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Feasting together

Once a year, in the cooler season, the staff team of Oasis Transformation Ltd go on a picnic along with their families. It’s always an event that everyone looks forward to with excitement and anticipation! Usually, a theme park in the vicinity of the factory is the venue for the picnic. A picnic is a time for people to dress up, forget about work and the stresses of life and let their hair down! Everyone boards the rented buses in the morning. A hired catering team join the party with large pots, pans, utensils and raw ingredients (which are loaded on the roof of the bus) and amidst, clapping, singing and much laughter, everyone sets off in their colourful finery! A pre-prepared spot at the venue is made ready with a tent, a little ‘cottage’, open fires on which to cook and large speakers to blast Bollywood music from…and the fun begins.

The first thing on the agenda is a delicious cooked breakfast already prepared by the caterers. This is followed by perhaps a game of football or cricket. There is some downtime after this for families and friends to explore the theme park and enjoy it’s attractions followed by a delicious lunch consisting of flavoured rice, lentils, chicken, fish and vegetables, all served fresh and hot on proper plates at tables set up for the occasion! One of the most beautiful things about the picnic is that the factory floor team, the cleaning team and guards along with their families are served at table by the leadership team of the business. None of the latter eat until everyone else is looked after. It is an opportunity to say a little thank you to those who work extremely hard and create the engine of the business – they are the people who embody both it’s energy and purpose.

The afternoon has a session of games and then a talent show and a raffle draw. The talent show is another highlight because we are never disappointed by what’s on offer and staggered by the poetic, dance and musical talent of some of our team! There is much wit and humour on display and it really is a joy to witness it being exhibited without inhibition! Towards the end of the picnic, to the accompaniment of loud Bengali and Bollywood music, most people dance together. When you watch every level of the company team dance together, women comfortable enough to dance alongside their male team mates, the able bodied folks dancing with those who might be differently abled, it is a celebration of what we share in common – our humanity… and our differences of nationality, creed, gender and ability vanish and all seems well with the world.

Ensuring good communication

Every month we have a ‘townhall meeting’ with our staff including those who are located in a remote village. During these meetings we share important business information ranging from sales to our Fair Trade practices.

At Oasis we value good communication which build trust amongst staff in the workplace and ensure all those employed, even in the villages, get a chance to contribute.

What our employees say…

We think it is important to hear from those who work with us and make our products. Without their work, nothing would happen and without our customers, their would be no work. At Oasis Coffins, we seek to ensure that all our customers get quality care and attention and in doing so are able to offer quality employment in an area of Bangladesh where it is crucially needed.

With Fair Trade Fortnight in the UK and International Women’s Day upon us, we have asked a few of our employees what their job means to them.

“The good relationships at Oasis create a safe environment for us women. We trust the men that we work with and the men we report to. We know we are in safe hands.”

“I feel safe working at Oasis because I know where the emergency exits are and how to respond during a fire. The monthly safety drills are very helpful.” – Rokeya, a female production staff at Oasis

“Oasis is a good employer because I am able to trust the people in the office. Trust is very important.” – Joya, one of our female production staff members

Standing alongside

Following the devastating floods to hit Bangladesh, our UK partner and distributor sprung into action to help raise money for those of our employees affected by the flooding. Many people in the Nilphemari district saw their homes flooded due to the unprecedented rains. With crops, food and possessions destroyed, the kindness of others is essential and the Oasis Coffins team are grateful for all those who are giving in response to this appeal.

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jcatkinson 

 

Guaranteed Member of the WFTO

We are please to announce that we are now officially part of the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) #GuaranteedFairTrade family.

Having been through all the assessment requirements, we are now a Guaranteed Member and are able to use the WFTO Label along with our current accreditation with Traidcraft. Having been recognised by both of these great fair trade organisations, we are pleased our customers can have an assurance that we work hard to make sure our business makes a significant positive difference in the lives of our employees in Bangladesh.

 

Ensuring Quality – Independent Testing

Oasis Coffins is a proud member of the Funeral Suppliers’ Association (FSA) and is pleased to be a part of the launch of the new coffin certification scheme.

As with many trade associations, the FSA will not be known to many, although has been in existence since 1939. The aim of the Association is to ensure quality goods are produced and dependable high standards are maintained within the profession. As part of this role to champion quality, a new scheme has been developed to ensure all coffins sold by FSA members are fit for purpose and of high quality.

At a time when families are looking to celebrate a loved-one’s life, choices are important and there has been a growth in alternative coffins. Bamboo, willow, seagrass and other materials have become popular choices and with new innovations within the sector, the need for quality is important. Whilst some may like the idea of tradition, others are embracing the new options. For us as a manufacturer of alternative coffins, it is important that any questions over woven coffins are addressed. As an active and recognised fair trade business, we take our duty to care seriously and welcomed the move by the FSA to introduce rigorous tests. With the main organisations which represent crematoria on board, a system is in place to push quality forward.

Having now had all our woven coffins tested, we are proud to say they have all passed and we will shortly start stamping our coffins with the new approval mark.

For more information on FSA or to see our approval results, please visit the FSA website

Welcome To The Label For Genuine Fair Traders

Oasis Coffins has been a long-term member of the global Fair Trade community and is a WFTO Provisional Member with full membership in progress. As part of this global family we like to celebrate when a celebration is due.

 

On 13 February 2016, The WFTO Label was unveiled at Ambiente 2016 Trade Show in Frankfurt, Germany. The WFTO label is the first international label that guarantees Fair Trade Organisations operating in any part of the supply chain, from producers to retailers.

 

With this unique Fair Trade label, consumers will be able to identify products in the international marketplace that meet high economic, social and environmental sustainability criteria. Fair Trade Organisations are fully committed to sustainable production and trade.

 

The label is backed by a robust and credible Guarantee System. By guaranteeing the organisation as a ‘Fair Trade Organisation’, the WFTO label meets the ever-growing consumers’ demand for a more trustworthy scheme in the international market, which guarantees that products are produced and traded according to ethical and Fair Trade standards.

 

Creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers, transparency and accountability, payment of a fair price, no child labour or forced labour, long-term trading relations, gender equity and women’s economic empowerment, freedom of association, good working conditions, capacity-building, and respect for the environment are the principles of Fair Trade that organizations should adhere to comply with the Guarantee System and use the WFTO label on their products.  The label can be put on packaging or tags of handicraft and food products asan assurance that the products are produced and/or traded by guaranteed Fair Trade Organisations whose practices are checked against these 10 Fair Trade principles globally acknowledged.

 

“There are no international public regulations for the certification of Fair Trade products. Private entities can deliberately set up their own criteria and certify single products without considering the practices of the company that sells these products”Rudi Dalvai, President of WFTO explains.“That is why it is of utmost importance to have a label that allows consumers to clearly identify the organisations who are 100% committed to Fair Trade.”

 

Based on more than 50 years of experience on Fair Trade, the new WFTO label represents an important step towards the recognition that an alternative economic model, more humane and sustainable at different levels, is actually possible. By buying products carrying the new WFTO label, traders and consumers can make a concrete contribution to create a more just world, to help fight poverty, social injustice and discrimination, to support economically disadvantaged small producers, and to promote the rights of people and respect for the environment.

 

Today, around 50 Fair Trade Organisations are already guaranteed and can use the WFTO label. More than 200 in 70 different countries are underway.

 

At Oasis Coffins we already work with Traidcraft and look forward to seeing our membership progress with WFTO and joining those pioneering this new label.

 

For more information on fair trade, please visit

 

Traidcraft at http://www.traidcraft.co.uk/

WFTO at http://www.wfto.com/

 

Further references

10 Principles of Fair Trade
WFTO Fair Trade Standard
WFTO Guarantee System
Metamorphosis of Fair Trade
WFTO: 25 Years of Fair Trade
60 Years of Fair Trade