Another way to look at the Oxfam tea workers story

As earlier, Oxfam tells us that the workers only get 3 p put of the 79p paid in the shops for the tea.

OK, 4% say.

Right, now, what is the value of that plate of beans the starving kid gets. And how much does it cost Oxfam to get it there? If that kid’s eating 4% of what Oxfam’s taking in I’d be surprised. As much as 4% that is.

And wouldn’t it be fun to turn this on them in a radio interview…..

10 thoughts on “Another way to look at the Oxfam tea workers story”

  1. Doesn’t work – transferring cash across continents (except to Somalia and other terrorist areas) is over 90% efficient (i.e. the recipient gets over 90% of what the sender sends). Oxfam doesn’t actually move the beans from USA to India.
    A much better attack angle is to point out that it is the government-controlled tea plantations that are the worst – some years ago Brooke Bond was hit by an Indian government regulation created to limit how much they were allowed to pay their workers on their own plantations because they were paying so much more than the government-owned ones.
    Oxfam complains that seasonal workers aren’t paid enough when they aren’t working. Surprise! Most of us are not paid when we’re not working. Next campaign is holidays-with-pay for the self-employed

  2. That 4% number is interesting. It wouldn’t surprise me if 4% of the bottle of uk rapeseed oil I bought goes to the farm worker.

  3. Given that tea is 0% VAT rated, shouldn’t Oxfam also be whinging about the supposed 15.8p “subsidy” compared to what the low-value-add workers get?

  4. A lot of what the supermarkets take in ends up as tax to the government, income tax, VAT, business rates, corporation tax etc. It’s nearly a call by oxfam to defund the NHS.

  5. @john77

    I think the point is how much of the donated cash gets transferred overseas, and spent on beans when it gets there. If someone gives a tenner to Oxfam expecting it to go towards feeding the poor, it’s a fair question to ask how much of that tenner is actually spent on food for the poor.

    For Oxfam it seems reasonable to assume <4%

  6. @ Bloke in Aberdeen
    Actually rather more than 4% because a lot is transferred to a local bank and handed out as vouchers to be spent on food (or cash when they cannot get the locals to set up a voucher scheme) – but it is still not enough.
    If one skims the first 50 pages one can find that fundraising costs absorb 29% of voluntary funds and 1% of public-sector funds raised. Of the remaining 71%, one-third goes on humanitarian aid, just over half on “development” and one-seventh on “campaigning and advocacy”. Oxfam spends more on toilets than it does on food, but it is fairly clear that around 10% of voluntary income ends up as food on someone’s plate. It is still less than half the amount spent on fund-raising and it seems that Oxfam distributes more food provided by the World Food Programme than it buys itself.

  7. This stuff is just typical drivel from people who have no clue how the world works. Any product goes through numerous processes between the producer and the consumer. Every stage costs money. Every stage adds value. I suppose that I could save myself a stack of money by just buying raw materials in bulk and making them into useable products in my shed.

  8. @john77 October 10, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    “fundraising costs” – employing chuggers, bullies & scammers
    “development, toilets, campaigning and advocacy” keeping Tarquin & Tamara in comfortable employment at home or overseas.

    Oxfam and many others need to be struck off Charity status

  9. @ Pcar
    campaigning & advocacy probably includes employing Tarquin & Tamara, but you can’t expect them to dig toilets.
    Oxfam needs to be supervised and disciplined by the Charity Commission so that it actually does the job it was set up to do.
    Employing chuggers should be outlawed – they are illegal as they constitute a public nuisance but the police have more important things to do if they have any time to spare from paperwork

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