Our Story

Activism through food

Our mission is to pioneer a full circle approach to eating, farming, and doing business – and to inspire others to do the same.

Alter Eco Australia founder, Ilse Keijzer, was born and raised in the Netherlands, the birthplace of the Fairtrade movement. Ilse completed her studies in business and communications in Amsterdam and the U.S. and quickly began traveling the world. It was on a backpacking trip through South America where she met the founder of Alter Eco France, Tristan Lecomte. In 2005, Ilse joined Edouard Rollet and Mathieu Senard in expanding Alter Eco’s product line from France to the U.S. and Australia.

Ilse took on the Australian market, introducing a full line of fairtrade chocolate, rice, sugar and quinoa to the land down under. Tristan, Ed, Mathieu and Ilse became pioneers in social entrepreneurialism, wielding the business of food to fight for economic and social justice. That’s why every product we make is sourced from farmer-owned coops practicing sustainable agriculture.

Alter Eco's first range of products in the background of our ‘early days food cart’ - 2008

The Alter Eco founders are food-obsessed citizens of Europe and based their business in food-obsessed towns like Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. The nurturing of these cultures is why every product we make is defined by incredible flavour and made from culinary quality ingredients. Put sustainability and deliciousness together, and you get what we like to call Enlightened Indulgence.

Going full circle

Over the years, the Alter Eco team has also worked to make sure every aspect of our business gives more to the world than it takes. That’s why we have become pioneers in compostable packaging, and have worked with our cacao partners to replant the rain forests where our beans are grown.

The Sangamaya Group in Sri Lanka, where we source our coconut chips for our Chocolate Coconut Clusters.

Our products and packaging have evolved over time, but our values continue to guide every step forward. Together with our farmers, employees, investors and customers, we’re taking an adventure through food, and creating a vision of the future that’s fair, prosperous, healthy and mouth-watering. 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 Australia, we’re sharing a nourishing moment with Maria in Peru, Gustavo in Bolivia, Grover in Ecuador – and you.