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History

Alter Eco: a story like no other!
The Alter Eco project was born in 1998. At that time the ambition of Tristan Lecomte, founder of Alter Eco was already set up as a full and coherent project. The challenge: to enable people in rehabilitation to work in a small shop specialized in the sale of fair trade products, whose profits would fund a center of charitable associations.

At that time, fair trade was still little known to the general public. As such, the first shop did not sell enough and was unable to become profitable. For producers, the sales were also insufficient and so the project was unviable. Everyone agreed that the project was "tremendous" and had to "continue in this way" ... but still there were no customers. A second, larger store was opened but still there were not enough customers.

Then came the time to review. Between 2000 and 2002, FTA 200 methodology was developed, and meetings and visits of cooperatives increased. An important lesson was learned: the producers needed consistent opportunities for Fair Trade to become relevant.

In 2002 and 2003, Monoprix, Cora and Coop Alsace, as well as the Association Epice 77, are first retailers to market the range of Alter Eco products, composed of coffee, chocolate, rice and fruit juices.

Today, 14 years after the creation of the first Alter Eco shop, our project supports 40 cooperatives in 25 countries, we have established a partnership with French farmers, we distribute organic and fair products in several European countries, North America and Japan, we offer in France Alter Eco products in nearly 4,000 retail outlets (also available in bulk in some stores), we analyze our environmental impact, are involved in projects to preserve tropical forests, and take heart of our involvement in education and public awareness of sustainable development.

Today we want this project to evolve in a more significant way; to be a modest link between producers and consumers, through quality gourmet products, respectful of Man and Environment.