Quite simply Fairtrade at St Michaels is about high quality fairtrade. We also pride ourselves on great customer service and on being kind to the planet. We believe that Fairtrade at St Michaels is the first shop in Oxford to offer a high quality range of fairly traded goods from across the globe, safe in the knowledge that our friends in the developing world are being advantaged and the environment is being honoured.
We believe that fairtrade relationships with suppliers in Asia, South America and Africa will help ensure the sustainable development of countries in these regions. By ensuring that the money goes directly to craftsmen and women, we have a positive impact on their lives and the lives of their families. Fairtrade is all about offering a better deal to small producers and craftspeople in the developing world. By paying our producers a fair price for goods and services, Fairtrade at St Michaels ensures that they make sufficient money to reinvest in their businesses and in the well-being of their staff. By following fairtrade principles we ensure that:
The producers are paid enough to cover the costs of sustainable production and living and to invest in the development of their businesses and staff.
The producers receive payments in advance for raw materials when required.
Long term business relationships are established that allow the producers to plan and use sustainable production practices.
Working conditions are acceptable and that no child labour is used.
About the shop
The shop was started in November 2003 (Oxford city became a Fairtrade City in 2004) and at present has four people (Gillian Burr, Jo Clifford, Kate Goodacre and Clare Matthew) working as unpaid Directors of an ecumenical co-operative. Representatives from the main Christian churches are on the board, this includes Wesley Memorial Methodist Church, St Andrew's Church.of England, and Blackfriars R.C. Priory. We have four part-time members of staff and numerous fantastic volunteers.
We are grateful to have been given a home by St Michael's Church at the Northgate in Cornmarket Street, Oxford.
We operate as a social enterprise in that all profit returns to the business in terms of wages, maintenance and infrastructure. Surplus profit is donated on a regular basis to projects already supported by the shop, often through direct local contact, and details of these are available from the Secretary, Clare Matthews.
We have shareholders and you are welcome to join us, please contact Clare Matthews at the shop.
In Oxford we work with our fairtrade local partnerships: the Oxford Fairtrade Coalition, the Student Fairtrade Coalition, Brookes University, churches, schools, Oxfam, One Village, and other ethical suppliers.