You know when you meet someone and get that warm, fuzzy feeling? You can feel that what they do is from the heart? Well, that has happened to me more than once with Mathieu from Alter Ecohttp://www.altereco-usa.com/, a company that has fair trade rice, quinoa, coffee, tea and chocolate available in the U. S. I spent quite a while speaking to Mathieu at the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim in March. He is an amazing young man (he's only 32), who credits the success of the company to his French cousin (he and his business partner are also French) whom he calls a genius.
Matthieu holds up a box of the Thai purple sticky rice and tells me that he does what he does for the man whose picture is on the side of the box. "I took that photo," he says with pride. Feeling that his heart is in his work, and it is making a difference, just about brings tears to my eyes, right there on the convention center floor. When you hear something so heartfelt, doesn't it touch you deeply?
And to make it even better, the products are truly wonderful. They include a Thai red rice, the purple sticky rice (already mentioned), regular and red quinoa, and more. I walked away with a bar of dark chocolate with almonds from the El Ceibo cooperative in Bolivia. It's organic and fair trade certified. On the back of the package is the story about the origin of the product. With my purchase, I am helping to support 800 families of the cooperative in the Bolivian Amazon. (This is the kind of Amazon I truly want to support.)
Having always had a desire to join the Peace Corps and make a difference, perhaps this is my way to contribute to a better future for others. Heck, I hear that they are taking older volunteers now and perhaps I will get that chance in the future. In the mean time, I am going to support Alter Eco and their Fair Trade products. I hope that you will do the same.