New Price FAQs
Equal Exchange is moving to a single price list for all customers on January 2, 2019. We've standardized and updated the cost of individual items and wholesale cases, and updated our shipping policy.
FAQs About the Change
Q: I can't tell the difference! What's going on?
A: Equal Exchange now has one standardized price list for individuals and groups! If you were formerly a retail customer, you'll see the same or slightly lower prices when you order by the individual bar or bag, and significantly lower prices when you order by the wholesale case. Shipping charges for you will remain the same. If you were a wholesale customer, you'll see the same or slightly lower prices for individual bars or bags but you'll notice that prices for wholesale cases are now slightly higher. But shipping charges for you will have gone down and you won't have to buy as much to qualify for free shipping.
Q: What makes you say this system is simpler?
A: Our web store no longer requires you to be logged in to see the correct pricing. It's also now easier to set up an account online — if your group chooses to share ordering duties, multiple people can each have their own logins and everybody will get low wholesale case pricing. Thanks to the move to a single price list, Equal Exchange has been able to add helpful automated tools that let you know how close you are to free shipping. If it would be cheaper to order a wholesale case of something in your cart, we'll tell you so before you check out! And with a single price list, we'll be able to communicate with you better on social media and offer more free educational materials. Plus, this simplification has made it possible for us to offer a program to all customers that rewards you for making purchases, and we'll soon have the subscription program folks have asked us about for years. You'll never run out of coffee again!
Q: What's new about shipping?
A: All customers now get free shipping on orders that total $75 or more. Shipping on orders that don't meet the threshold is now just $7.50. If you're a retail customer, nothing has changed. If you order wholesale cases, shipping costs less and it easier to get to free shipping!
Q: Why did you raise some prices?
A: Our costs for production and shipping inch up a little every year. But we haven't changed the prices we charge for our products for almost a decade! (If you're a longtime customer, you'll remember that the last time we did an across-the-board price increase was 2011.) This year's price adjustment will help Equal Exchange to remain in good financial health so that we can pay everyone we work with — including small-scale producer groups — and expand our programs.
Q: By how much did prices go up?
A: It varies from product to product. Generally, wholesale cases cost a few dollars more now, which means they are just one or two cents more per serving. For example, cases of six 12 oz bags of our organic packaged coffees used to cost $38.40 — now they're $41.40. That means you're paying two cents more for each cup of brewed coffee. Tea is also two cents more per cup; chocolate now costs 17 cents more per bar. We did our best to keep the price change minimal and unobtrusive.
Q: Will farmers actually get more money now?
A: The changes we're making give Equal Exchange the ability to provide continuity when it comes to the prices we pay farmer partners and the other kinds of support we offer them. Equal Exchange will keep buying coffee, tea, chocolate and other foods at prices that meet or exceed the fair trade minimum. We'll continue to pay bonuses on top of that for products that are organic and products that are of extra-high quality. We'll keep offering pre-harvest financing to small-scale farmers, who often have trouble getting the loans they need elsewhere. We'll be able to continue our support of programs to help build infrastructure within rural communities.
It's been a difficult few years for many of the producer co-ops with whom Equal Exchange partners. Global warming and its consequences — mudslides in India and Peru, a major earthquake in Ecuador, changing temperature patterns that have hastened the spread of la roya, a fungus that kills coffee plants, and more — disproportionately impact communities that can afford it least. Political upheaval and violence sometimes make it hard for producers to bring their crops to market. And even under the best of circumstances, farming is a risky business, with yields that vary from harvest to harvest! For more than thirty years, our mission has been consistent support. You are crucial to this mission as we face challenges going forward.
Together, we hope to provide a market for more fairly traded food and expand our reach to new producer groups around the world!
Q: How do your new prices compare to my other options?
Our coffee, tea, chocolate and foods are specialty quality and organic. They're authentic fair trade. And our prices still compare favorably to our competitors. See for yourself!
Q: What are my lowest-cost options for coffee, now?
A: Try Organic Breakfast Blend. It's priced lower than any of our other organic coffees at $38.40 per case. You can brew it at 10 cents a cup. Conventional Cafe Salvador, our lowest-priced Pillow Pack coffee, is just six cents per cup. If you brew with a percolator, Conventional Fellowship Blend is 9 cents per cup.
Q: I used to feel like my church/group was special, because we got special prices. Why did that change?
A: You're still very special to us! Thanks for supporting Equal Exchange's work for so many years! We made this move because we want to expand the reach of fair trade. Our mission is to connect small-scale producer groups to consumers here in the US. We strive to make these wonderful products as widely available as possible. Now, it's easier for churches, temples, organizations, offices and families around the world to get involved with authentic fair trade.
The price list simplification allows us to show our gratitude to you in a new way — we've started a rewards program for denominational partners. We'll be offering a new rewards program for congregations that will go into effect in early 2019. Stay tuned for more information.