Equo Mercato Cooperative was founded in the ’90’s by a group of volunteers recently returned to Italy from Burundi.
Today it is a well-established small cooperative with 20 members, of whom 5 are employees.
It is a member of the WFTO and is one of the founders of AGICES, the Italian General Assembly of the fair trade market.
The Cooperative’s activities are based on the Italian Statement of Criteria (Carta Italiana dei Criteri) which declares that the “political objective of fair trade is to favour the development of a critical view of the dominant economic model, and a search for alternative models of development and lifestyles”.
Equo Mercato respects these criteria by importing food products, cosmetics and hand-made goods from several small cooperatives and worker associations from Africa, Asia and Latin America.
These products are then sold in the Italian “Worldshops” (Botteghe del Mondo).
The artisans who make the goods are guaranteed a fair price for products purchased, as well as a continuous commercial relationship. The “worldshops” and the consumers are guaranteed the best possible information regarding both the producers of the goods sold, and the prices applied to them.
In the past few years, Equo Mercato has been developing very close relationships with child and adolescent workers movements, which are present in many countries on different continents. It promotes knowledge of their demands in Italy as well as in Europe.
It imports products hand-made by them, in dignified working conditions that are compatible to their educational and developmental needs. It is also one of the founders of the ITALIANATS Association, which supports these movements.
Equo Mercato is also active in spreading the values of the Fair Trade, both through its own communication means and in collaboration with other associations in publishing the magazine “Altreconomia“.