Ghent is currently on the shortlist for the EU cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award.
For the first time ever, the European Commission will hand out the Fair and Ethical Trade Award to an EU city. The new award aims to recognise and celebrate cities’ achievements and positive impact in the area of social, economic, and environmental sustainability in international trade. A particular emphasis is given to fair and ethical guarantee systems that can bring more sustainable opportunities to small producers in the South. The award provides cities with the opportunity to showcase their contributions and to learn from one another.
This Award is emblematic of the ‘Trade for All policy’ of the European Commission and was created by the International Trade Centre (ITC). In order to develop the most impactful award, the ICT set up a multidisciplinary technical committee comprising organisations from a variety of backgrounds in the areas of sustainability, city networks and platforms.
Ghent on the shortlist with six other cities
The City of Ghent was put on a shortlist with six other cities. The winner will be announced during the award ceremony on 27 June 2018.
For many years, the City of Ghent has striven for fair trade. In 2005, Ghent became the very first Belgian city to be bestowed the title of ‘Fair Trade community’. In following years, the city expended a great deal of effort to bring fair trade to prominence. In 2014, Ghent launched the project ‘Ghent Fair Trade’ in collaboration with Oxfam. This project greatly contributed to sensitising and mobilising people on the issue of fair trade. Ghent’s long textile history still demonstrates the impact that trade and limited respect for labour rights can have, resulting in a movement of entrepreneurs, volunteers, fashionisto/as, and organisations who strive for fair trade. In addition, Ghent endeavoured for fair workwear, which led to ground-breaking work in a pilot project funded by European resources. The acquired knowledge was then compiled in the multilingual publication ‘Tooblox Socially Responsible Chain Management’, a guide for public purchasers. This allows us to share our experience beyond city limits.