Fairtrade at St Michaels is registered as a Co-operative Society and it’s a truly co-operative enterprise by nature as well as by name. It’s a team effort involving part-time paid staff, unpaid directors and a brilliant band of volunteers – and completely dependent for its success, of course, on its customers!
Fairtrade is all about offering a better deal to small-scale farmers, workers and craftspeople in the developing world.
For more information on fairtrade and other useful links.
Fairtrade at St Michaels was the first shop in Oxford wholly dedicated to fairly traded goods. At a time when fairtrade was still something of a niche and occasional activity, six people had a shared vision of making fairly traded products available to Oxford shoppers throughout the week and all year round. St Michael’s Church on Cornmarket Street agreed to lease us their basement premises and the enterprise was registered as a bona fide company; in October 2003 we opened for business with stock from a handful of suppliers spread rather thinly over the new shelves, a second-hand till and a small team of enthusiastic volunteers.
We have grown enormously and now hold a wide range of stock from over 70 suppliers, with paid staff and a cumulative turnover of more than £2.25 million – but our vision remains the same. We trust many more Oxford residents and visitors will discover our “Aladdin’s Cave” and benefit from the creativity of so many producers across the world.
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