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This is where fair trade is embraced in practice

Fair and sustainable: why a small holiday resort on the North Sea coast is a capital of fair trade. 

AuthorSabine Giehle, 08.11.2023
Town bets, chocolate, an app: this is how Sankt Peter-Ording promotes fair trade.
Town bets, chocolate, an app: this is how Sankt Peter-Ording promotes fair trade. © pictureAlliance/dpa

The small town on the western tip of the Eiderstedt peninsula is surrounded on three sides by the North Sea. The municipality is long and thin and has a 350-hectare pine forest running through it. This all forms part of the Wadden Sea National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. So it’s no wonder Sankt Peter-Ording is a popular holiday destination in Germany. But the small seaside resort is more than that: it has also been a “Capital of Fair Trade” since 2023. In order to receive this title, the municipality had to convince the jury of Engagement Global

Alignment with the 17 SDGs 

Sankt Peter-Ording has been a “globally sustainable municipality” since 2022 and its local development is closely aligned with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. After all, “from a global perspective, sustainability also means fair trade, i.e. campaigning for fair pay and good working conditions”, according to the town’s municipal authority. 

With its population of 4,000, Sankt Peter-Ording fully embraces this idea in practice, also involving hotels, restaurants and retailers in fair trade. The “Fairfinder App” ensures their services can be found, and high-profile campaigns are run such as the popular “Town Bet” with the mayor on fair trade issues. The municipality has also developed its own chocolate in cooperation with food rescuers.  

Title also awarded to Ingelheim and Munich 

Municipalities have a key role to play in sustainability, working with their partners in civil society, politics and business to promote fair trade and fair procurement. Engagement Global’s Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW) recognises this commitment every two years through its “Capital of Fair Trade” competition, which is supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In 2023, three municipalities were awarded the title of “Capital of Fair Trade”: Sankt Peter-Ording, Ingelheim and Munich.