World Shop

IT: Bottega del Mondo


“Bottega del mondo” (or World shop) is the name by which are defined the italian shops that sell fair trade products and also local products of the producers of the nearby area. They are called ‘world shops’ in other countries.  

In 1969, the first "world store" opens in the Netherlands. The initiative aimed to bring the principles of fair trade (see FAIR TRADE) to the small retail sector, selling almost exclusively goods produced in underdeveloped countries, according to the principles of fair trade. 

The ‘Botteghe del mondo’ have a fundamental role in "telling" the products and their history and make fair trade possible. 

In a ‘bottega del mondo’ you find a wide range of characteristic food products such as coffee, cocoa, sugar; they are all produced by ‘producers from the South of the world’ following a mix of traditional processing and cutting-edge processing with a high attention to sustainability, both in the cultivation phase and in processing, storage and packaging. In some ‘bottega’ you find also handcrafted clothing products produced in fair trade supply chains with organic and natural raw materials, with high attention to sustainability.  

They are managed by associations and cooperatives. The personnel of ‘bottega’ are usually composed by a mix of workers and volunteers; volunteering has always been a characteristic of these shops, even if over the years there has been a greater inclusion of highly motivated and trained workers. 

In the World Shop the customer can usually find products from these two supply chains, food and fashion.  The products coexist together to give a complete range of choice, and sometimes they come together to support the information about fair trade. 


  • Altromercato Impresa Sociale is the leading importer in Italy of fair-trade products. The cooperatives and associations that are members of Altromercato manage about 200 shops where they sell food, fashion and natural cosmetics. The ‘Caffè Manifesto’ and the ‘Chocolate Manifesto’ are two examples of Altromercato campaigning: through these products the personnel in the world shop can inform the customers about fair trade supply chain and tell the stories of the producers and products by intersecting various aspects (for example the product Caffè Manifesto has been combined with a range of organic cotton t-shirts with printed campaign claim). 

Other examples of World Shops: 

  • online shop Traidcraft is the main importer in UK since 40 years, ‘challenging the norm, fighting injustices and breaking rules. We advocate the importance of organic farming, sustainability and transparency to the lives of growers and artisans around the world’. They sell fair trade food and drink, sustainable fashion, home and garden goods and handmade, ethical, fair trade gifts through online shop. 
  •  Weltladen is a network of world shops in Austria, fair trade specialist shop with many fair daily life products and trade fair gifts. 
  • Oxfam is a global movement of people, working together to end the injustice of poverty. It helps people build better lives for themselves, and for others. It takes on issues like land rights, climate change and discrimination against women. And we won’t stop until every person on the planet can enjoy life free from poverty.”  Oxfam International affiliates operate "world shops" in their countries where they sell fair trade products from Oxfam projects or other importers. Proceeds from the sale help strengthen Oxfam international's campaigns and interventions, so the products become a direct means of raising funds.