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More Chocolate = More Happiness All Around

New Fair Trade Chocolate Bars From Equal Exchange: Organic Ecuador Dark Chocolate & Organic Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - 1:00pm

CONTENT: Press Release

(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) WEST BRIDGEWATER, Massachusetts — September 7, 2010 — Equal Exchange, the nation's leading Fair Trade brand, is proud to introduce their new 3.5 oz (100g) Fair Trade chocolate bars: Organic Ecuador Dark Chocolate (65% cocoa content) and Organic Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt (55%). These two bars combine the highest quality organic ingredients with Swiss craftsmanship and the assurance they were sourced in the most socially and environmentally responsible manner possible – benefiting chocolate lovers, small-scale farmers, and the Earth itself. These bars are Equal Exchange's eighth and ninth full-size premium chocolate bars and represent the latest expansion of the co-operative's popular 100% organic, 100% Fair Trade chocolate and cocoa product line up.

The Organic Ecuador Dark Chocolate is Equal Exchange's second single-origin bar, following on the heels of last year's successful launch of their Organic Panama Extra Dark (80% cocoa) bar. This chocolaty, silky origin bar is reminiscent of baked brownies fresh out of the pan. The bar's sweet, fudgy richness is balanced by hints of citrus and floral notes. This bar is made with chocolate liquor from a new Equal Exchange partner, the Fortaleza del Valle co-operative in Ecuador, cocoa butter from a co-operative in the Dominican Republic, and fairly traded organic sugar.

The Organic Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt bar extends the Equal Exchange chocolate line in another direction by appealing to the growing number of chocolate lovers who enjoy a contrasting sweet/salty sensation. Crunchy caramel bits serve as the perfect complement to mouthwatering sea salt crystals. They work together to bring out the complex flavors of the smooth, fruity chocolate. This unique dark chocolate bar is sure to be a favorite. It is made with cacao from the CONACADO co-operative in the Dominican Republic and the CACVRA co-operative in Peru, and with fairly traded organic sugar from a Paraguayan small-farmer co-operative.

Both bars exemplify Equal Exchange's unparalleled commitment to Fair Trade and small-farmer co-operatives. For example, by weight 97% of the ingredients for the Caramel Sea Salt bar are certified Fair Trade. Even the sugar for the caramel is fairly traded. Amongst the remaining 3% the salt comes from a French co-operative of artisan sea salt producers, Les Salines de Guerande. All told the bar represents the combined efforts of no less than seven co-operatives in six countries on four continents.

The cocoa liquor for the Ecuadoran bar is from Equal Exchange's newest partner, the small farmer co-operative Fortaleza del Valle. They now join the over 40 farmer co-operatives around the world who already partner with Equal Exchange to bring Fair Trade coffee, tea, chocolate, snacks and bananas to market.

Like nearly all of Equal Exchange's products these bars are available nationwide either directly from Equal Exchange or through distributors, including UNFI. The bars may be ordered by the case (12 bars). Retailers may contact directly the Equal Exchange representative for their region. The wholesale price is $2.50/bar and $30/case. The suggested retail price is $4.25.

The Ecuadoran bar is vegan. Both bars are kosher, gluten-free and soy-free.

About Equal Exchange
A pioneer and U.S. market leader in Fair Trade since 1986, Equal Exchange is an award-winning, full service, nationwide provider of high quality organic coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa, healthy snacks and bananas. Their organic, Fair Trade cocoa-based products include nine 3.5 oz bars ranging from 38% to 80% cocoa content, bite-size .16 oz chocolate 'minis', hot cocoa mix, spicy hot cocoa mix, and drinking chocolate.

100% of Equal Exchange products are fairly traded, benefiting more than 40 small farmer co-operatives in 22 countries. In keeping with its Fair Trade mission and belief in economic democracy Equal Exchange is a worker co-operative, owned and governed by its 110 employees. Equal Exchange operates offices, warehouses and/or cafes in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Washington, and Oregon.

Rodney North
Worker-owner & Equal Exchange's Answer Man

Product samples, photos and interviews are available upon request.