Hannover, Litomerice, Bristol, Copenhagen, Sydney, Seattle and 1,000 other cities around the world have made common cause in committing to Fair Trade and being rewarded the Fair Trade Towns status. This means that the municipality meets criteria related to ethical public procurement, local availability of Fair Trade products and support and awareness about fair trade across the community.
The 5th international Fairtrade Towns Conference in Malmö, Sweden, on the 19-20th of November gathered over 200 representatives from Fair Trade Towns in 25 countries, amongst them the partners of the Aware&Fair project. The participants enjoyed a vivid exchange of experiences and inspiration at workshops, plenaries, interactive coffee breaks and the evening show “Catwalk for Change” with interviews of producers and a Fair Trade cotton fashion show. The conference further presented results from a survey of the Swedish Custom Market Research Company TNF-SIFO in five Swedish Fair Trade Towns and five non- Fair Trade Towns, with 1000 respondents. The survey revealed that 86% of consumers are showing great support for ethical procurement, while the knowledge of Fair Trade certification is 10% higher in the Fair Trade Towns than in other municipalities – strong motivation for the participants to continue and extend their activities for promoting Fair Trade.
As another concrete result from the conference a statement was commonly accepted by the assembly on Sunday 20th to be raised in the European Parliament and also during the Rio +20, UN’s conference on Sustainable Development in June, 2012.