Alter Eco >Commitments >


As outlined in its charter, the emission of Alter Eco is, since 1998, to provide opportunities for small producers and to maximize their revenue and the triple value-added chains for them. This role is based on commitments that are formalized below, to clarify the specifics of Alter Eco and to ensure proper monitoring of its activity and respect for its values. Just as the Charter of the company, this schedule is approved and signed by all employees and shareholders of Alter Eco.

Commitment # 1:

To defend and promote fair trade in an ambitious and professional way.

We're committed since 1998 for fair trade in an ambitious and professional way. We want to provide maximum opportunities for groups of small producer partners while preserving full autonomy.

Commitment # 2:

Focus on the disadvantaged

We are engaged with groups of small producers who are very disadvantaged. They have an average of one to five cultivated acres, and incomes generally between 20 and 500 euros per year.

Commitment # 3:

Pay a fair price

We are committed to always pay a fair price. This covers production costs and provides an extra margin of development for groups of small producer partners. From 2002 to 2006, we paid for all of our purchases 75% above world market and 20% above international minimum standards of fair trade (FLO Standard / Max Havelaar).

Commitment # 4:

Buy Direct

We are committed to buy as directly as possible to groups of small producer partners. The limitation of intermediaries is a key component of fair trade to increase the incomes of small producers, while offering products at competitive prices.

Commitment # 5:

Ensure the transparency of trade

We are committed to giving you full transparency on our operations and the impact of your purchases. The Alterecometre© gives you this information in summary form and you will find all details in our Annual Report (english) on

Commitment # 6:

To convert and package the product on site

We are committed to transform and package products by groups of small producer partners whenever possible, to provide maximum benefits locally. Thereby, over 20% of the total purchase price of Alter Eco products returns to the country of origin. More than  half of Alter Eco products are fully packed and processed locally. As such, Alter Eco fair trade is much more than a guaranteed minimum price.

Commitment # 7:

Promote the use of traditional skills

We support farmers in maintaining their traditional methods of cultivating, harvesting and preparing; because they are often the expression of specific local conditions, and a guarantee of originality and ptaste.

Commitment # 8:

Encourage natural production methods

We encourage the cultivation, harvesting and preparation of 100% natural agricultural products; especially organic and biodynamic. This is the best way to preserve humanity and the Earth while offering exceptional products. Taste the difference!

Commitment # 9:

Provide products of exceptional quality

We are committed to providing the best products, grown and harvested with great care, in compliance with all memebers in the chain. Because we have evidence that the fair terms of trade are also a guarantee of quality in the offered products.

Commitment # 10:

Preserve and enhance the species, origins and terroir

A product is often an expression of history, culture and a long tradition which has been passed down over generations in a given region. We are committed to the preservation and promotion of products and their stories, especially those that are endangered.

Commitment # 11:

Focus on organic farming

We try as much as possible to work with cooperatives certified organic or under transition to organic, and support those who wish to become organic certified. In all cases, we ensure that the projects of our producer partners incorporate a strong environmental dimension.

Commitment # 12:

Working exclusively with small farer participatory organizations

Group dynamics initiated at the local level is paramount to the success of a fair trade project. The higher price an dpremium primarily play a role of encouragement. Thus, we only work with organizations of small producers (cooperatives, village associations...), which are democratic and participative. Not being convinced of their value in terms of development, we do not buy from plantations, and are campaigning for the release of these organizations from the international fair trade system.

Commitment # 13:

Contracting in the long term

We are committed to long term relationships with partner organizations of small producers. This commitment is contractually agreed, enabling the pertners to make better development plans. This also relies on your loyalty to these products.

Commitment # 14:

Meet and regularly invite our partners in the field

Since 1998, we are going annually to each of the partner organizations and also invite them to France. The exchange of information and thinking on dvelopment issues, connecting the fair trade producer to the consumer, is critical to secure and promote the process.

Commitment # 15:

Securing the process with our own audit tools.

Since 1998, we developed our own tools for internal audit and evaluation of the impact of our customers' purchases on th eincome and development of small producers' groups partner. They allow us to secure the process, and to ensure that our customers benefit through greater transparency as well as having a better understanding about the criteria of success of projects.

Commitment # 16:

Better targeting the needs of small producers

We have established a human development index of small producers, the AEDI (Alter Eco Development Index). This allows us to follow 3 to 10 producers per organization, the impact of fair trade on their lives. It also allows a better business relationship orientation to enhance the producers' autonomy.

Commitment # 17:

Better targeting the needs of organizations of small producers

We have developed our own methodology, since 2000, assessment of producer organizations (FTA200). It describes in 150 points the economic performance, social and environmental of the organization. Far from wanting to judge on the organization or to interfer in its functioning, the assessment allows to better target the needs of the partner and to respond.

Commitment # 18:

Offsetting all our carbon emissions

The priority is to decrease our carbon emissions by reducing our packaging and optimizing our logistics flows. We offset all that we continue to deliver for all of our business by supporting certified offset projects (In 2006 we funded a solar cooker project in Bolivia which helps limit consumption of fuel wood and which is certified by the United Nations).

Commitment # 19:

Ensure the overprice (premium) paid to producers

For each alter eco product you purchase, we guarantee you precisely how much returns to the producer, the amount of the premium and the share paid back in the country of origin. You can find this information in summary form on Alterecometre© of this product and all the details on this website.

Commitment # 20:

Promoting Diversity in Business

Fighting against all forms of discrimination and being convinced of the value of diverse cultures, we signed the charter for diversity in business an dwill promote these values in all organizations.

Commitment # 21:

Don't overlook the little things for the environment

Our environmental commitment is continuous: Our electricity is 100% green, after wind and hydropower, and our papers are recycled by Elise (, a french local company working for sustainable environment.

Commitment # 22:

Attend the World Fair Trade movement

Alter eco is a member of the French Platform for fair Trade Benefit (CCTB) and the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), organizations that bring together all participants involved in the movement. This is to defend and promote a demanding definition of fair trade, together with all founders, stakeholders, and supporters.

Commitment # 23:

Promoting the fair trade movement

Beyond selling products, we participate in the promotion of the movement through the publishing of books, studies and brochures, conferences, participation in roundtables...In businesses, schools and universities, trade shows, or request for groups.

Commitment #24:

Raising children priority

The issue of awareness seems particularly important for children, citizens of the future! That is why we have put in place educational kits for children and educators; you too, parents or grandparents, do not hesitate to order our free educational kits(Not available in Japan yet)

Commitment # 25:

Fight for a fairer world

Simply selling fair trade products is not enough to change the world. The fight must also be political and social. We are committed to causes that promote the idea of a world that is fairer, especially globalization that is more humane and fair.

Commitment # 26:

Answer all your questions

Making space on our packaging to explain our approach, systematically answer questions you ask on, talk directly to you at your our monthly meetings. We are committed to being the most available and transparent as possible to explain our vision of Fair Trade.

Commitment # 27:

Be at your disposal to advance

We are a young company, and we take very seriously your feedback and commebnts about our products and our apporach. For example, when many French people asked us to use orange peel in our Noir Orange (chocolate) instead of natural orange essence, we did it!

Commitment # 28:

Financing projects and humantarian solidarity complementary to our business

Fair trade is a comprehensive approach to development assistance. We finance through the association to non-profit Alter Eco, humanitarian projects complementary to the assistance of our business.

Commitment # 29:

Ensure the maintenance of all our commitments in a progressive approach

All commitments of Alter Eco are incorporated in the charter of the company and followed annually using indicators of the charter; the results are presented in the annual report.

Commitment # 30:

To assist producers to exit the system eventually

As their level of development permits, and if the market conditions are favorable, we are committed to helping groups of small producers to go out of the fair trade system. This is the ultimate goal, which shows that fair trade is effective. This also allows new groups of disadvantaged small producers to benefit from the system.

Commitment # 31:

Promoting agroforestry

We buy primarily from crops issued from the agroforestry systems in combination with other plants (consortium, crops under canopy). Ths helps to preserve th eenvironment and habitat of local wildlife. This is also diversifying the resources of the producer.

Commitment # 32:

Focus on food sovereignty

We don't encourage producers to replace their food crops by cash crops for us to buy. We only buy if the country is more than self-sufficient fro the product concerned.

Commitment # 33:

The pleasure of changing the World

We want to share our passion for fair trade through a fun and engaging approach. Changing the world is fun!

Commitment #34:

Listening to the stakeholders

Ensure the success of fair trade through the inclusion of all stakeholders from producers to consumers. It is by satisfying all stakeholders in the chain that we can ensure continuity of the process.

Commitment #35:

Dare to try improbable products!

Umbu's jam from Uaua, traditional Maftoul, purple rice, black quinoa; we love daringprojects, especially when they have very good taste! They are often an excellent way to participate in the preservation of agricultural biodiversity... treat yourself!

Commitment # 36:

Fun first!

Never consider fair trade as a contraint, but rather as liberation and pleasure. Stop consuming without a soul, and rediscover the pleasure of healthy, tasty and meaningful products.

Commitment # 37:

Put some color in your kitchen

Pink, purple, orange, green. Our products are colourful and festive, a testament to our ambitious and optimistic vision of trade, and our rejection of gloom and standardization. A colourful kitchen is always more pleasant than a dull kitchen!

Commitment # 38:

Always give more information

By choosing to purchase our products, you choose to support a way of doing business like no other. We believe in the details, explaining as clearly as possible where your money goes. The AlterEcometre© on all our packaging, the presentation of our team, carbon offsetting, nutritional information, and comprehensive information; all are available on our website.

Commitment # 39:

Give you the choice

Today, many consumer products can be made from fair trade ingredients, such as chocolate, coffee, fruit juice or biscuits. We are committed to providing a real alternative to conventional products, with delicious, quality products, prepared in compliance with small producers in the South.

Commitment # 40:

Offer you the best of fair trade

We are committed to each of our products, to offer the best of the fair. For example, the delicious Ceylon tea is bought at very small producers, its flavors are organic and natural, the box is handcrafted in Sri Lanka, using recycable materials. We offer the best, the fairest and most uplifting products.

Commitment # 41:

Educate our customers

To promote fair trade, it is essential to educate consumers about the foundations of our approach. That is why we are committed to provide the maximum possible information through our products, and our website.

Commitment # 42:

Have the website as complete as possible

Having a militant approach means also being actively involved in raising awareness and providing maximum information. We put at your disposal on our website, one of the largest existing databases on fair trade.

Commitment # 43:

Support the work of associations

Alter Eco Association funds associative projects in several countries around the world. The goal of our association is to promote human development in the south, and education for development in the northern countries to share the spirit of solidarity, which animates us.

Commitment # 44:

Ensure a 100% consistent approach

We are in favor of consistency in our business and we also encourage the cooperative pertners in promoting the emergence of the harmonious development of projects covering social, economic and environmental elements. The cooperative Acopagro, which produces cocoa, also has projects for education, reforestation, and the compensation of CO2 emissions: an excellent example of total coherence.

Commitment # 45:

Ensure the well-being of its employees

Alter eco supports small producers, but doesn't forget the welfare of its employees. Yoga classes are taught in our locality, and ayurvedic massages are offered. Also each employee is invited to meet producers from our cooperative partners.

Commitment # 46:

Zero GMO

Consistent with our approach to environmental protection, we promise never to sell genetically modified preoducts. We reject GMO, and advocate the respect of nature, biodiversity and the autonomy of small producers.

Commitment # 47:

To reduce our packaging

The ecological foot print of our packaging represents nearly 40% of our overall carbon footprint: reducing the environmental impact is obviously a priority. We have thus found a solution to remove the plastic interior of our teas, while retaining their flavor perfectly.