Alter Eco >FAQ >

Frequently Asked Questions


1. What does Alter Eco do? How does it work?

  • Alter Eco offers :

✓Producers : a transparent relationship. long-term partnership, technical support (marketing, management control, sales, logistics, office, etc...) especially to the poorest producers.

  • Retailers :

✓ Traceability and responsibility to their suppliers; a clear way to differentiate themselves and thus have a competitive advantage

✓ The opportunity to be involved in something that brings them additional revenue, helps them to differentiate themselves from their competitor, and allows them to be part of the process of healing our world.

  • For consumers :

✓Quality products that allow them to benefit the producers of the ingredients as well as the ecological balance of our planet.

  • For governements :

✓ Participation in the development of improving the welfare of people and our planet.

All our partners, investors and employees share the same spirit that animates us: above all, the spirit of collaboration linked to a desire to contribute to th ebiggest challenge facing humanity : sustainable development. What counts most in the end is the belief and commitment of those who have dreams for a better world; not the baseless decisions of those who do not.

What is the meaning of Alter Eco's logo and name?

The logo of Alter Eco embodies our strong values. In warm tones, a woman opens her arms to the sky, symbolizing openness, hope, sharing and balance. The name Alter Eco can mean many things. The two main meanings are alternative economics and alternative ecology, the former being fundamentally linked to the latter. 

See the Alter Eco's History

Why is Alter Eco a Limited Liability Company? 

We want to show that Fair Trade can be a sustainable business model, which is profitable for all stakeholders, producers, employees, partners and shareholders.

Alter Eco is, thus, in the form of a limited liability company. Its investors include members of Alter Eco, other committed individuals and private equity funds. All shareholders of Alter Eco share the same beliefs and the same passion for Fair Trade.

What is the difference between Alter Eco and the other Fair Trade companies and organizations? 

Alter Eco's approach is complementary to other fair trade organizations. The purpose of Alter Eco is to maximize the opportunities, through the economic, social and environmental aspects of fair trade, for small disadvantaged producers. Alter Eco assumes that fairtrade is a broad concept that can apply to many products and sectors. We believe that fair trade will acquire the reputation and success it deserves. Alter Eco has decided to engage with members of the World Fair Trade Organization. Membership of the WFTO is fundamental for Alter Eco who wants to work alongside fair trade members in a spirit of openness and close collaboration.

What do fair trade institutions think about Alter Eco's initiatives? 

They want, above all, to protect the idea that fair is not a flash in the pan. They have reason to be cautious; they help us a lot in questioning regurlarly on the progress of our projects. On the other hand, for over twenty years, they have been fighting for fair trade based on clear principles. They have some well-founded concerns that increased success of fair trade could lead to a watering-down of its principles and foundations. We try to consider all aspects as much as possible and make our modest stone building.

Is Alter Eco engaged in ideologic, religious, or politic groups?

The company Alter Eco is totally independent of all political, religious, or ideologies. All that is taken into account is the principles of fair trade.Our ambitions lie in developing a comprehensive approach to fair trade. We think it goes far in contributing to economic development in the South as well as in education development in the North.

7. What is the meaning of your labels?

● Our products are labeled by two independent organizations:

The Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International-Max Havelaar label, issued by Max Havelaar France and ensuring that fair trade criteria were met.





✓ AB label "Organic Farming" to ensure the the product was grown and prepared in compliance with organic standards. A certification body accredited by the French government performs the control.




8. Where are Alter Eco's products transformed?

A key aspect of progress for fair trade includes the use of local ingredients and know-how. On average, the share of raw materials contained in a conventional grocery product represents 6-8% from its selling price in stor. If you simply buy raw materials at a higher price, it will take long time to attend a real balance. A major challenge is therefore to enable producers to diversify their incomes sources, including the ability to integrate an increasingly important process of transformation.

Alter Eco's ambition has always been to transfer the greatest possible added value to producers. One of our chracteristics is to transform the greatest possible number of our products in their countries of origin, thereby dramatically increasing the value added to producers' organizations and having a much higher impact in terms of development.

Our organic teas from India, Sri Lanka and South Africa, for example, are processed in their country of origin with local materials. Finally, 40-50% of the price you pay for our teas go through the cooperative making and packaging on site (learn about our teas).

On average our range of products, over 20% of the selling price of our products back to their countries of origin, against 6-8% for conventional products and 12-13% if we just buy the materials standards first Max Havelaar, without turning our products on site.

9. How do you fix the salary of the Alter Eco's employees?

Salaries in Alter Eco slightly below the national average (compared with similar jobs in the same sector...).

10. Eat fair, that's nice, but how can i help more?

Ask to your favorite shop to sell our products...