Oxfam Fair Trade coffee

Fair trade coffee? That’s Oxfam coffee: a unique blend of quality and impact.

We guarantee a positive impact for the producer and quality in your cup. Even before a Fairtrade label was established in Belgium we already imported coffee from Tanzania under fair trade criteria. Since 1971 Oxfam Fair Trade has been one of the best selling fair trade brands in the country. And you can really taste those decades of coffee expertise in every cup.

Why does Oxfam Fair Trade coffee make a difference?

2 billion. That’s the number of cups of coffee the world’s population drinks each day. And with a global turnover of 200 billion euros per year, coffee is big business. But that huge amount is not distributed fairly.

When it comes to coffee roasters and big distributors, about a dozen western giants own 40% of the market share. Large companies become ever more powerful and are only focussed on their own growth. The rest of the sector is the victim of this.

The indispensable people at the source go virtually unnoticed. Coffee farmers still earn extremely low wages while their land is depleted more and more every year. Coffee growers, labourers and the environment carry the pressure and the risks of the entire production and distribution chain.

This must change. The current coffee sector is far from sustainable: not for the people and not for the environment. Oxfam makes efforts on both fronts, because they are inseparably connected.

21 cents: coffee farmers still live in extreme poverty

The daily income of a coffee farmer varies from country to country and is difficult to calculate precisely. But a study from Fairtrade International and True Price (2017) calculated that coffee producers in Uganda earn an average of 21 dollar cents per day. This is far below the extreme poverty threshold, which is 1,90 $ per day.

A living income is a human right. So Oxfam Belgium keeps fighting for this, together with you!

How does Oxfam Fair Trade create an impact for the producers?

Because we like to see the impact on our partners-producers grow exponentially we work according to several transparent principles.

  • We invest in long-term relationships with cooperatives of small-scale, vulnerable coffee producers. Because we purchase from them annually these farmers can count on a certain income. This allows them to plan and invest.
  • We pay them the fair trade minimum price + fair trade premium + quality premium. If the coffee is certified organic then an organic premium is added to this. The farmers in the cooperative decide democratically what they want to use the premiums for (education, health centres, materials, etc.).
  • We pay up to 60% in advance to the cooperative, which allows them to purchase the harvest of their members at a fair price.
  • We buy directly from the coffee producers; our coffee can be traced back all the way to the cooperative.
  • We actively invest in sustainable cultivation, together with our producing cooperatives. We use agro-ecological techniques to work towards climate-proof coffee plants and higher-quality harvests. We help farmers become certified organic, which increases their chances on the global market and cultivates higher-quality coffee. Two out of every three packages of Oxfam Fair Trade coffee are already certified organic and we want to be 100% organic by 2030.
  • As a pioneer of fair trade coffee we keep working to increase expertise, inform and influence policies. Together with more than 7,000 inexhaustible volunteers. By drinking Oxfam Fair Trade coffee you as the consumer use your voice to advocate for a financial system with genuine fair trade rules.

Extra support for the most vulnerable coffee farmers

Thanks to our Partnerfonds, in addition to a fair coffee price we can also offer our fair trade partners extra support in various ways:

  • Making coffee production more intensive and sustainable by planting new coffee plants and through agro-ecology and good cultivation techniques.
  • Investing in other crops and livestock breeding to make farmers less dependent on a successful coffee harvest.
  • Establishing savings- and credit associations, gender equality, etc.
  • Eye for quality and selection, from harvest to processing.
  • Extra sales markets via other buyers in the niche market of ethical quality coffee.

How does Oxfam guarantee the quality of your fair trade coffee?

Where and how the coffee is cultivated influences the flavour and the aromas. That’s why we collaborate with small-scale coffee farmers who unite in cooperatives. And that’s also why we select sustainably produced coffee from the best coffee regions in the world, such as Yirgachefe in Ethiopia, the Kivu highlands in Congo and the flanks of the Andes Mountains in Peru.

And every step of the production process requires thorough quality control: from berry to cup. We, our coffee cooperatives and coffee processors all take this very seriously.

Oxfam Fair Trade coffee is tasted and approved at least 5 times before arriving on the shop shelves. This is done in our own coffee lab, our producers’ labs in the South and at our roasters here in Belgium. And always according to a standardised method (the SCAA protocols) developed and certified by an independent quality control institute.

In short, producing quality coffee is extremely labour intensive. From the harvest to roasting, this is only possible with continuous strict quality control and selection. But we won’t settle for anything less.

Thé assets of Oxfam coffee

  • 50 years of experience in coffee and fair trade
  • An enormous selection of coffee types, formats and brewing techniques, for at home and the office
  • Fair prices for everyone, including you
Term: Coffee