For every pound of fairly traded products sold through the UUSC Coffee Project, Equal Exchange donates 20 cents to the UUSC Small Farmer Fund.
This fund supports UUSC in building long-term partnerships with small farmer and producer cooperatives. Together, we build sustainable livelihoods, while advancing human rights — particularly the rights of women, youth, and indigenous peoples.
Worker cooperatives are a powerful way to advance human rights. By organizing in cooperatives, farmers can improve their lives as they work with other farmers and producers to develop their business and leadership skills and make investments in their land, education, and local communities.
One of UUSC's partner cooperatives is the Southern Alternatives Agricultural Cooperative (SAAC), a pecan cooperative in southwest Georgia that produces shelled pecans and pecan candies for sale through fair trade. SAAC is the only African American–owned pecan shelling facility in the United States — and it is run by women.
The women who lead this cooperative are lifelong advocates who are determined to run a pecan-processing plant in a way that creates new business and jobs for workers, while strengthening local economies in southwest Georgia.
Another partner cooperative is the Muungano (which translates to "togetherness) project. On the Kenya-Uganda border, Muungano supports and trains youth to gain skills and livelihoods in preparing nutritious meals with traditional food crops, planting organic foods to challenge genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), and taking care of the environment.