About Fair and Ethical Trade

Photo: Rodney Dekker/OxfamAUS Caption: Angela Maria Bosco is a Fairtrade Coffee Farmer who works with Cooperativa Cafe Timor in Timor Leste. Since joining the organisation and receiving a fair price for her produce, Angela’s life has changed for the better.

“We have a fair price we are paid… I use the money to buy school books and other necessities for my children.”

Failures in the conventional international trading system to deliver sustainable livelihoods means that many small farmers and artisans live in poverty, workers are denied basic rights, and they struggle to feed their families. Fair Trade is a global movement working to overcome the inequalities and injustices of conventional trade. Oxfam globally has been a leader in this movement both through our global Trading operations with at least 10 Oxfam’s around the world engaged in trading fair and ethical products. We have also led the way in campaigning and advocating for change in the way global businesses act.

Oxfam Australia is committed to a fair and ethical trading framework which seeks to support producers, their communities, suppliers and artisans engage in business that is guided by principles that ensure the individuals, communities, suppliers and ultimately people involved in the entire value chain engage equitably and access both social and economic benefits.

Most recently, our Behind the Brands Campaign has helped deliver improvements in the supply chain of large companies like Coke, Pepsi and Nestle. On top of that we have also undertaken global and national campaigns to change the behavior of consumers, so they understand the power of their purchasing decisions and how simple behavior change can improve the lives of people living in poverty.


Photo: Cam Cope/OxfamAUS Caption: Afia Hawah (58) weighs 2012’s crop of dried cocoa beans in Amankwatia village in the Central Region of Ghana. “I can say that my life really improved a lot when I joined Kuapa Kokoo. Now there is no cheating, at the end of the year we all come together and sit with the recorder to know how much profits we made” Afia says.

Fair Trade has a number of key factors – stable prices, ensuring that producers, farmers and workers are paid fairly for their work and products and ensuring that there is stability in the income they can earn. Ensuring that these producers, workers, artisans and farmers are less susceptible to changes in the market. Providing pre-payments to producers is another core pillar of Fair Trade. Providing producers with pre payments allows them to access raw materials that are needed, ensures that farmers and producers are paid up front for their work and produce. Fair Trading practices that take into account the social, economic and environmental well-being of producers and their communities is at the core of Fair Trade.

Learn more about the 10 principles of Fair Trade: http://www.wfto.com/fair-trade/10-principles-fair-trade

In keeping with its commitment to Fair and Ethical trade Oxfam works with producers outside of, and beyond, certification to: build capacity of producers; improve market readiness; create opportunities; assist in product development; supporting them in their own health, education and community programs. Whilst not all of our producer partners will progress to, or be able to afford, certification our work with them also prepares our partners for certification.

If the business community started to think differently about its role in society and for both the business community and the rest of us to see business as a vehicle for positive social change, we would see a marked reduction in the social and economic inequality that exists today. For example, Oxfam’s research indicates that in Kenya, Indonesia and India millions more people could be lifted out of poverty if income inequality were reduced.

By adopting transparent, sustainable fair and ethical practices, business can not only deliver a profit but also help support solutions to some of our most devastating social problems.

Oxfam Shop Gets Extra Fair Trade Tick Of Approval

Oxfam has become the first organisation in Australia to be given the tick of approval from the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) Guarantee System.  Click here to learn more.


Oxfam Australia Trading’s World Fair Trade Organisation audit - recommendations and actions

In December 2016, Oxfam Australia Trading (OAT) became the first Australian ethical retailer to be accredited through the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) Guarantee System (GS). The GS is not a product certification system, but rather an assurance mechanism that Fair Trade is implemented in the supply chain and practices of the organisation. Read more.

Fair Trade Associations

World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) The WFTO is the global representative body of over 450 members operating in over 70 countries across five regions (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America and Pacific Rim) committed to 100% Fair Trade and a guardian of Fair Trade values. Oxfam Shop (Oxfam Australia Trading) is an endorsed member of WFTO. WFTO operates a guarantee system which certifies producers against the 10 Fair Trade Principles.

You can read more about the World Fair Trade Organisation here

Fairtrade Australia New Zealand (FANZ) is a full and active member of Fairtrade International (FLO) and has the sole right to license the use of the international FAIRTRADE Mark in Australia and New Zealand. FLO sets the international standards for Fairtrade and governs the use of the FAIRTRADE Mark worldwide.

You can read more about Fairtrade Australia New Zealand at: http://fairtrade.com.au/

Fairtrade International (FLO) represents 32 organisations working to secure a better deal for producers. Products that carry the Fairtrade label such as tea, coffee and chocolate have met the standards set by Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International.

You can read more about the Fairtrade labelling organization at: http://www.fairtrade.net/

Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand (FTAANZ) publish the Fair Trade Shopping Guide and are a member-driven not-for-profit organisation. FTAANZ aims to increase awareness, understanding and support for fair trade; support the development of a strong and sustainable fair trade movement; and link producers in South East Asia and the Pacific with fair trade markets.

You can read more about the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand at http://www.fta.org.au/ and view their Fair Trade Shopping Guide here.

Fair Traders of Australia (FToA) is an Australian network of endorsed small-scale traders of Fair Trade crafts and other products.

Fair Trade Network Groups: There are many local network groups throughout Australia including local advocacy groups and fair trade accredited universities and business.