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November 24, 2015

Sustainable production and fair trade – Bazaar Berlin comes to a successful end

Satisfied visitors and growth in turnover at the international consumer exhibition

Fair trade was an important topic at the exhibition and podium discussions and part of the educational programme

The next Bazaar Berlin will take place from 16 to 20 November 2016


Berlin, 23 November 2015 – Having fun looking at, being amazed by and purchasing goods is part of the experience at an exotic shopping mall. However, more and more visitors want to know where products come from, the conditions under which they are made and how they are traded. This trend was amply reflected at Bazaar Berlin 2015, which came to an end on Sunday. In fact, the Fair Trade Market at the consumer exhibition was second largest attraction at the fair. The topics of fair trade and social responsibility were also the focus of panel discussions, the schools programme and other events.

Barbara Mabrook, the project manager of Bazaar Berlin: “Originally launched 51 years ago as an event with development policy aims, Bazaar Berlin has continued to sponsor and promote programmes supporting the fair production of goods. However, this is the first time that the topic has attracted debate and social involvement on such a broad scale. Politicians also expressed much greater interest than in previous years. The opening tour with the Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development underlined that.“

Besides Federal Minister Dr. Gerd Müller, members of the German Bundestag and the Berlin House of Representatives also visited Bazaar Berlin. Thus, for example, at the podium discussion about ’Fair districts – fair Berlin’ and seals of approval for fair trade textiles a lively debate ensued among the participants representing society, business and politics.

The slogan of the educational programme at Bazaar Berlin 2015 was 'Fair trade for a fair world'. Over 1,100 children and young people took part. Fair trade was also the theme of the 3rd street art and graffiti championships. Among the guests at the final which took place on Friday were a group of under-age refugees who had been given shelter in the capital.

Satisfied visitors and higher turnover

As in previous years most of the visitors to Bazaar Berlin went home satisfied and laden with presents. According to a visitor survey around 94 per cent were satisfied with their visit and said they would be back next year. The same percentage also said they would recommend Bazaar Berlin to friends, relatives and colleagues.

Nine out of ten visitors either purchased or ordered articles in the display halls on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds. At 130 euros average spending was slightly up on last year’s figure. With visitor numbers the same as in 2014 it meant that exhibitor turnover rose by around 4.9 million euros.

Comments by exhibitors and visitors

"No matter whether it is coffee, tea, chocolate or cotton, in almost every case there is a human being working to make the product that eventually lands in our shopping basket. That person deserves a fair wage. In other words, they must be able to live off their work, not just in Germany and Europe, but all over the world", said Dr. Gerd Müller, Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, during the opening tour of the fair. "Fair trade creates transparency. It indicates that local producers are able to achieve better prices for their goods and that these are made under socially and environmentally acceptable conditions. Fair trade is an important instrument for working together to promote development."

For Ainu Sham Binti Haji Ramli, director of Malaysian Handicraft Development, “this year’s Bazaar Berlin gave us an excellent opportunity again to exhibit our handmade products. Besides being able to buy typical Malaysian handicrafts visitors were also able to watch how we make them. Over the four days of the fair we had interesting meetings with potential business customers from Germany, Japan and even Tunisia.“

Emmy Hsieh, assistant curator, National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute: “This was the first time we exhibited at Bazaar Berlin. Visitors were fascinated by how different our stand and our products were. I believe we gave visitors a good insight into the art of Taiwanese handicrafts and at the same time our culture. Furthermore, we had an interesting meeting with a German trust. We look forward to being back next year.”

“We have been represented with a stand at the fair for over ten years“, said Stefanie Adler, a member of the management of Chapati Design Berlin. “Despite our stand moving, many of our regular customers found us, including ones from the local region around Berlin. A wholesaler from Poland expressed great interest in our products. We will definitely be back in 2016.“

“This was the first time we were represented with our stand at Bazaar Berlin“, said El-Amir Mohssen, project manager, Creative Industries Clusters Program, Industrial Modernisation Centre (IMC), from Egypt. “Our products gave visitors an impression of the diverse cultures that exist in Egypt. They were keen to find out about the materials and the origins of the motifs used in the various products. We took the opportunity that Bazaar Berlin offered to showcase newly established Egyptian companies and young designers and to show that Egypt values fair trade and the sustainable production of its goods. We were also able to make good contact with German retailers.“

Christiane Conrad, proprietor of ’Christiane Conrad’, Germany: “Bazaar Berlin is one of the most beautiful trade fairs I have been to and that is why I have been exhibiting here for over ten years. This year there were a lot of regular customers on the stand again. I was able to acquire new ones as well. Overall, from my point of view Bazaar Berlin 2015 was a great success. There were many customers especially during the week.“

Robert Békési, Bajko és Békési, Hungary: “We have been bringing our beanbag toys to the fair since 1992 and are always fascinated by the wonderful atmosphere in Berlin. Our turnover this year was ten per cent higher than last year. This year’s bestsellers were armadillos, of which we sold over a hundred. Next we hope to be visited by even more young people. We will definitely be coming back to Berlin.”

“It was a huge effort. We spent two months preparing for the fair and had 11 people working for five days. But it was worth it”, said Dr. Ali Moshiri, Rango Bu (Germany). “We created a special herbal drink for visitors to Bazaar Berlin. Our guests were seated in the middle of an exotic herb garden and enjoyed the special atmosphere of our stand. Naturally, we were delighted that many said it was the most beautiful stand at the fair.“

Gülsün Parlak, supervisor of the Morgenland stand, Germany: “We were very pleased with the way Bazaar 2015 went. We had more visitors on our stand in Hall 18 than last year. They were impressed by the colours and our wide range of products. Our turnover was good and we also made good contact with wholesalers from Morocco, India and Germany.“

“The new location of the Fair Trade Market had a very positive effect“, is how Elisabeth Bolda, project coordinator, Engagement Global Deutschland summed up the fair. “We had a lot more visitors on our stand than last year and many conversations about fair trade textiles in particular. This year, Engagement Global supported the educational programme of Bazaar Berlin again. It struck us that the children and young people were not only very interested in fair trade, they were also very well informed.“

About Bazaar Berlin

Launched in 1962 as Partners for Progress, the international consumer exhibition for handicrafts, jewellery, textiles and home accessoires changed its name to Bazaar Berlin in 2014. Every year in November around 40,000 visitors come to 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

The next Bazaar Berlin will take place from 16 to 20 November 2016.