Celebrate our birthday on World Fair Trade Day

Pop open that bottle of Argentine bubbly! April 2021 marks 50 years since Belgium’s first wereldwinkel opened its doors. The foundations of today’s Oxfam Fair Trade were laid in Antwerp’s Hoofdkerkstraat. Will you join us in celebrating World Fair Trade Day?

A fair (online) celebration with colleagues

Even after 50 years, we continue to stand up for truly fair trade. Thanks to our loyal customers, and very happily, together with you!

On 8 May, World Fair Trade Day, fair trade is in the spotlight worldwide. It’s the perfect moment to show off your positive choice for fair trade!

  • Are you already a fan of Oxfam? Thanks! Tell us how you and your colleagues celebrate fair trade. This can be in a newsletter, in your brochure, on social media… Tag us and we’ll give your message an extra boost.
  • Switch to (even more) fair trade in the workplace: coffee, juice, snacks… Have a look at our range. And inspire others to do the same!
  • Is your employer not yet on board with the fair trade story? In this article, you’ll find convincing arguments on why fair trade makes sustainable business easier.

50 years of fair trade and still much needed

  • 5 April 1971. Three idealists open the first Belgian wereldwinkel (not yet under the Oxfam flag) in a ramshackle little house in Antwerp. Their goal: ‘Trade, not aid’, i.e. using trade as a lever for development and the eradication of poverty.
  • The movement grew rapidly in the ’70s and ’80s. Idealists who want to act as well as dream find each other in the wereldwinkels. On Saturday, they sell fair trade coffee and cane sugar, and on Sunday, they protest ‘the bomb’ or apartheid in South Africa.
  • In 1999, it’s all about, “Economic globalism must serve the people, not the multinationals. Trade, including local trade, therefore needs global solutions and multilateral institutions that represent every person’s interests and rights.”
  • To increase its strength, Oxfam Fair Trade became an independent cooperative in 2002. This way, the Oxfam-Wereldwinkels private label can also conquer consumers’ hearts in supermarkets and other retail outlets in Belgium and far beyond. We started with two products in 1971 and we now sell 206 different Oxfam Fair Trade products.
  • Like us, the volunteer movement is determined to continue until all trade is fair. That’s why both the non-profit organisation and Oxfam Fair Trade have continued to innovate tirelessly since 1971.

In short: Oxfam has chosen the sustainable path for over 50 years, rather than the path of least resistance. Because fair is the best policy.

Watch the report, ‘50 years of Wereldwinkels’

Is your organisation also supporting the movement? Contact us.


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