Oxfam-Wereldwinkels commits to local fair trade products

Belgian apple juice in the Oxfam-Wereldwinkels fair trade shops in Flanders

Apples are a typical Belgian product. Oxfam Fair Trade replaces its apple juice by 100 % fresh, sustainable and fair apple juice sourced from Belgian orchards that are transitioning to organic farming.

  • 100 % Belgian apple juice with no sugar or water added;
  • 100 % transitional crop fruit. This means that the grower fully applies organic farming principles in view of pending organic certification. Too few organic apples are produced on Belgian soil yet to fulfil growing demand. That is why Oxfam temporarily sources its apples from farms that make the transition to organic agriculture.

Waning border between North and South

Oxfam Fair Trade expands it fight for fair trade, because also local trade is sometimes unfair. That is why it commits to local fair trade products. Apple juice comes as a first.

“Our focus remains with our relations with producers in the South, but there is definitely room for social initiative and sustainable products from the North, for short supply chains. This opens perspectives for local cooperation with nearby producers,” says Luc Van Haute, general manager of Oxfam Fair Trade|Wereldwinkels.

“Our North initiatives can lead to valuable partnerships with producers outside the traditional fair trade field. We look for producers that can supply us in accordance with our vision.” Luc van Haute adds: “With such producers we aim to position ourselves even better as a reliable transition player and we market a product that connects family farmers with consumers.”

Placing trust in farmers to achieve the transition

By committing to sourcing this local Belgian apple juice we support growers who are willing to operate in a more ecologically sustainable manner. It helps them to take the step to organic certification. The prospect of a stable supply to Oxfam Fair Trade boosts their confidence in sustainable and ecological investments.

Fair price for the farmers

Local food and trade systems are under increasing pressure of the global market, which primarily targets profit maximisation. Following mega mergers a handful of companies and supermarkets have become ever bigger and more powerful. Farmers and consumers are at the mercy of such businesses.

Farmers risk not breaking even any more. They operate at the beginning of the supply chain, but they are not ensured a living income. At the other end of the chain, consumers are increasingly forced into adopting specific food items and consumption patterns.

This apple juice is different in that Oxfam pays a fair price that has been agreed with the fruit growers. It shows that successful trade and a fair income for farmers can be combined.

Source: Press release, 6/11/2018