Earth Source offering fair trade avocados

12/19/2008 12:00:00 AM
Pamela Riemenschneider

(Dec. 19, 11:15 a.m.) Ephrata, Pa.-based Earth Source Trading Inc. added Fair Trade certified avocados to its line.

The company is excited about expanding fair trade options in the U.S., said Ken Mobley, general manager.

“We think fair trade is the right thing to be doing,” he said in a news release.

The avocados, grown in Mexico, are certified as grown under fair trade standards by Oakland, Calif.-based TransFair USA.

They are a mix of organic and conventionally grown fruit and are guaranteed to be produced under safe working conditions from growers that are paid a fair price.

A “social and community development” premium also is added to the price as part of the fair trade certification.

“In bringing the first Fair Trade certified avocados to market in the United States, Earth Source Trading has shown admirable leadership in ethical sourcing,” said Paul Rice, chief executive officer of TransFair USA, in a news release. “Sales of these avocados will have a substantial impact on the lives of hard-working farmers in Mexico.”

Part of the funds generated are earmarked for community-elected development projects like scholarships, infrastructure improvements and environmental stewardship, Rice said.

The avocados are produced by a co-op of small growers whose average farm size is less than 20 acres, which has been exporting fair trade avocados to Europe for several years.

The growers were visited by Earth Source Trading employees this summer.

“We believe we’ve created a winning partnership to market the growers’ products in the United States,” said Eric Gingrich, buying manager for Earth Source Trading. “While Earth Source Trading focuses on sales and expanding the fair trade concept here in the U.S., the South American growers receive higher returns.”

They are available from October to April and ship through Border Cold Storage, McAllen, Texas.

Earth Source Trading is a subsidiary of Four Seasons Produce Inc., Ephrata.



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