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Fair Trade standards

The World Shops Convention


Customers in a One World Shop

In Germany, the majority of fairly traded products are sold through specialist shops known as "world shops".

The "World Shops Convention" provides members of the umbrella organisation of world shops with guidelines for operating their business. The policy paper was revised in 2010 and sets out seven standards that are based on the World Fair Trade Organization's principles:

  1. Trade practices: cooperation between all relevant actors; avoidance of unfair competition; no profit maximisation at the expense of others; fair prices; reinvestment of surpluses; timely and professional fulfilment of contractual obligations
  2. Working conditions: socially responsible production and marketing processes (working time and conditions, pay, social protection); no discrimination; no exploitative child labour or forced labour; freedom of association and organisation
  3. Transparency: producers, import organisations and world shops inform their trading partners about their objectives, organisational structure, decision-making processes, ownership structures, financial situation, channels of trade and trading criteria
  4. Information, education and communication: provision of information about products, producers, routes to the consumer, framework conditions and power relations in global trade; advanced training for employees
  5. PR activities: PR, political campaigns and advertising to raise awareness of the goals of Fair Trade
  6. Environmental protection: minimisation of environmental impact of production and marketing (energy consumption, waste disposal, packaging materials); routes and means of transportation are socially and environmentally sound
  7. Supplementary products: possible sale of products from socially responsible and eco-friendly production whose main raw materials do not originate with trading partners in the South (for example recycled paper or regional organic produce); however, add-on products and information material on the work of world shops should not take up more than 25 per cent of shelf space

The umbrella organisation of world shops maintains a database of Fair Trade suppliers to help members choose where to buy ethically traded products. Businesses and organisations that wish to be included need to prove that they engage in Fair Trade as defined by the world shops movement and that they comply with the rules set out in the World Shops Convention. The database can be accessed on the world shops website.

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