Know what you buy – More transparency for customers

What we buy every day often has a long journey behind it. We rarely find out who produced it, how – and under what conditions. Consumers are now asking more questions.

Companies have rarely cared about the origin of the raw materials or the local working conditions. The main thing was to make a profit. But that is changing. Some pioneers are setting out to fight for more transparency, fairness and responsibility.

At Quijote Coffee in Hamburg, everyone can know everything. Company founder Andreas Felsen receives the same salary as his employees – and this can be seen on the website. There you can also find out exactly where the coffee beans come from. There is also information about local wages, transport, storage and packaging. “Transparency is important for us to focus on the people who do the real work,” says Felsen. “We as coffee roasters are not responsible for the quality of the coffee, but the farmers who grow it. And it is important to draw attention to them.”

Because if you see with your own eyes how much work goes into a product, you will be more willing to pay higher prices for fair goods. Textile manufacturer Ralf Hellmann produces bed and table linen for hotels, hospitals and restaurants. He therefore invites his customers to India – to the places where the cotton is grown and harvested. Rolf Slickers travels with him. “That is a special experience for me, to come to the absolute beginning of the supply chain.” Will this experience change anything for the businessman?

Antoni Hauptmann embarks on a journey to the origin of a fishcake. On a fish trawler, he wants to log where and how the fish is caught and processed – and thus make it possible to check whether everything has been done properly. To do this, he uses “blockchain” technology, which is supposed to enable forgery-proof traceability. Hauptmann’s wish: truly sustainable fishing – through transparency. “The fish with the serial number,” he says, “that’s what’s interesting.”

Coffee roaster Andreas Felsen has big things in mind: “I want to convince the coffee industry with my idea and turn it around in the long term.” That’s why he tirelessly tries to persuade other coffee producers to be more transparent. And the committed idealist is indeed being heard. Even an industry giant like Tchibo doesn’t want to ignore the trend – and doesn’t want to hide anything. Consumers demand transparency, and they get it.

Broadcast date:Samstag, 29. August 2020, um 17:35 Uhr im ZDF
Written and directed by:Gregor Eppinger, Anna Aumüller
Camera:Luciano Cervio, Christiane Schmidt
Editor:Lena Hatebur, Sven Voß
Editorial advisor:Annette Hoth, Christian Dezer (ZDF/arte)
Production:Alex Busch, Christin Gumpert, Marius Meckl
Line producer:Ulrike Schwerdtner
Executive producer:Anna Grün
Producer:Jasmin Gravenhorst
Filming location:Dänemark, Deutschland, Indien