Our Promise to You
Oxfam’s Promise – Supporting our Artisans and Farmers and our Customers
Fast food and fast fashion are part of our culture. We have become used to shopping for the best discounts on mass-produced items.
However, here at Oxfam we know that this can put unfair market pressure on artisans and farmers from poor communities.
We believe all lives are equal and no-one should live in poverty. And so we join forces with people who share this belief, to empower poor communities to build better lives for themselves.
We want to make sure that we pay a fair price for the products we buy — to represent their real value.
Unlike many other retailers, we recognise the value of:
- The skill and techniques that go into making a product
- The culture and history that the product represents
- The quality of the raw materials and production methods
- The hard work and passion that go into making each product
We want to provide our customers with the highest quality, value for money product. Each item we sell is unique, beautiful, and practical and — best of all — every item is filled with purpose, which is to tackle poverty by improving the lives of artisans and farmers from poor communities.
You and Oxfam, tackling poverty together.
Photo: Cam Cope/OxfamAUS
Caption: Local school children from Amankwatia village, Ghana say thank you to our Australian supporters for choosing Fairtrade certified chocolate. Over the years several million Ghanian Cedis received from Fairtrade premiums have funded projects in the village including pump wells for clean drinking water and pit toilets, the building of several schools in the area and projects aimed to improve living standards of its members.
Our artisans and farmers
Our partnerships with the artisans and farmers of our goods are at the heart of everything we do. We are proud to sell their products, which are always of an exceptional quality. Most of these products are handcrafted, requiring enormous skill and, in many cases, keeping traditional techniques alive.
We work with our artisans and farmers to develop products.
We buy the product at the agreed price. We provide upfront payments to artisans and farmers to ensure they can access necessary raw materials and pay fair wages upfront. When the product is delivered, it is our responsibility to make sure it sells. If we need to discount products that don’t sell, it is our responsibility. Our artisans and farmers are not impacted by this.
We provide our artisans and farmers with information on Australian market trends and support them with product development when needed. We let them know what sells well and what may not. By doing this, we help our artisans and farmers develop sustainable business models that support increased income, employment and opportunity in their communities.
We would not exist without our customers and their genuine support of our artisans and farmers. We want to make sure that we provide our customers with the best value for money product on the market.
We sell our products at a fair price for all involved. However, sometimes the products we expect to sell just don’t work in the Australian market. Oxfam has two main clearance periods each year – December/January and June — to help provide space on our shelves for new product.
We will also discount seasonal products and food items as they reach their expiry dates. We will also implement special promotions at key times of the year, such as Mother’s Day, Christmas and special events.
We are proud of our 50-year history as one of Australia’s most ethical retailers and one of the first social enterprises in Australia to operate for community, rather than profit. We will continue to empower people in poor communities to improve their lives, while bringing their beautiful products to life here in Australia.
To buy and sell unique, well-made products that ultimately help tackle poverty by creating long-term income solutions for artisans and farmers from poor communities around the globe.
In order to achieve this, we promise:
To support our artisans and farmers:
- By selling their goods in Australia through a stable long-term trade partnership;
- With honest feedback about product innovation and quality, to ensure we give them every opportunity to succeed;
- By pricing our products according to the principle of fair payment, which incorporates a fair wage and represents each product’s real value, include the raw materials and production methods, skills and techniques, cultural and history, and hard work and passion of the person who grew or made the product;;
- By adhering to Oxfam’s values and the principles of the World Fair Trade Organisation in all our relationships;
- By growing and developing their business so they can help lift themselves and their communities out of poverty; and
- By providing pre-financing and premiums so that they can deliver health, education and financial support to their circle of artisans, farmers and wider communities.
To provide our customers with:
- High quality and fair customer service to make sure we help our customers get the products, service and information they need;
- Quick and clear solutions to address any issues or complaints;
- Targeted discounts and promotions that support our customers at key times of the year; and
- The opportunity to shop with Australia’s most unique retailer, which is changing traditional attitudes about how retailers achieve success.
We would like to thank all our staff, volunteers, customers, artisans and farmers. We are proud of our 50-year history of bringing unique, ethical, handmade products to Australia, and we look forward to doing this for many more years to come.