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November 20, 2016

Taking home gifts and the stories behind them – Bazaar Berlin closes with a rise in attendance figures

• 500 exhibitors from 60 countries displayed handicrafts from around the world

• Even more interest in fair trade products

• The next Bazaar Berlin will take place from 8 to 12 November 2017

Berlin, 20 November 2016 – On Sunday Bazaar Berlin 2016 came to a close, reporting higher visitor numbers than 2014. Around 38,000 visitors came to the 55th shopping mall for exotic products on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds. 500 retailers and manufacturers from 60 countries welcomed them on a fascinating tour of products and information that spanned the entire globe. The quality of handicrafts, fashion items, jewellery, accessories and other products were precisely to their taste, as over 95 per cent of visitors who were interviewed said they were satisfied with their shopping tour of Bazaar Berlin. More than 90 per cent said they would be back for the next Bazaar Berlin in November 2017.

The reactions from exhibitors were equally positive. Barbara Mabrook, the project manager of Bazaar Berlin, pointed to one particular aspect: “Many of the exhibitors were particularly pleased with the visitors here in Berlin, who in their opinion were very open-minded, interested and well-informed. As consumers they also had a keen sense of value for money. I heard from many exhibitors that the city was the ideal venue for Bazaar Berlin.“

In recent years interest in the Fair Trade Market had already been growing. This year, for the first time, it drew more attention than any other section at the fair, including jewellery, clothing and fashion items.

Around 91 per cent of those polled said they intended to make purchases at Bazaar Berlin, and more than 52 per cent came in search of Christmas presents. Averaging 130 euros, members of the public spent about the same amount as in 2015, resulting in a turnover by manufacturers and retailers of over 4.9 million euros.

Exhibitors value the special atmosphere at Bazaar Berlin

“This was the first time we were at Bazaar Berlin and we definitely aim to be back next year“, said Doa Wadi, executive director of the Business Women Forum Palestine. “With the support of UNDP and ITC we were able to study the German market and gain a lot of interesting impressions. We sold plenty of goods. Textiles with traditional embroidery as well as soaps made with peloids from the Dead Sea were particularly sought after. I am sure we were able to offer an insight into Palestinian culture. We were delighted that students working on projects enquired about our work and lives.”

Amar Lal Shrestha from Nepal has been exhibiting at Bazaar Berlin for the last 38 years: ”Here in Berlin I can meet established customers, new ones, and friends. I talk to them about what they want and study at their interests. Afterwards we adapt our product range accordingly in Nepal. For me, being at Bazaar Berlin is more than doing business. From the very start I sensed a special relationship between the German and Nepalese people. I consider it a joy and honour to be here at Bazaar Berlin.”

“Things went very well for us here on the weekend. ”70 per cent of the products we offer are from Syria and 30 per cent are from Lebanon. It shows that even in times of crisis it is possible to support the economies of these countries. 99 per cent of the products are made by women. Our sales strengthen the role of women in society and the family, as they have their own source of income. Incidentally, there was a significant increase in purchases from our web shop during the fair.”

Dr. Reinhold Hemker, president of the German-Zimbabwean Society: ”We sold stone sculptures and other art exhibits from Zimbabwe and southern African countries on our stand in the Hall with African displays. The revenues go to aid projects in Zimbabwe and Namibia. The general aim is to fight the causes of people fleeing the region. Those living in developing countries need to be made stronger by being given an education, qualifications and experience. For many years here at Bazaar Berlin we have been organising workshops for students on tolerance and have been training migrants so they can start up a business.”

”Bazaar Berlin gives us an excellent opportunity to showcase our products“, said Enbold Neuhaus, proprietor of Kaschmir & mehr. ”Our Mongolian Yurt was a big attraction and the visitors were delighted to be able to buy our quality textiles in authentic surroundings. A live rbb television programme was even filmed in the yurt at Bazaar Berlin. We are very satisfied because are customers are as well. We will definitely be exhibiting again next year.”

Christiane Ulm, proprietor of Poesiedesign: ”For me Bazaar Berlin is the most beautiful consumer exhibition of its kind. Nowhere else can one find so many quality handicrafts and stylish goods from so many different cultures in one place. I have been exhibiting here since 2007 and naturally will be back next year. It always amazes me how many regulars come back to the display halls on these grounds every year because of my jewellery. Sometimes my customers give each other advice on what to buy. There is a great family atmosphere here.”

Fatoumata Bouré, proprietor of Mali Chic: ”We have been selling a variety of Malian products made in cooperation with more than 195 craftsmen from our home country at Bazaar Berlin for five years. Compared to other trade fairs there are many visitors in Berlin who take their time to admire our products and let us explain them. There is great demand for blankets in regionally typical colours and for Christmas figurines from recycled materials. We look forward to being back in 2017.”

”Last year we came to Bazaar Berlin for the first time, exhibiting mustard“, said Constanze Dahm, managing partner of WATT’N SENF by Honigdieb. This year we added a snack bar to our stand and achieved even better turnover than in 2015. We recognised some of our customers from thenOur bestsellers are ’Dragon’s Mustard’, which is very spicy, and honey mustard potatoes which our customers like to cook at home with the right mustard. We will definitely be back.“

Berlin is becoming the city of fair trade

Both the Fair Trade Market and supporting events at Bazaar Berlin 2016 focused on fair trade. ’Fair trade – for a fair world’ was the slogan of the wide-ranging and fascinating educational programme for schools which gave pupils and opportunity to learn more about social responsibility, sustainable production, fair partnerships and cooperating with one another. This year 38 schools and around 1,170 students from Berlin and Brandenburg took part.

The Coalition Agreement reached by the Berlin Senate aims to make the entire city a “Fair Trade Town”. A corresponding steering group was set up during Bazaar Berlin, signalling an important step in this direction. Even at the early stage of this founding event the big prospects which the city offers for expanding fair trade were already clear. Retailers, the city’s restaurants, organisations, church congregations, educational establishments and universities are already committed to fair trade and have pledged to become even more involved. For more information: www.fairtradetown.berlin.

About Bazaar Berlin

Launched in 1962 as Partners for Progress, the international consumer exhibition for quality handicrafts, fashion, jewellery and home accessories is now known as Bazaar Berlin. Every year in November tens of thousands of visitors come to the display halls on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds to purchase exotic articles from around the world, either to keep or to give away as gifts. Bazaar Berlin is organised by Messe Berlin GmbH. For more details visit www.bazaar-berlin.com.