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Our Ways of Working

Oxfam Shop (Oxfam Australia Trading) is a subsidiary company of Oxfam Australia. We are also the first Australian WFTO Guarantee System member and a Licensee of the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation. It is the principles, practices and values of these organisations and of the broader fair trade movement that we live out every day throughout our operations in Australia and around the world. We exist to support Farmers, Artisans and their communities to help lift themselves out of poverty.

We promise:

  • 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 (living) 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.

Photo: Lara McKinley/OxfamAUS
Caption: Ketut Sari sews Bali Zen's beautiful table runners and patchwork elephants which are sold in Oxfam Australia shops.

 

Assessing our Artisans and Supply Chain Transparency


Photo: Pavithra Jovan De Mello/OxfamAUS
Caption: A group of workers from the James Valley Organic Spice factory in Sri Lanka finish work after a busy day. BioFoods produce a range of teas and spices for Australia’s Oxfam Shops.

Transparency is critical to changing the way we do business.

Firstly, we review all potential new Artisans to ensure they meet our fair and ethical trading standards. They are asked to complete an assessment against our key criteria; this is then reviewed by our Artisan Evaluation Committee. 

Any potential issues are raised with the Artisan, to ensure they have the opportunity to respond to the queries and indicate whether they are willing to work on and improve the identified issues. Our priority is always to support organisations who want to trade fairly and ethically, and for that reason we may choose to trade with an organisation who is working towards implementing the fair trade principles, even if they are not quite there yet. We fully endorse the World Fair Trade Organisation’s principle of continuous improvement, and recognise that this is crucial to many small, burgeoning fair trade organisations.

The Assessment process is a detailed process, but essentially we require Artisans to meet three major elements:

  • Demonstrated commitment and adherence to Fair Trade principles
  • Traceability and transparency in the Supply Chain
  • Commitment to long-term community development

As part of our ongoing commitment to transparency and best practice, once an Artisan group comes on board we also conduct biennial reviews, alongside Artisan visits, reviewing audits and assessments that have been done by or for the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO), or Fairtrade Labelling Organisation (FLO), and reviewing our Artisans’ Annual Reports.

We know that sometimes issues will arise. For us, it is critical that we work quickly with our Partners to address these issues. We are committed to working with Partners to redress any issues, rather than stopping working with them, since this can have further negative impacts on the community.

When an issue is identified we:

  • Disclose this information
  • Talk with the Artisans about the issue
  • Identify why the problem has occurred
  • Help the Artisans deal with the issue and give them time to address the issue
  • Review the action that has been taken by the Artisans and make a decision as to whether we are satisfied with the action

In these circumstances, we will only stop working with a Partner if we are not confident that they are committed to addressing any issues that have been raised.

Issues can be raised in a number of ways, and by a number of people – whether individual workers within the organisation or by members of the public. Our complaints mechanism policy and processes documents clearly step out the process by which people can bring our attention to any issues they are concerned about.

If you have any questions about our work with Artisans or would like to become a Partner, please contact buyer@oxfam.org.au

Transparency: Tier 1 Supply Chain

Oxfam Australia Trading is working to ensure we meet the highest ethical retailing standards. One of these standards is to be 100% transparent, which entails publishing the locations where products are made.

This is because knowing the names and locations of factories or workshops enables independent confirmation as to whether workers are being treated fairly, whether their conditions are safe or what they are being paid.

Workers’ representatives need production details down to the supplier-factory/workshop level to effectively monitor and help ensure fair working conditions are introduced and maintained.

You can download a list of locations where our products are made.  

Below are the country locations of our artisans:

Please note: Some of our smaller Artisan groups are listed only by region and country as they are community-based projects where people work out of their homes or community centres rather than workshops or factories. For more information on these Artisans please contact buyer@oxfam.org.au

Living Wages and Fair Payment

The fourth principle of Fair Trade is Fair Payment, which includes a Living Wage. Click here for more information, including Oxfam Shop (Oxfam Australia Trading)’s commitment to Living Wages and roadmap towards Living Wages.