Equal Exchange started with an idea: what if food could be traded in a way that is honest and fair, a way that empowers both farmers and consumers? Their founders - Rink Dickinson, Jonathan Rosenthal and Michael Rozyne - asked this question as they envisioned a trade model that values each part of the supply chain. So they took a big risk and plunged full-force into changing a broken food system. In 1986, they started with fairly traded coffee from Nicaragua and didn't look back. 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 their success, the contribution of worker co-operatives and fair trade to a more equitable, democratic and sustainable world.