Our Promise to You
Oxfam’s Promise – Supporting our Producers and our Customers
Fast food and fast fashion are part of our culture. We have become used to shopping for the best discounts.
However, here at Oxfam we also know that this can lead to unfair market pressure being put on producers and farmers. It can also mean unfair results for consumers as well – especially those who buy things at full price only to find that the product is on sale a week later.
At Oxfam we want to be transparent with our Customers and our Producers – we see ourselves as partners with both and we want to make sure we are clear and fair in our pricing for everyone.
We want to ensure that we pay a fair price for the products we buy that represent their real value.
Unlike many other retailers, we recognise the value of:
- The skill and techniques that go in to making a product
- The culture and history that the product represents
- The quality of both the raw materials and the production methods
- The hard work and passion that goes in to making each product
We want to provide our customers with the highest quality, value for money product – a product that is unique, beautiful, practical and that has real meaning.
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 partnerships with our Producers are at the heart of everything we do. We are proud to sell their products, which are always of an exceptional quality, often hand crafted, demonstrate enormous skill as well as often helping to keep traditional techniques alive.
We work with our Producers to develop products and they inform us of the real value of that product. If we don’t think a product will sell at the price presented, we work with the Producer to alter the product respectfully or find alternatives.
We buy the product at the agreed price (providing pre-finance to our Producers to ensure they can access the raw materials needed and pay wages up front) and as soon as the product is delivered, ownership transfers to Oxfam. At that stage it is our responsibility to make sure it sells.
If we need to discount products as they as they are not selling, it is our responsibility. Our Producers are not impacted by this.
We provide our Producers 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 and by doing this we aim to help our Producers develop sustainable business models that support increased income, employment and opportunity in their communities.
Caption: A staff member welcomes customers into our Oxfam Shop in Adelaide.
We would not exist if it was not for our customers and their genuine support of our Producers. We want to make sure that we provide our customers with the best value for money product on the market.
Our prices reflect the quality of the raw material, the skills and techniques used as well as ensuring our producers and farmers are paid fairly for their work and are getting the support needed to help lift themselves out of poverty.
We aim not to discount our products regularly, as we want them to sell at the real value. However, sometimes that happens – products we think are going to sell, just don’t work in the Australian market. Oxfam has two main clearance periods of the year – December/January and June to help provide space in our shelves for the new product we have ordered, which further helps our Producers. Having product on our shelves not moving for long periods of time does not help Oxfam or our Producers. We do two extra clearance sales in March and September for our fashion items, as fashion trends are always changing and we want to bring new products to our customers for every season. We will also discount seasonal products and food items reaching best before dates as needed. We will also sometimes implement some special promotions at certain key times of the year like Mother’s Day and Christmas and Shop Openings.
We operate in a highly competitive retail environment and we need to ensure that we maintain a viable business here in Australia. As such, there are also occasions where we may need to lift our prices.
Price increases usually occur because the price of the product or the raw material has increased. Climatic events or natural disasters can also impact supply and prices. As we do import a lot of product from overseas, movements in foreign currency rates can also impact our prices.
We will do our utmost to ensure that our customers understand the reasons for price rises and always offer a range of price points so there are always alternatives for our customers for a wide range of budgets.
We are proud of our 50 year history in brining beautiful, unique products to Australia for Australians to enjoy.
We are proud that we are one of Australia’s most unique and highest value retailers and we will continue to work to help others help themselves to improve their lives, whilst bringing their beautiful products to life here in Australia