade Fair" to increase awareness in their communities.