Malmö — Fairtrade pioneer of the North

Malmö in Sweden was the first city in Scandinavia to gain official Fairtrade City status. Next month the city will play host to the 5th International Fair Trade Town Conference “Beyond 1000 Fair Trade Towns” attracting representatives from more than 1000 Fair Trade Towns in over 20 countries.

Lari Pitkä-Kangas, president of Malmö Fairtrade City, told Natural Products: “The Fairtrade movement started in Malmö and has now spread the whole length of Sweden.”

Talking to us in a branch of the Swedish Fairtrade coffee shop chain Barista, Pitkä-Kangas explained that the city’s role was to “communicate the core issues and promote Fairtrade brands generically — and also to engage the widest group of stakeholders. It’s about encouraging the city to move forward in harmony.”

Pitkä-Kangas explained that the city sees fair trade and ecologically sustainable development going forward hand in hand. “Ethical, ecological and organic food and farming are closely aligned in terms of their shared values”.

Fairtrade City co-ordinator Karin Wallin added that an important focus currently is trying to extend the reach of Fairtrade into the wider areas of public procurement. So, as well as Fairtrade staples such as coffee, tea and banana, Malmö’s Fair Trade Council is looking to source Fairtrade electronics, furniture and textiles.”

Malmö will play host to Natural & Organic Scandinavia, a brad new trade show for the Scandinavian region in October 2012. For more information contact Karl Morgan on 01273 645141 or [email protected]