Through the choices they make on a daily basis, manufacturers have the opportunity to impact our food system, our communities, and our environment in substantial ways. Recognizing the importance of these choices, Alter Eco has made it their mission to pioneer a full circle approach to eating, farming, and doing business, while inspiring others to do the same.
From the company’s inception in 2005, Alter Eco has held thoughtful ingredient sourcing as an overriding priority.
They are committed to using organic ingredients to avoid synthetic chemicals in their supply chain while preserving the delicate ecosystems of the communities in which they source. All of Alter Eco’s products are certified organic, and in 2012, they added an additional level of transparency by having their entire product line Non-GMO Project verified.
From Bolivian Quinoa to Ecuadorian Cacao, Alter Eco’s products are heavily reliant on a global supply chain.
In a global food system where many farmers are deeply in debt, Alter Eco works directly with small, farmer-owned cooperatives to ensure they are paying a fair price and supporting sustainable production and living conditions. Their entire line of products is Fair Trade Certified, and in 2016 alone, they made over $4,000,000 in Fair Trade purchases.
On top of the Fair Trade price Alter Eco pays to their co-op partners, they also pay a Fair Trade Premium. The Fair Trade Premium is an additional sum of money paid into a community development fund. The fund is then used to invest in social, environmental and economic projects decided upon by the co-op’s producers. The co-ops working with Alter Eco have used these funds to support their communities in a number of ways including reforestation efforts, training on organic compost and pest control, transitioning farmers from chemical agricultural systems to organic and providing access to medical services. Since 2009, Alter Eco has contributed $1.3 million in Fair Trade Premium funds to their supply partners.
In addition to reducing the environmental impact of their sourcing, Alter Eco is working to eliminate the use of plastic in their packaging.
In 2011, the company began their search for a compostable, Non-GMO plastic alternative for their Quinoa pouches and Chocolate Truffle wrappers. While alternative options were few and far between, the company was able to launch a plant-based, Non-GMO compostable wrapper in 2013, followed by their Gone4Good™ Quinoa pouch in 2016. Both the pouch and the wrapper are made of eucalyptus, birch and non-GMO corn. The company estimates that in 2017 alone, they were able to divert 1,000,000 plastic pouches from the landfill by switching to a compostable package for their Quinoa.
We’re inspired by the work Alter Eco is doing on a number of fronts, and we’re proud to carry their Quinoa, Chocolate Bars, and Truffles in our Grocery Department.