The EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award Network provides a platform where cities can share best practices, exchange information, learn from each other, and collaborate on joint actions and projects.
The purpose of the Network is also to focus more prominently on the potential of the cooperation between EU cities and local governments in developing countries.
The members of the Network are the shortlisted cities from the first EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award. Through each Award edition, the Network will expand by the newly shortlisted cities.
The Network meets in person once or twice a year and also holds some online meetings. Network meetings take place in the members cities on a rotating basis in order to spread the meetings across as many shortlisted cities as possible. This helps Network members to learn from each other through practical exchanges “on the ground.”
External stakeholders will be invited on an ad-hoc basis to attend Network meetings in order to benefit from knowledge and best practices outside of the Network.
This first in-person meeting of the Network of EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade created a rich exchange and lively discussion of the members’ various approaches to promoting sustainable, fair and ethical trade in their cities.
During the closed meeting, the cities touched on issues ranging from sustainable public procurement, strategy development, educational projects, awareness-raising initiatives, sustainable business initiatives, and global partnerships. Participants were able to truly gain insights into each other’s efforts and identified topics they want to learn more about a future meetings to help them implement these in their own cities.
Participants also learnt more about city approaches to circular economy thanks to an expert presentation by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
A highlight of the meeting was getting to experience Lyon’s approach and achievements in sustainable, fair and ethical trade first hand by meeting local stakeholders on the ground. This included a kick-off dinner at one of the city’s labelled restaurants as well as a tour of its labelled businesses the following day.