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Oxfam Shop gets extra Fair Trade tick of approval

Media Release 15th December 2016


Oxfam has become the first organisation in Australia to be given the tick of approval from the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) Guarantee System. Oxfam Australia Trading General Manager Julia Sumner said this was a revolutionary system that helped ensure Fair Trade compliance throughout an organisation’s entire supply chain and operations.

“We are incredibly excited to become Australia’s First World Fair Trade Organisation Guarantee System, building on more than 50 years of ethical retailing in Australia,” Ms Sumner said.

“The certification guarantees that fair and ethical standards are being implemented regarding working conditions, wages, child labour and the environment throughout the whole supply chain.

“The certification also means that Australian consumers can be assured that shopping with a WFTO Guarantee System retailer means they are helping artisans around the world lift themselves out of poverty.
“Your purchase will help artisans and farmers around the world get a hand up not a hand out.”
With Australians set to spend $48.1 billion in the lead-up to Christmas, Australians have a very real opportunity to support people living in poverty simply by giving their loved ones a beautiful and unique gift from Oxfam.

As the “ethical” tag is increasingly being diluted in the market by advertisers and retailers, Oxfam Shop continues to assert itself as a leader in transparency and accountability in the industry.

“The WFTO Guarantee System is a revolutionary system, and together with the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation certification scheme, it’s aiming to meet the ever-growing demand for more trustworthy Fair Trade recognition schemes in the international market,” Ms Sumner said.

“As a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organisation, which was set up to ensure fair trade practices around the world, we are so proud to be the first Australian retailer to be given this rigorous new certification.”

Over the past 12 months, Oxfam Shop has paid more than $2.5 million to more than 130 producer groups around the world, demonstrating the tangible difference that shopping ethically can make to artisans around the world.

“The demand for fair trade shows that business can put people first and that greater justice in trade and retail is possible,” Ms Sumner said.

For interviews or more information, please contact Sarah-Jane Hook on 0401 611 706 or sarahjaneh@oxfam.org.au

Notes to the editor

The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO): Is a global network of organisations representing the Fair Trade supply chain. Membership in WFTO provides Fair Trade organisations with credibility and identity by way of an international guarantee system, a place of learning where members connect with like-minded people from around the world, tools and training to increase market access, and a common voice that speaks out for Fair Trade and trade justice - and is heard.

WFTO’s route to equity in trade is through the integrated supply chain. Practices used across the supply chain are checked against the WFTO Fair Trade Standard, a set of compliance criteria based on the 10 Fair Trade Principles and on International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions.

http://www.wfto.com/

Fairtrade: Is an alternative approach to conventional trade and is based on a partnership between farmers and consumers. When farmers can sell on Fairtrade terms, it provides them with a better deal and improved terms of trade. This allows them the opportunity to improve their lives and plan for their future. Fairtrade offers consumers a powerful way to reduce poverty through their everyday shopping.

When a product carries the FAIRTRADE Mark it means the producers and traders have met Fairtrade Standards. The Fairtrade Standards are designed to address the imbalance of power in trading relationships, unstable markets and the injustices of conventional trade.

http://www.fairtrade.net/

WFTO certification vs Fairtrade certification: Fair Trade certification refers to certification according to WFTO Fair Trade standards and applies to producer groups (and their supply chains) as opposed to Fairtrade certification which refers to individual product certification (generally of commodities such as tea, coffee and chocolate).