Oxfam-Magasins du monde is one of the main fair trade organisations in Belgium. It covers the regions of Wallonia and Brussels, while its sister organisation Oxfam-Wereldwinkels is active in Flanders. In 2012, the organisation turnover was equal to €5.8 million and it employed 55 full-time equivalent employees. It works with various fair trade partners in the South: directly with 33 handicraft partners and indirectly with 106 food and 18 cosmetics partners.
The main legitimacy of the organisation comes from its very strong movement of volunteers, more than 4,500, all organised in a democratic way: they manage themselves the world shops, vote for new producers to be added to the list of partners, etc. They also participate to various actions and campaigns on fair trade and economic justice issues.
In the next months, this campaigning work will focus on the coming elections, which in Belgium will take place at regional, federal, and European levels. As part of the larger ‘Vote4FT’ campaign, our main demands to the politicians will be to support fair trade of course, but also to put in place trade policies protective of human and workers’ rights. For Oxfam-Magasins du monde, it is clear that tragic events such as the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh are linked with economic pressures, forcing people to risk their lives in hope for a better future. In this context, politicians have a key role to play: putting in place an international trade framework, for example on base of fair trade, so that trade is better regulated and meets its societal goals (decent work, but also right to food, etc.). Beside the use of different tools (Vote4FT manifesto, articles, partners’ testimonies, campaign video, etc.), one major highlight of the campaign will be a public debate with EU Belgian candidates on March 4th in Brussels.
Name: Oxfam-Magasins du monde
Head Office: Wavre, Belgium
Date of foundation: 1964