Ghent named EU fair and ethical trade capital

  • cooperation
  • economy
  • environment

The city of Ghent has won the first-ever fair and ethical trade award which celebrates cities' achievements and impact in the areas of social and environmental sustainability in international trade.

The Directorate General for Trade (DG Trade) launched the EU fair and ethical trade award as part of its 'Trade for all' communication in 2015. First announced by Commissioner Malmström at our AGM in 2016, it is an initiative of the European Commission (EC) and DG Trade with the International Trade Centre (ITC).

At a ceremony on 27 June, shortlisted cities presented their applications and showcased their strategies and visions for fair and ethical trade. Five out of the seven frontrunners were EUROCITIES members: Ghent, Lyon, Madrid, Malmo, Dortmund, the others being Saarbrücken and Vitoria-Gasteiz.

Ghent was awarded first prize, 'Because of the city government's clear commitment to putting ideas into concrete practice, its packed programme of events and its impressive pedigree as Belgium's first Fair Trade town'.

As the winner, Ghent will develop a project on sustainable development cooperation with the support of the ITC and the EC and become a member of the sustainable cities network created as part of the award.

Awards were also given to four other shortlisted cities for their achievements in specific fields:

  • Dortmund was given a special mention for 'Education and Community Participation' in recognition of its large number of awareness-raising events and kindergarten fair trade certification scheme.
  • Madrid earned a 'Global Partnerships' award for its network of partner cities across Latin America.
  • Lyon gained a special mention for 'Innovation' for its monitoring and evaluation system for measuring progress towards sustainability goals and the success of its own fair and sustainable label.
  • Saarbrücken was chosen for its 'Inspiring Procurement Practice' in tribute to its robust public procurement policy which respects International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions and involves extensive training of city staff.

You can watch a video presenting Ghent's application here.

You can read summaries of the shortlisted cities' applications here (link)

EUROCITIES staff contact

Marta Marcuzzi