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Fair Trade Egypt opens its first store in Maadi

Supporting Egyptian communities and artisans, Fair Trade Egypt has taken yet another step in pursuit of its goal.
Gehad Hussein | 15.01.2012

In fulfillment of the challenging quest of empowering Egyptian communities and handicrafts, Fair Trade Egypt (FTE) opened its first official outlet store in Maadi on the 12th of January 2012.

Being not only a shop, but also a “cultural experience”, the shop offers a vast variety of colorful, high-quality Egyptian handicrafts from all over the country, with fixed, affordable prices.

The idea to open an outlet in 2011 came in aspiration of raising and creating awareness about the concept of Fair Trade and its existence in Egypt, and also to highlight the beauty and value of Egyptian handicrafts.

Yet, after the revolution on the 25th of January 2011, the sales dropped tremendously and the team of FTE had to spend all their savings on the producers and artisans, instead of investing in their outlet. So for the first six months of 2011, FTE was just trying to survive, and make sure that the artisans do not solely pay the price of freedom.

Despite the setbacks, General Manager of FTE and Board Director at World Fair Trade Organization Mona ElSayed had remained optimistic throughout the year: “The revolution came and we thought we had to forget the idea of opening our own shop. But in March we saw how Egyptians started sympathizing with their fellow Egyptians, and how the sense of social responsibility and patriotism increased. This was the excellent moment to approach the Egyptian population with FTE’s shop.”

Yousra Ramadan, one of the customers, told Egypt Business Directory: “This is a great initiative. We need more stores like that in Egypt to promote local artisans. Also, the variety of products is great, since it mixes between personal and home use products.”

Trying to convince the people to consciously buy Egyptian products and support those who need it the most, ElSayed has faith in her customers and the future: “I believe that those who come once, will come and buy again, and that they would want to keep this product and shop alive, because they would have understood the concept.”

The concept of Fair Trade internationally is to empower artisans by encouraging them to produce handicrafts and selling it for them later on, while giving them a fair share of the sales.

FTE wants to assist the talented but struggling Egyptian artisans, who have been particularly hard-hit by massive industrialization and globalization. It supports over 30 artisan groups in seven different regions and offers more than 500 different types of products.

Shop Address:
12 Street number 205, Apartment 1, Maadi
Between Yellow Pages and Seoudi Market
Opening hours: 10am – 9pm
Telephone: +20 2 27537235