Oxfam Fair Trade: double-check for people and planet

Oxfam Fair Trade is one of Belgium's pioneers in fair trade. In 2023, we continued to focus on offering quality products. Always with a social and ecological impact.

Oxfam Fair Trade is one of Belgium’s pioneers in fair trade. In 2023, we continued to focus on offering quality products. Always with a social and ecological impact.

In this sustainability report, we evaluate our impact and efforts for people and planet in four areas:

  • For our trading partners
  • For our employees
  • For our customers
  • For society at large

Our sustainability report in 4 figures

1. We have a direct impact on more than 500,000 members

In total, we work with 30 cooperatives. That means we reach more than 500,000 members/farmer families. For their products, we pay the fair trade price, calculated according to the standards of Fairtrade International.

The fair trade price is often substantially above the market price and gives the farmer a stable price guarantee. If the market price rises above the fair trade price due to certain circumstances, we pay the market price. In other words: always the highest.

On top of this, we also pay a fair trade premium. This goes to social and ecological projects. Each year, the farmers and members of the cooperative agree together on how to spend the premium. In 2023, we paid € 284,924.40 in fair trade premiums.

For organic products, we pay farmers an organic premium. In this way, we give organic farmers extra reinforcement for their efforts. In 2023, 60% of our products were organic. In 2030 we want to reach 100%.

In some contexts, we see that fair trade is insufficient to provide farmers with a dignified life, for instance, because the situation in the country is very fragile or because farmers have less access to (local and national) support.

We, therefore, commit to going ‘beyond fair trade‘ in certain supply chains, such as in Ivory Coast where the cocoa context is very complex. With our ‘Bite to Fight’ chocolate line, we have also offered cocoa farmers in Ivory Coast a specific Oxfam premium for several years: the premium for a living income.

Cocoa farmers more than need it: research shows that most cocoa farmers in Ivory Coast earn three times too little to have a living income. In 2023, we paid €64,442 in Bite to Fight premium.

2. 89.2% of our employees have fun at work

The well-being and satisfaction of all our employees is essential. On the annual well-being survey of our employees, 89.2% said they have fun at work. In terms of engagement, we even score 91%. However, this leads to a need to recover from a working day according to 56% of our employees.

With, among other things, a modern and strong HR policy – based on the Employee Life Cycle – and our Safeguarding policy, we want to live up to the values we propagate externally, also internally.

3. We achieve a quality score of 8.44 out of 10

Every year, we evaluate our suppliers via transparent questionnaires. From those results, we calculate an average quality score (expressed in ten points). For 2023, we arrive at an overall score of 8.44 out of 10. This is the second-best score we have achieved since our calculations.

We measure the quality score by the number of quality errors in transmission lines, the supplier score, and the number, severity, and frequency of quality complaints per supplier.

4. We want to move from 123.4 to 130 points on the B Corp score

Since July 2021, we have been certified by B Corp. B Corp is an organisation that audits companies on their social and environmental efforts. So it does not refer to our products (which is the case for our Fairtrade and organic labels) but to the organisation as a whole.

The B Corp certification currently represents the most credible and challenging sustainability assessment within the corporate world. The route consists of a rigorous assessment process in five major areas: governance, labour rights, community, environment, and customers.

In total, a company must score more than 80 points to achieve certification. We immediately achieved a nice score of 123.4 points in our audit. We are proud of that, as it immediately puts us in the higher ranks. But we want to do even better: our ambition is to be among the top 5% in the world in each of the five domains. At our next audit in 2024, we therefore aspire to reach a score of 130 points. Talk about a challenge!

Our common thread: due diligence

Due diligence (HREDD) runs as a thread through everything we do. “It is an essential pillar of our work at Oxfam Fair Trade,” says Nick Declercq, Oxfam Fair Trade director. “This report therefore provides an insight into our environmental, human, and labour rights efforts. Because we believe it is essential that our clients and stakeholders are fully aware of our approach. That is why we communicate openly and honestly about our policies, processes, and performance.”

“We want you to know what you are buying and where it comes from so that you can confidently choose our products,” concludes Nick Declercq. “Every product that bears the Oxfam Fair Trade name has been carefully double-checked for its impact: social and environmental. We are proud to offer fair trade products that delight the taste buds and contribute to a more just and sustainable world.”

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about this report? If so, please ask Judith Pieters at