Equal Exchange is an unusual company. It’s a worker-owned co-operative dedicated to Fair Trade that demonstrates the viability of economic democracy. Since its foundation in 1986, the organization has been trying to improve the links of the chain from farm to table, including those of employer/employee, firm/investor, and farmer/consumer. For example, Equal Exchange employees are also the owners, on a democratic one-worker/one-share/one-vote basis. They nominate and elect the board, as well as fill two-thirds of the board seats. This helps safeguard Equal Exchange’s workplace democracy, and ensures that control resides with those closest to the mission. One tool they use is the practice of selling non-voting preferred, fixed-value shares, with targeted 5% annual financial return plus a large, less tangible, social return. Equal Exchange has been profitable eighteen of the last nineteen years, has averaged 30% annual revenue growth, enjoys about $28 million in annual sales, and employs about 100 people in six states. In 21 years, Equal Exchange’s impact amongst farmers has grown beyond coffee farmers in a few Central American nations. Today the company buys coffee, tea, rooibos, cocoa, sugar, almonds and pecans from over thirty co-operatives in nineteen countries on four continents. More than 90% of the crops are certified organic. Equal Exchange’s use of Fair Trade prices led to an extra eight million dollars in income for coffee farmers alone. Fair Trade Certified™ now accounts for over 3% of the U.S. coffee market. There are now a number of small 100% fair Trade food companies, and some very large corporations buy at least a small amount of their ingredients via the Fair Trade system.