Episode 11 – Alter Eco: Why Fair Trade is Good Business
April 19, 2011
“There are fantastic stories behind every fair trade cooperative.” That’s one of the messages of Alter Eco co-founder and CEO Mathieu Senard in the latest episode of The Wendel Forum. In Episode 11 of The Wendel Forum (first aired on April 16, 2011, on Green 960 AM radio), our host Dick Lyons talks with Mathieu about how Alter Eco brings products from third world farmers to North American consumers in a way that earns investors a return on their money, as well as a return on their values.
The company started in 1999 with a small store in France. By 2005 it decided to launch operations in North America and currently imports items including coffee, quinoa, sugar, rice and chocolate. Placed in independent grocery chains throughout the U.S., including Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco, Alter Eco products allow previously marginalized small scale farmers in third world countries an opportunity to bring their products to larger markets and earn a fair wage in the process.
Mathieu shares the story behind Alter Eco and gives us a glimpse into a business model that prioritizes gradually closing the gap between rich and poor – so-called developing countries and industrialized countries.
Interview with Mathieu Senard: Episode 11 of The Wendel Forum
Alter Eco website: www.altereco-usa.com
Rainbow Grocery website: www.rainbow.coop
About the host: www.wendel.com/rlyons
Green 960 AM radio: www.green960.com