Here at Trade as One, we believe that the crisis of poverty in our world can be solved through buying ethically produced products. The poor want the same opportunities and treatment that we want – not handouts or pity – but simply a chance to provide for their families in a dignified way. Supporting ethical production means providing fair wages, honest employers, clean water, healthcare, and education for children. Trade as One wants to provide as many of these jobs as we can.
With that in mind, we will be featuring different producers and their stories. We want to provide you with the specific knowledge regarding how and who your purchase helps.
Here at Trade as One, we carry several different products from Women’s Bean Project, including Cindy’s Sinfully Chocolate Brownie Mix, featured on last week’s blog, so we wanted to tell you a little about the producer and what happens every time you buy a Women’s Bean Project product.
Since 1989, Women’s Bean Project has been dedicated to helping women break the cycle of poverty and unemployment, changing women’s lives by providing stepping stones to self-sufficiency through social enterprise.
Jossy Eyre founded the Women’s Bean Project in 1989 as a result of her volunteer work at a day shelter for homeless women. Eyre saw that while the shelter kept women safe, if could not help them make lasting changes in their lives. Eyre bought $500 worth of beans and put two homeless women to work – the first step in building the social enterprise they are today. The training opportunities have expanded dramatically over the years, and annual operating budget has grown from $6,100 to over $1.5 million.
In 1993, King Soopers became the first grocery store to carry Women’s Bean Project products.
Today, permanently located in Denver, Colorado, their product offerings have expanded to salsa mixes, spice rubs, coffee beans, and jelly beans in addition to our soups and chili, along with gift baskets, baking mixes and much more.
The Women’s Bean Project is a social enterprise that offers a transitional job in gourmet food manufacturing designed to provide immediate income, arrange support services to overcome barriers to employment, and teach the job readiness skills needed to get and keep a job. The women hired at the Bean Project have histories of poverty and unemployment; they lack hope and self-confidence; most do not have a GED or high school diploma; most are single mothers and have been on public assistance; many are recovering from experiences with substance abuse and incarceration. The program helps them develop the work and interpersonal skills needed to function independently in the workplace and community.
You can read more about personal experiences on their website at womensbeanproject.com/whatwomensay.
The tools gained during their stay at the Bean Project empower women to create better lives for themselves, provide their families with hope, and contribute to a stronger community. You sincerely do have the power to change lives with everything you buy.