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˅ Exhibition Overview ˅

press releases

FAIR FRIENDS 2019 Breaks Visitor Record

More than 8,000 visitors on the Consumer Days – Trade Day enthused about 550 experts

FAIR FRIENDS achieved a new visitor record just in time for its 10th anniversary – and therefore remains Germany’s largest sustainability trade fair. The trade fair in Halls 2 and 3 of the Dortmund Exhibition Centre attracted more than 8,000 visitors on three Consumer Days and about 550 experts on a trade day. They came to get information on sustainable and fair solutions for acute problems, on topics like fair trade, plastic-free life, environmental protection and sustainable investment and procurement possibilities. “The increasing number of visitors and the positive response show that we have hit the nail on the head with the trade fair,” said Sabine Loos, CEO of Westfalenhallen Unternehmensgruppe GmbH, to express her satisfaction at the post trade fair press conference.

Germany’s largest sustainability trade fair, FAIR FRIENDS at the Dortmund Exhibition Centre (5 – 8 September 2019), is both a trade fair and a consumer exhibition and conveys the important sustainability topic to mainstream society under the patronage of the Federal Minister for the Environment, Svenja Schulze. With success: On the 10th anniversary of the trade fair, more people than ever before visited the two exhibition halls to inform themselves about the possibilities for a better, sustainable life: “We are pleased that we could welcome more than 8,000 visitors in Dortmund this year. That shows: The sustainability topic is increasingly important – we have recognised that early and established a real visitor attraction,” was the positive summary of Sabine Loos, CEO of Westfalenhallen Unternehmensgruppe GmbH. Ullrich Sierau, Lord Mayor of the City of Dortmund, was enthusiastic about the trade fair: “The City of Dortmund repeatedly gets valuable solutions for its sustainability strategy thanks to the FAIR FRIENDS trade fair. The trade fair also helps us to do important social persuasion, break down old structures and give them new impetus,” said Ullrich Sierau. “FAIR FRIENDS is the largest sustainability trade fair in Germany and always one of my best appointments in the year – long before Christmas and New Year’s Day,” added the Lord Mayor of Dortmund during the press conference.

Diverse programme for a broad topic range
Sustainability affects all areas of life and work. The programme of this year’s FAIR FRIENDS was correspondingly diverse. The trade fair started on 5 September, for the first time with a Trade Day with the two major topics, ‘Sustainable Procurement’ and ‘Sustainable Investment’. The Trade Day gave decision-makers from local government, private and public institutions, churches, charities and companies as well as financial consultants, foundations, and institutional investors a condensed overview of the market situation and current regulations on only one day. They also got elementary practical tips for their everyday work from presentations, workshops and lectures.

The consumer exhibition days started on Friday and broke a new visitor record with more than 8,000 guests. The visitors could inform themselves about sustainable and fair solutions for acute problems, like fair trade, a plastic-free life and environmental protection, within the scope of numerous workshops, lectures, stage or DIY events. They also got inspirations and product ideas that actively contribute to the solving of current problems and the securing of a sustainable future with more quality of life from the about 230 exhibitors from 11 countries. “FAIR FRIENDS therefore again offered everything so that the visitors could fulfil their wishes in respect of a more sustainable lifestyle,” said Sabine Loos to express her conviction. The success proves her right: The number of visitors at FAIR FRIENDS has continuously increased over the years.

Involvement of schools
The objective is also to be achieved by involving schools. “The aim is to also increase the awareness for sustainable thinking and behaviour among young people. That is why we dedicated the Friday to schools – and could welcome representatives from Fridays for Future in our halls,” explained Sabine Loos. The importance of this approach was also emphasised by the Federal Minster for the Environment, Svenja Schulze, who again acted as patroness of the FAIR FRIENDS trade fair, in her welcoming speech: “We need strategies and specific action for a trend turnaround and that also applies to politics, industry, financial markets and consumers. FAIR FRIENDS shows how that can be achieved by using specific examples.”

Testimonials & Exhibitor Quotes on FAIR FRIENDS 2019

Barbara Meissner, Deutscher Städtetag / Städtetag NRW (Association of German Cities /  North-Rhine Westphalian Cities),
Main speaker from the Department of the Environment, Economy, Fire and Civil Protection:
“Sustainable procurement plays an increasing role, at different intensity levels, for local government. It is therefore important and necessary to better embed the topics in the minds of employees and politicians. An important aspect is the procurement of information. The Association of German Cities welcomes and supports that.”

Brian Borgbjerg, Forum Fairer Handel e.V.:
“The FAIR FRIENDS trade fair presents itself very diversely, both at visitor and exhibitor level. That allows us to make new contacts and get to know interesting co-operation partners.”

Ilse Beneke, Procurement Office for the Federal Ministry of the Interior:
“Sustainability criteria in procurement are important and there is already political commitment in this connection at several levels. But the implementation is challenging – for all. Decision-makers, buyers and bidders must do their share towards the success of a more sustainable procurement. FAIR FRIENDS can make its contribution to that by allowing knowledge and information to be imparted.”

Per Toussaint, Bundesverband Kinderhospiz e.V.
“FAIR FRIENDS is a diverse, innovative trade fair with many visitors who are very interested in social and ecological topics. The Federal Association of Children’s Hospices enjoyed its participation and is already looking forward to FAIR FRIENDS 2020!”

Bernd Villhauer, World Ethos Institute at Tübingen University:
“We, from the World Ethos Institute, participate in the ‘Marketplace for Sustainable Investments’ and FAIR FRIENDS with pleasure and conviction. Theory and practice are combined here. It becomes tangible here what sustainable development in the economy and society actually means. The Foundation Forum which has our full attention shows new perspectives for a sustainable world of finance. What we particularly like about the concept of the trade fair is that the focus is on dialogue.”

Basic Information on FAIR FRIENDS

5 September 2019 | Trade Day, 6 to 8 September 2019 | Consumer Days

Consumer Days: More than 8,000 visitors
Trade Day: About 550 participants and trade visitors

Opening Hours:
Thu. – Sun., daily from 10:00 to 18:00
Sat., evening event: 18:00 to 21:00

Occupied Halls:
Trade Day: North Entrance Foyer (Marketplace); Passageway and Hall 2 (Sustainable Procurement)
Consumer Days: Halls 2 and 3

About 230 from 11 countries

Messe Dortmund GmbH

Supporters/Conceptual Partners:
 Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und nukleare Sicherheit)
 Association of German Cities (Deutscher Städtetag)
 Association of Towns and Municipalities of North Rhine Westphalia ((Städte- und Gemeindebund NRW)
 The Association of Rural Districts in North Rhine Westphalia (Landkreistag NRW)
 The Competence Centre for Sustainable Procurement of the Procurement Office for the Federal Ministry of the Interior (Kompetenzstelle für nachhaltige Beschaffung beim Beschaffungsamt des BMI (KNB))
 Dortmund City Council (Stadt Dortmund)
 Trade Association of North Rhine Westphalia – Westphalia-Munsterland Region (Handelsverband NRW Westfalen-Münsterland)
 RCE-Ruhr United Nations University
  ‘sevengardens’ Global Network Initiative
 ‘Bewusst wie e.V.’ Dortmund CSR Network
 Slow Food Dortmund e.V.
 Forum Fairer Handel e.V.
 UnternehmensGrün e.V.
 FNG – Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen e.V.
 Corporate Responsibility Interface Center (CRIC) e. V.
 ökofinanz-21 e.V.
 World Ethos Institute (Tübingen University) / Weltethos-Institut (Universität Tübingen)


FAIR FRIENDS, Germany’s largest sustainability trade fair is both a trade fair and a consumer exhibition and conveys the important sustainability topic to mainstream society. For the first time separate from the Consumer Days (6 to 8 September), the trade fair started with a Trade Day this year on 5 September. With the two main topics and well-established formats, i.e. ‘Sustainable Procurement’ and ‘Sustainable Investments’, decision-makers got a condensed overview of the market situation and regulations on only one day and, with the help of demonstrations, presentations and lectures, fundamental practical tips for the daily work.

Ticket Prices: 
 Adult day ticket/concession: 7.50 € / 4.50 € (children up to 13 years: free)
 Late-night ticket Saturday starting from 16:00, adult/concession: 5.00 € / 4.00 €
 School classes, 3.00 € per person




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