Founded in 1986, Equal Exchange played an instrumental role in the growth of a now vibrant fair trade movement. It all started with an idea: what if food could be traded in a way that is honest and fair, a way that empowers both farmers and consumers? To fix a broken food system, Equal Exchange partnered with grass roots Latin American farming cooperatives and pays a fair price to poor farmers for their coffee beans. This partnership enables farmers to stay on their land and continue to build the livelihood that will enable future generations to be self sustaining. Starting from a humble grassroots strategy, Equal Exchange began by selling beans to religious communities and churches. Today, its products can be found in grocery stores and retail outlets. Equal Exchange has influenced coffee giants to offer fair trade products, paving the way for other fair trade coffee companies and proving that social responsibility is good business. More importantly, Equal Exchange has changed the lives of thousands of poor rural families in coffee growing regions of the world. PCG’s $150,000 loan to Equal Exchange supported the coffee harvest from around 60 family farms, which in turn supported 500 people.