Jonathan Rosenthal is an American Fair Trade Pioneer. In 1986 he formed the Equal Exchange Cooperative with Rink Dickinson and Michael Rozyne. They wanted to create a trade model that valued the farmers, consumers and the planet. This meant challenging the way business is done. Including social and environmental sustainability within their model and taking the pluge to compete with aggressive conventional businesses. There first sales were generated with fairly Traded coffee from Nicaragua. For 20 years equal exchange has traded food in a way that is honest and fair and empowering for both farmers and consumers. The business model was designed to support family farms using organic methods, rather than industrialized agribusinesses that rely on harmful chemicals. In 2006, looking for a new challenge, Jonathan set up OKé Banana in a collaboration with Equal Exchange, Red Tomato and the Dutch Fair Trade Fruit organizatio Agrofair. His ambition was to change social values and the way people engaged with society through food. The banana being a universal and relatively inexpensive product seemed ideal to meet the challenge Jonathan set himself.
1. Equal Exchange
Official web page
Equal Exchange is a for-profit Fairtrade worker-owned, cooperative headquartered in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Equal Exchange distributes organic, gourmet coffee, tea, sugar, bananas, avocados, cocoa, and chocolate bars produced by farmer cooperatives in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Founded in 1986, it is the oldest and largest Fair Trade coffee company in the United States. The highest paid employee of Equal Exchange may not make more than four times what the lowest paid employee receives. Equal Exchange is currently collaborating with cranberry, pecan, and almond farmers in the United States.