The Best for Everyone - The Fair Trade Cooperative dwp eG
dwp was founded in 1988 as “dritte-welt partner Ltd.” by the so-called World Shops of the region of Upper Swabia. Since then we have been doing Fair Trade and giving special priority to the people we work with. Nowadays, we maintain cooperative trade relations with more than 50 producer groups who are comprised of thousands of producers and small-scale farmers. When importing from 30 countries all over the world, we also give priority to a transparent commerce where the channels of trade can be traced back and controlled at any given time from the producers to our customers. Therefore, we consider it very important to pass on well-founded information about our producers, their life situation, and their methods of production. Frank communication and regular visits provide us with up-to-date first-hand information. This complex and intensive work has been possible to accomplish due to our exceptional team of employees. We thereby emphasize an efficient structure promoting participation and personal responsibility as great factors of motivation. Some of you will certainly ask: Why should an African straw basket be anything special? And why should a generally familiar Darjeeling Tea be something extraordinary? Both products are labor-intensive goods through which you get to know the producers better. That’s why, for our range, we deliberately chose goods made or harvested, for example, by small cooperatives who are very quality-conscious. The same is valid for our excellent organic grown coffees from Latin America and Africa which we import as high-quality, pure Arabica coffees. Organic cultivation is becoming more and more important for us. Therefore, a couple of years ago we decided to take a path which combines the advantages of Fair Trade with those of organic agriculture – the result is our range fair + bio including different kinds of coffee, tea, spices, chocolate, and honey as well as ingredients for the exclusive Asian cuisine. Moreover, fair + bio enables the producers, when cultivating their crop products, to obtain the highest value added possible. The same happens with many conventionally cultivated products which we often import as finished goods. Regular analyses by independent German laboratories certify the constantly high quality of our small-scale producers’ goods. Furthermore, the development of new products plays an important role. Together with the producers, we identify new product trends in the market which are taken into account when developing new samples according to our producers’ technical possibilities. The results are special and innovative goods for the European market. With one part of our range we consciously decided to offer traditional handicrafts and products which, being unique, have an exceptional charm. Considering all our products, the esteem for the work of our producers means a lot to us. Therefore we consciously dedicate our work to quality and uniqueness - see for yourself! Since the UN-Conference in Rio in 1992, some politicians have realized that the countries all over the world are intertwined in a way that the word “globalization” can also be used in a positive way. The urgency to improve the social and economic situation of the people and the ecological balance prevails globally. Unfortunately, up to now this has often only been hot air – but not for us. For years, with our way of doing trade, we from dwp have been taking on responsibility for the human beings and the environment all over the world. In our daily work, for example, we use electricity from regenerative sources of energy and fuel our cars with locally grown and produced rapeseed oil. Overseas, our Fair Trade promotes the long-term improvement of the social and ecological situation of thousands of small producers. We obtain this by paying higher prices to the producers and additional charges for our overseas partners’ social and common projects. Thus, not only individuals benefit from Fair Trade, but a whole village, a whole region. How is this possible? Social prices paid by us to the producer groups are invested by our partners indepently – for example in education and training, in regional public health systems or in technical equipment in order to reach international standards. These projects improve the producers’ life situation as well as the situation of the people in their environment. As a result, Fair Trade in many regions all over the world is the best example to assume responsibility for society. Therefore, many groups are encouraged to team up to Fair Trade cooperatives. These often young producer groups mean a lot to us. We try to be a long-term partner for them who guarantees to buy regular quantities which allows them a better planning. Our advance payments enable them to act financially independent. Instead of producers often paying excessive interests for credits, our pre-payments of 50% of the order’s value make income possible for the producers during the production process and the period during which no harvest is possible. Thus, important basic needs as well as for example school fees for the producers’ children can be met. Our way of doing trade does not only facilitate essential income, but also places the focus on education and training. Thus, Fair Trade creates useful principles of globalization and long-lasting effects as well as long-term perspectives for a better future. You can contribute consciously – through your decision to buy Fair Trade products.
We thank you very much in advance!