Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Alter Eco
San Francisco, CA

Food is fundamental to life – and Alter Eco believes whole, healthy, delicious food can make life better for people all over the world. By working directly with the small-scale farmers who grow our quinoa, rice, sugar and chocolate, helping them institute Fair Trade and Organic practices, and giving them the tools to improve the quality and value of their product, we’re creating a system that benefits everyone involved. Since our start in 2004, our co-op partners have enjoyed improved yields, true living wages, profit-sharing, medical insurance and the capital to create better infrastructures, healthcare and conditions in their communities. All while our customers have enjoyed the delicious and nutritious fruits of their labors.

This approach extends to flora, fauna and fields as well. We work with our co-op partners to preserve heirloom grains, replenish and reforest the land. Through our reforestation partner Pur Project, we planted 4,174 trees on or near our Thai and Peruvian partner co-ops in 2012. The $5,000 from this award will help us expand this program to include all the countries where we do business. 

And of course, as a GHG Protocol 3 Carbon Zero business, we always offset more carbon than we emit. We see it as our natural responsibility to give back to the planet after using the resources needed to perform everyday business.

But the achievement we’re most proud of is the family we’ve created. Together with our farmers, employees, investors and customers, we’re taking an adventure through food, and creating a vision of the future that’s prosperous, healthy and mouth-watering. As a member of the entrepreneur group OSC2 (One Step Closer to an Organic and Sustainable Community), we share our expertise on sustainable practices and sourcing, so that we can help our peers in the natural food industry join the movement. And we’re always getting involved in local campaigns for a sustainable food system, including full support of Prop 37 and attending or sponsoring local events like Sprouts Bay Area, Sustainable Food Summit, Eco-Farm Conference, Green Fest San Francisco, Social Venture Network, SoCAP, Earth Day, Project Peace, and Food Hackathon.

We travel far and wide to bring you the world’s most exotic, delicious and sustainable foods. Though we can’t all break bread at the same table, we like to think that every time we crack open a bag or bar of Alter Eco here in the states, we’re sharing a lively meal. With Gustavo in Bolivia, Sompoi in Thailand, Grover in Ecuador – and you.

Transact Laptop
Edouard Rollet, Co-Founder and COO, with a cacao farmer from El Ceibo coop in Bolivia, 2007.

2012 laptop donation program at Anapqui Quinoa Cooperative in Bolivia.

Reforest Nursery
Mathieu Senard, Co-Founder and CEO, planting a Cedro tree at the Acopagro coop in Peru, October 2012. Tree nursery that houses six varieties of trees (Caipirona, Shaina, Cedro Rosado, Cedro, Teca, and Paliperro) for reforestation projects at Acopagro coop in Peru, October 2012.