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November 17, 2014

Gifts and the stories behind them – once again Bazaar Berlin offered more than a global shopping tour

• Around 38,000 visitors on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds
• Successful debut for the FAIR TRADE MARKET
• Next Bazaar Berlin will take place from 18. – 22.November 2015


Berlin, 16 November 2014 – Whenever visitors to Bazaar Berlin buy unusual gifts from around the world the stories that go with them come for free. This year, out of approximately 38,000 visitors 90 per cent bought things to give away as a gift, or to keep for themselves. At Bazaar Berlin the story of who made an article and where it originated came free of charge, and at the newly launched Fair Trade Market there were particularly detailed exchanges about the stories accompanying the products.

Barbara Mabrook, the project manager of Bazaar Berlin: “Our visitors are highly aware of what they purchase, and that is something they reiterated with their keen interest in the new FAIR TRADE MARKET. The results of the visitor survey confirmed that. Straightaway the topic of fair trade occupied second place in the popularity rankings. We have two reasons to be proud: firstly, of the successful debut of this new format, the FAIR TRADE MARKET, and secondly of the fantastic response from our visitors.“

After five days of lively market activity Bazaar Berlin closed on Sunday at 7 p.m. 568 producers of goods and traders from 62 countries presented their wares in the halls on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds – exhibiting high-quality handicrafts, carpets, basketware, music instruments, ethnic and designer jewellery, natural cosmetics, exceptional fashion creations, accessories and much, much more.

The visitor survey matched the good results of the previous event in almost every respect: 95 per cent were satisfied with their visit to the fair and the same percentage said they would recommend Bazaar Berlin to others. 96 per cent said the range of items on offer was ’good’ and 94 per cent said they would be back to visit Bazaar Berlin next year. At 125 euros, visitor spending per head was slightly down on last year’s figure. Overall exhibitor turnover was approximately 4.8 million euros.

Fair trade market well received: comments on the new section

Mona El Sayed, managing director of Fair Trade Egypt and member of the board of the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO): “After taking part in Bazaar Berlin we can say that consumers are ready for fair trade. ’Shades of Ra‘, our new collection, was very well received. We had lots of positive feedback from visitors and buyers. The fact that our stand was in the new section was of great advantage to us. One could sense a certain spirit, including among the exhibitors.”

Manfred Schumacher, chairman of Fair-Band – Bundesverband für fairen Import und Vertrieb e.V.: “I had no idea what would await us at Bazaar Berlin and was very touched by the response to the new section with the fair trade market. There was keen interest in the high-quality products exhibited by our affiliated producers, whether it was silver jewellery from Thailand, alpaca products from Peru or cushion covers from Zimbabwe. It is vital for us to be clear about the origins of our products. That is also why talking to customers is so important. Together with Messe Berlin we should consider how to highlight the special nature of this section even more so at next year’s Bazaar Berlin.“

Judith Siller, managing director of the Berlin-based world shop ’A Janela’ and founder of the campaign called “Fairtrade Town Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf“: “As an exhibitor from Berlin I was delighted how keen and open-minded visitors were. The information provided at the Fair Trade Point in Hall 15.1. enabled visitors to head directly for the fair trade stands. I am delighted with our turnover. The hall layout was attractive and created a very positive atmosphere.“

Elisabeth Bolda, project coordinator, educational programmes, Engagement Global gGmbH: “The topic of fair trade as part of Bazaar Berlin’s educational programme was very well received. Teachers and their pupils were very open-minded. The speakers who took part in the educational programme repeatedly approached visitors directly outside the hall and received positive reactions. We are particularly grateful to Grips Theater who organised an educational workshop on the topic of fair trade.“

Fair trade was also the dominant theme of this year’s educational programme at Bazaar Berlin. The events were attended by around 600 pupils who were able to learn more about social responsibility, sustainable production, fair partnerships and cooperating with one another. The Berlin street art and graffiti championship taking place parallel with the educational programme also focused on fair trade.

Other comments on Bazaar Berlin

Ribhiyah Saleh, delegate of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Malaysia: “We were delighted that State Secretary Hans-Joachim Fuchtel visited our stand. We talked about future participation in international events. Our exhibits, which included modern art and handicrafts, met with keen interest, particularly our small, aquamarine-coloured ceramic items.“

Christiane Konrad, managing director of ANA IS – Strickdesign Berlin: “In my view this was an outstanding fair. The organisers made a big effort to create an attractive atmosphere. Trade fairs are usually quite exhausting for visitors. The layout here featured ample space and the colour of the carpeting in each hall was different so that each provided a new inspiration for visitors.”

Steffi Tsai, exhibition manager of the Taiwan Chamber of Commerce, combined display of Taiwan: “This was our first time in Germany. Many of the visitors were interested in our centuries-old tradition of handicraft production which has only recently become popular again. We exhibited clutch bags made from rushes, phone covers, shoes, book covers and cushions. We also displayed elaborately-coloured precious glass pearl strings, necklaces with semi-precious stones, Chinese lucky knots and the 2,000 year-old art of creating religious figurines and masks from bamboo paper. Unfortunately, visitors found them too expensive. Next time we will have to make a greater effort to promote the image of Taiwanese handicrafts and of the country itself.”

Ellen Raven, designer with Allaga – Cairo Fashion Art, Cairo: “Things went as well for us as they did last year. We sold almost all of our natural lamb leather bags and our thick, hand-braided leashes. Last year we discovered that customers here prefer subdued colours, unlike in Egypt, where people wear loud colours on the street. This time we arrived with articles from our collections in dark blue, indigo, grey and black. They proved to be very popular.”

By Najla, jewellery designer, combined display of Saudi Arabia: “People asked me a lot of things about my soutaches, handmade necklaces with large semi-precious stones. It was worth my while to exhibit them, even though I sold none. That way I was able to find out about the kind of customers here and their preferences. It was my first trade fair both in Germany and in Europe. Next time I will make some changes to my display.”

Annett Goldschmidt, proprietor of Salzwerk, Berlin: “This is our third appearance here and as always we are very satisfied. We experienced a big rise in sales. Renaming the fair a ‘bazaar’ was a very good idea.”

Emilia Kandie, coorganiser of the Pro Kapsogo initiative, Kenya: “We held a tombola on our stand, with the proceeds going to building a new school in our home village of Kapsogo. This was very well received. Tickets cost two euros and everyone who took part received a small animal made from the wood of mambo trees. The carved wooden lions and giraffes appealed not only to younger visitors.”

Gabriele Droste, employee of Kanu-Nature, Berlin: “Being part of the fair was a very pleasant experience. Nowhere else is there a range of goods of this kind. Our aromatic soaps were very popular with visitors. I like the charm of Berliners and I also enjoyed exploring what other halls had to offer.“

Asel Temiraleva-Meyer, managing director, Nomad's Spirit and chairman of Shardanat (NGO), Berlin / Kyrgyzstan: “I love this fair and feel at home here. The trade fair team answers every question one could possibly ask. Bazaar Berlin is a consumer exhibition, so it is a good testbed. This is where one can find out exactly what visitors want and what the competition is up to. This is an excellent place for developing one’s own market. It is not just passing trade but specific types of customer who come here. We have been coming here since 2003 and always try to display new products. ’Aladdin’ felt slippers in numerous different colours are our best-sellers.”

About Bazaar Berlin

Launched in 1962 as Partners for Progress, until last year the international consumer exhibition for handicrafts, jewellery, textiles and home accessoires was known as Import Shop Berlin. Now called Bazaar Berlin, starting in 2014 and annually every November this event with its new concept will be inviting visitors to the display halls on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds. The FAIR TRADE MARKET is a new section devoted to fair trade. Bazaar Berlin is organised by Messe Berlin GmbH. For more details visit

The next Bazaar Berlin will take place from 18. – 22.November 2015.