are a window on the world which offer an understanding of and insight into various cultures in Africa, South America and Asia.
The product range in the Fair Trade shops is wide: from jewelry, decorative artefacts , textiles to toys. All products share one thing, however. They are of a special quality and constitute, at the same time, a little global trade politics. They have been marketed according to Fair Trade principles.
The shops not only trade with Fair Trade Denmark importers, but also with other suppliers approved by the international WFTO-organization. Great importance is attached to the offer not only addressing people who can afford to buy expensive and exclusive goods. Everybody must be able to buy Fair Trade goods. The more goods the shop can sell, the more the producers need to deliver.
Great efforts are made to ensure that Fair Trade goods can cope with the competition on the Danish market. Therefore, most shops are run by volunteers who are members of a nonprofit organization. In this way, shop costs are kept low and the producers are ensured fair payment.
The way of the shops to establish a competitive advantage for Fair Trade goods is comparable to the handicap system in golf which allows everyone to play against each other, regardless of huge differences in their golf skills. The Fair Trade concept is based on the idea that global trade with the third world should give the underdeveloped countries an advantage in order to create the necessary development. Thus, the shops are a necessary propagator of the intentions behind Fair Trade.
A good example:
Fair Trade Shop Lolland has become a tourist attraction on Lolland-Falster which Anne Pilø Melillo mentions in her alternative guide book, “111 places on Lolland-Falster you should see.” (Frydenlund 2018). She writes, “here you find yard long giraffes, alpaca socks from Peru and glass jewelry from Ghana. You may find offers of computer sleeves made from bike tires with a gaudy lining, rag rugs from India, batik coloured scarves and colourful shawls. Many of the products are handmade. Some of them decidedly artifacts. Often recycled materials have been used in the production: crushed glass, beer cans and paper wrapping. A decorative cock may have started life as a coke tin can. You start thinking of your own consumption when you gaze at the beautiful artefacts in your hand.