Malmö: The Fairtrade City

Malmö: The Fairtrade City

  • 10 April 2021

In 2006, Malmö was the first city in Sweden to become a fair trade city, a certification system to indicate a city is engaged in the issue of ethical consumption.

Malmö Fairtrade City is a cooperative effort between the city, businesses and the local community and the purpose is to raise awareness and understanding of fair trade. Every year certain criteria must be fulfilled to be “re-certified” as a fair trade city.

The Fairtrade City Office at the Environmental Department has developed strategies and events around Christmas products, repair workshops, chocolate tastings and panel discussions about fair and ethical trade.

Many Malmö cafes, restaurants and hotels offer their customers fair trade products, and shops sell fair trade clothes, flowers, athletic equipment, toys, home decorations. More than 200 workplaces in Malmö serve fair trade coffee and tea to their employees, with more joining all the time.

Malmö Fairtrade City has arranged a wide variety of events with the goal to raise awareness, such as fair trade festivals, fashion shows and live cooking shows. One of the most popular events is the fair trade and sustainable Christmas design market in the city center, which began in 2008 and has continued to attract visitors and media coverage.

Winner of the 2021 Fair and Ethical Trade City Award

At the end of 2020, based on 11 eligible applications from local authorities across the European Union, a jury composed of representatives of business, civil society, the International Trade Centre and the European Commission, designated Malmö as the EU City for Fair and Ethical Trade 2021.

“This award recognizes that in today’s interconnected world, making more sustainable choices at the local level in the European Union will have positive ripple effects on people’s livelihoods and the environment,” Executive Director of the Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC) Pamela Coke-Hamilton said. “My hope is that we can scale up these kinds of interventions all across the globe and other cities can learn from the excellent example set by Malmö.”

The jury noted that Malmö stood out as an interconnected city with a global impact and an inspiring vision. This approach was combined with exciting projects in the city and developing countries on novel topics such as e-waste.

The city has demonstrated its commitment to tackling new challenges such as circular production, human rights diligence, and ultimately making it “easy for everyone in the city to do the right thing” − which is the city’s motto.

The award will fund a project selected by Malmö to support fair and ethical supply chains in a non-EU country improving working conditions and the protection of the environment.