Everybody who has taken a closer look at the backgrounds of food knows that it’s more political than it appears to be at first glance. It’s easy to buy good food, but it’s not that easy to buy really good food – really good food in the sense of sustainable, high-quality and fair food. One possibility to get a large variety of really good is in fair trade shops (Weltläden). These stores came to life in the 1970s and since then have been offering culinary delicacies from all over the world: juicy fruits, crunchy nuts, aromatic coffee, exotic spices, delicious chocolate and much more. And the best about it: All these groceries are produced fair, which means: The producers receive fair prices and thus, appropriate salaries for their work and products. Buying in these stores means they want to make world politics a little better with their consumer behavior. Not without reason the fair trade shop confederation’s latest campaign is called: Human. Makes. Trade. Fair.
Becoming a member of the fair trade shop confederation: This is how it works
To become a certified supplier for the fair trade shop confederation and to be included in the suppliers catalogue, a company first needs to hand in an application and provide comprehensive information, then there is an extensive certification and screening process. Once a company is included, there are different rights and obligations following. For instance, you have to go through an external screening by an auditor that takes place repeatedly in a two-year cycle. Additionally, the suppliers pay an amount of money that is based on the respective store’s net turnover per year, will however be at least 100€ annually. For everyone who’s interested in this: Here, you’ll get to the complete rights and obligations list.
Facts, facts, facts
But what does that really mean? The focus is especially on the fair trade practices as well as on avoiding unfair competition. Child labor, exploitation and delays of payment for example are to be avoided at all costs. On the other hand, on-site production, professionalization and long-term producer-trader relationships belong to a standard every supplier for the fair trade shop confederation has to meet. In short: Meeting the contractual obligations in due course and professionally in compliance of full transparency are absolute minimum requirements. On top of this, there are other important points like educational work (a wonderful example of this would be this article), PR work (why don’t you come visit us on June 28th/29th at the world shop convention in Bad Hersfeld) and also the protection of the environment. All of this is a whole lot of work, but we know that with you, our costumers, it will bear sweet fruit.