Press releases

Malmö wins second fair and ethical trade award

16 October 2020
ITC News

(Ghent/Geneva) − The Swedish city of Malmö has been declared the winner of the EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award 2021.

EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis, announcing the winning city on 16 October at an event live-streamed from Ghent, Belgium, said that Malmö won for its holistic approach to integrating fair and ethical trade into its multicultural community of consumers, businesses and civil society, innovative policies and a forward-looking strategy.

The Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC) will provide technical assistance to implement a development project proposed as part of the winning bid. The European Commission's Directorate-General for Trade will support ITC with €100,000 to help implement the project.

'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,' ITC Executive Director 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.

Malmö takes the title from inaugural winner Ghent, and will hold the honour throughout 2021.

In addition to Malmö, five other European Union cities were awarded Special Mentions for their achievements and outstanding efforts concerning fair and ethical trade.

  • Gothenburg: Special Mention for Public Procurement for a holistic approach to sustainable public procurement and innovative approaches.
  • Neumarkt: Special Mention for Community Engagement for supporting local communities with sustainable development-centred learning programmes, including providing grants to small-scale projects run by schools or NGOs in this area.
  • Bremen: Special Mention for Global Partnerships & Outlook for numerous alliances and partnership initiatives on topics from reusable packaging and human rights diligence along supply chains to the cross-cutting Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) e-Budget initiative.  
  • Stuttgart: Special Mention for Monitoring Impact for an effective, measurable and innovative Monitoring and Evaluation System, inspiring other cities to improve SDG-based monitoring systems and inform future actions and policymaking.
  • Finally, the city of Jelenia Góra received a Special Mention as a Rising Champion, to commend its strong commitment to fair and ethical trade as a newcomer.

Established in 2018, the Network of EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade allows members to share best-practices and other forms of cooperation and will be expanded by the shortlisted and winning cities. The newly enlarged network will hold its first meetings in early 2021.

To find out more about the individual initiatives in the shortlisted cities, see the Trade City Award 2021 website at

About ITC

The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

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For media enquires please contact:

Vittorio Cammarota

Chief, Communications and Events

International Trade Centre

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E: vcammarota [at] (vcammarota[at]intracen[dot]org)