What is the Equal Partner Program?
The foods we choose to eat impact more than just our own health and wellbeing. They also have an impact on the environment and the many individuals across the supply chain, beginning with the farmers. Unfortunately, the competitive nature of the global marketplace has led many companies to cut costs at the expense of workers’ rights, fair wages, and sustainable environmental practices - often in some of the most vulnerable communities.
Recognizing the power that businesses hold to potentially improve lives across the entire supply chain, our chocolate supplier, Agostoni, launched their Equal Partner Direct Buying Program. This sustainable business model goes above and beyond Fair-Trade standards and generates social, economic, and environmental benefits for the growers who supply their cocoa. By ensuring fair prices for cocoa, the Equal Partner Program enables economic empowerment, improved working conditions, clear work contracts, and education to help improve quality while protecting the environment in farming communities.
Benefits for the cocoa farmers include:
- Guaranteed market fair prices, and long-term contracts for economic security
- Better standard of living for farming communities
- Financial support for effective business development
- Training for improved crop yields through sustainable means
- Centralized cacao bean collection centers to sustainably consolidate transportation and processing resources
- Instruction on proper fermentation and processing techniques to improve quality, which boosts profits
- Equipment for farmers to improve efficiency
- Future farmer programs inspiring younger generations to take up cocoa farming
How is the Equal Partner Program different from Fair-Trade Certification?
GoMacro’s cocoa used to carry the Fair-Trade Certification, which indicates that a product meets rigorous social, environmental, and economic standards like safe working conditions, environmental protection, sustainable livelihoods, and community development funds.
While the Equal Partner Program shares all the same goals as Fair-Trade, it goes above and beyond the standards of the Fair-Trade model. Agostoni works exclusively and directly with the farmers rather than buying through a “middle-man,” and the close relationships they’ve built with farming communities help ensure ethical and environmental standards are upheld.
What We’re Doing
GoMacro sources all of our organic cocoa powder from Agostoni’s family-owned company, which has been crafting artisan chocolate for over six decades. Agostoni sources cocoa beans from farms in Central America, South America, and Africa that use environmentally safe practices and support a good quality of life for farm communities.
When you enjoy the rich goodness of organic chocolate chips in a MacroBar, now you can feel even better knowing that the cocoa was produced with the highest ethical and environmental standards!
As we continue to create products that achieve our high standards for quality and integrity, we commit to only choosing suppliers who have transparent processes around fair labor and environmental standards.