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On the Ground-1 Year Later and So Much Progress

January 31, 2012

As most of you know, in January of 2011 Wholesome Sweeteners CEO, Nigel Willerton, joined nine American and six Ethiopian runners to  create awareness of the need for educational funding for the children of Fair Trade farmers in Ethiopia.  The 16 runners ran 10 consecutive marathons (26.2 miles, sometimes more) over 10 straight days at extremely high altitudes.

By running the grueling 250 mile trek across Southern Ethiopia these amazing athletes hoped to raise $200,000 to be used for the construction of schools to serve as many as 1500 children, fund a nutrition program to help children get the food they so desperately need, provide wages and job training for a group of 10 street teenagers, and support the work of the Tesfa Foundation and the Oromia Cooperative Farmers Cooperative Union.

A mere nine months after the run was completed, the On the Ground team returned to Ethiopia to see the amazing progress made with the $206,000 that was raised.  Check out this truly touching video and see how the Run Across Ethiopia has changed the lives of the these villagers forever.

Supporting Fair Trade Farmers and their families is why Wholesome Sweeteners pioneered Fair Trade Certification for Sweeteners in 2005. Since then, Wholesome Sweeteners has paid more than $6 million in Fair Trade premiums to our farming and beekeeping cooperatives in the developing world. Fair Trade premiums paid by Wholesome Sweeteners have helped bring clean water, schools and health clinics to villages in Africa, Mexico, and Brazil.
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One Comment leave one →
  1. rodneynorth permalink
    April 13, 2012 9:43 am

    The run sounds like a great, but grueling, thing to pull off. Kudos for Nigel for doing this.
    We especially like that it involved Oromia Co-op. We (Equal Exchange) have been buying great, organic, Fair Trade coffee from them for 6 years now and our QC team just visited with them.
    By the way, now that Fair Trade International is bringing their round black, blue & green seal to the US market will Wholesome being adopting it, or using the new Fair Trade USA seal?
    Regards,

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