Though today the fair trade food brand Alter Eco works with 25 cooperatives across 19 countries, they began in 1999 as a small shop in Paris carrying mostly furniture. With time, money and retail partners, the company has grown into a "team of fair trade visionaries and food-loving explorers on a mission to connect you to our farmers and their honest foods." One of the leading members of the Fair Trade Initiative, their hands-on approach has led to major impacts in improving the food cycle by supporting independent producers and distributors, as well as by spearheading education initiatives.
In keeping with the brand's overall commitment to improving the global community, the food is of course natural, organic, and never anything less than you'd expect. Products range from bags of hearty grains like jasmine rice and quinoa to chocolate bars filled with sugary mint or crystallized orange peels.
Each of Alter Eco's 56 fair trade, USDA organic products sell on their site at reasonable prices. The chocolate runs just over $4 a bar, and comes highly recommended by the candy aficionados on the CH staff—particularly the Dark Chocolate Quinoa. For in-store purchase, check out the webstite's retail locator, which lists carriers all across the U.S. and in parts of Canada.