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Sustainable development | Brussels, 7 December 2017

Applications now open for first ever "EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade" award

The new Fair and Ethical Trade award for EU cities is an initiative of the European Commission aiming to highlight the importance of the role played by cities in providing platforms for fair and ethical trade schemes. The application process for the award was officially opened today in the Committee of the Regions in Brussels. The award ceremony will take place on 27 June 2018.

Cecilia Malmström, EU Trade Commissioner, said: “The award will recognise all the positive and innovative work done by cities across the European Union. In doing so, it will encourage others to follow their lead. It can also be a means to raise awareness of the kinds of policies that have the most impact at the local level. Fair and ethical trade schemes have converted consumers' awareness into tangible benefits for producers and workers in developing countries”.

The "EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade" award is part of the EU's broader efforts to ensure responsible supply chains that respect human rights, labour rights and the environment through the promotion and support of fair and ethical trade. The award was launched by the Directorate-General for Trade and will be implemented by the International Trade Centre (a UN/WTO agency based in Geneva). The International Trade Centre’s mandate is to work with partners to strengthen the competitiveness of SME exporters, through a broad offer of tools and services, to help build vibrant and sustainable export sectors that provide economic opportunities to all.

The application portal can be found online at and applications can be submitted by EU cities with populations above 20,000 inhabitants. To win, cities are invited to demonstrate commitment and leadership as well as initiative and impact. Candidates should show that they are enabling fair and ethical grassroots activities, creating awareness and incentives, and should demonstrate the impacts of fair and ethical trade practice on trading communities.

An impartial group of experts will judge the applications and select a shortlist of eligible cities. The European Commission, in collaboration with International Trade Centre, will nominate an award jury to select the winner and special mentions from the shortlist of cities. The jury will consist of representatives from EU institutions, city networks, the private sector and the NGO/third sector active on fair and ethical trade. There will be one overall award winner but also several "special mention" awards for other recognised performing cities. In addition to recognition from the European Commission and publicity at the Award Ceremony, the winning city will champion fair and ethical trade by participating in a development cooperation project with the technical support of International Trade Centre and the financial support of DG Trade of 100,000 Euro.

The #tradecityaward hashtag will give cities the opportunity to showcase what is being done to raise awareness about fair and ethical trade at city level and participants will, at the same time, learn from the approaches of other cities and local authorities through the exchange of good practices, ideas, initiatives, and innovations.

For More Information

The website for applications and more details on the award