Fairtrade City, a growing concept in Sweden
June 7th 2010
In 2006 Sweden launched the new concept Fairtrade City, where Malmo and Munkfors were the first to be qualified and received the diploma. Today there are more than thirty Fairtrade Cities in Sweden and several more are following.
Every second municipality in Sweden has in one way or another started the process to become a Fairtrade City. Often the initiative starts with a proposal from residents of the city or as a submitted motion within the commune. This clearly shows that there is a widespread local commitment for fair trade at large in society and that many perceive ethical consumption as a contribution to sustainable development, says Emma Rung.
To stay qualified as a Fairtrade City, each city must annually account for their work and commitment throughout the year. This year all Fairtrade Cities have reported great progress. Linköping now have 160 hotels, restaurants and coffeehouses that offer a range of Fairtrade products, this is an increase of 50% from the previous year. In Karlstad, the number of workplaces that drink Fairtrade coffee has grown with a total of 280%, in 2007 there were 42 and in 2009 the number has grown to 160 recorded workplaces.
Nevertheless, public procurement of Fairtrade has grown all over the country. In Avesta, the total consumption of Fairtrade coffee has risen from 1% to 67%. The municipality of Malmö drink 16 000 cups of Fairtrade coffee every day. Also Lund municipality reported an impressive increase; coming from only 1% of the coffee that was consumed in 2006 was Fairtrade. Today, the situation is different and Fairtrade stand for a total of a 78% share of the coffee consumption in Lund.
On behalf of Fairtrade Sweden, ECI conducted a survey in October 2009, accordingly 9 out of 10 citizens think that their town should continue the work to maintain their Fairtrade City Diploma.
All Fairtrade Cities have done impressive efforts to spread information and organize activities about Fairtrade. There are many inspirational examples; among those are Nassjo, who has educated 350 buyers, another is the steering committee of Orebro whom have had a total of 60 lectures during the previous year. In addition Karlstad has reported a total of 18 news features in various local papers, radio and TV on their work as a Fairtrade City.
- One side of the important work as a Fairtrade City is to create public opinion on the matter of fair trade and importance of ethical trade, the qualified cities has found new creative ways to communicate the message which has resulted in more knowledge and thereby a greater demand for goods produced on fair terms of trade. When we step by step choose to buy more Fairtrade products, we also make a real difference for the people that produce products in the poor parts of the world, says Emma Rung, project manager at Fairtrade Sweden.