Abteilungsleiterin Interkulturalität und Städtepartnerschaften
Since 2014, Monheim am Rhein has been a Fairtrade Town. Fairtrade Deutschland presents this award as part of the Fairtrade Towns campaign to towns and cities that are particularly committed to fair trade.
The goal is to get as many people as possible excited about the topic and to set a good example. This is achieved in various ways: More and more fair trade products are being used in the City Hall and municipal facilities, and the topic is constantly brought to the public's attention through numerous events. An integral part of this is the close cooperation with schools, daycare centers, religious organizations and various associations.
With the Intercultural Fair Weeks, the city has created its own campaign period for fair coexistence within the city and in the entire world. In addition, the city's commitment to distribute fair trade candy at carnival has become the standard - both for the citizens of Monheim and the people in the so-called Global South whose livelihoods depend on the cultivation of agricultural products. Retailers and restaurants are also part of the movement. Some have been selling fair trade products for many years.
In Monheim am Rhein, Fairtrade Town is more than just a title. We believe that commitment here in the city does make a difference and can contribute to people all over the world being able to lead a good life.
With the Intercultural Fair Weeks, the City of Monheim am Rhein has created its own campaign period, linking the local and the global perspective and illuminating coexistence in the city and in the world. As a “City for Everyone” and as a Fairtrade Town, Monheim am Rhein is committed to good and fair coexistence both locally and worldwide. This cause requires commitment from different people from the most diverse areas of city life. "Together we take responsibility and shape the city and the world we want to live in," says Annika Dotor de Pradas, Head of the Interculturality and Town Twinning Department at City Hall.
The Intercultural Fair Weeks are an important part of this commitment. Different activities and events throw light on diversity and global responsibility in Monheim am Rhein. A fair tea in the mosque, building bridges through joint sports with fair trade snacks and soccer balls, joint art activities, readings and exhibitions, fair cooking in the daycare center, intercultural fair breakfast with senior citizens or joint knitting for a good cause. The Intercultural Fair Weeks offer ideal opportunities to meet new people, exchange experiences and look beyond one's own nose. They invite all residents of Monheim to see the world and Monheim am Rhein with different eyes, to discover interesting activities and to participate. Retail is also involved: the annual flyer contains numerous fair, sustainable products provided by the Monheimer Lokalhelden.
Colorful, tasty and fair – ever since 2018, onlookers of every carnival parade in Monheim am Rhein have been thrown Fairtrade candies. To make this happen, the Fairtrade Town of Monheim am Rhein provided all parade participants – both those on foot and on the floats – with candies for throwing worth a total of €100,000. The gesture was not an end in itself: it also helped to make the general public more aware of the Fairtrade movement. In this way, carnival connects people across continents. Here in the city, children are happy about the sweets, and in the countries of the so-called Global South, people can give their children a secure future and send them to school, for example. Since 2022, the city has also been demonstrating its global responsibility during the Shrove Monday parade with its own Fairtrade float from the workshop of Jacques Tilly (the premier carnival float designer in Germany).
“Faire Jecken”, or "Fair Fools", focus on quality and appreciation. The Fairtrade candy tastes great and is made of high-quality organic ingredients. The packaging design includes images that are related to Monheim am Rhein. The candy pays tribute to the work of the people who grow the raw materials – and the adults and children who catch or pick up the candies will also appreciate the difference. Monheim’s fairtrade candy comes in no less than five different varieties: ‘Mango Monkeys’ and vegan ‘Flying Hearts’ (fruit gum), milk chocolate bars, dark chocolate bars and ‘Date Confetti’, which was first introduced in 2023. What makes Date Confetti so special is the fact that not only the raw material comes from the growing country Egypt – the entire processing and packaging, including the packaging design, takes place there. This means that the earnings remain in the country of cultivation, leading to greater support for the people and better prospects for their future. With the introduction of Date Confetti, the city of Monheim am Rhein is taking the next step into the future of fair trade.
The organizers want the idea to spread. That is why each year all of Monheim's carnival associations and other participants in the carnival parades are called on to support the movement and to use parts of their own budget to buy Fairtrade candies to throw to onlookers – because only this way can the movement continue to grow. A Fairtrade share of 11% of the budget is the declared goal. A really cheerful attempt at more fairness in the world – showing that together we can achieve a lot! Helau!
Monheim am Rhein also sets a good example within the City Administration. In the mayor's office, in the employees' kitchens and at all public meetings, coffee and sugar are offered exclusively from fair trade. There are also regular campaigns to inform employees about fair trade.
At public events, the city uses vegan fair trade fruit gum as giveaways, and both the popular "welcome bags" handed out to new citizens as well as the tote bags from various city institutions are made from fair trade fibers and produced under fair production conditions. And fairness is also a priority in sporting challenges: The City Administration regularly shows its sporting fairness with fair trade team shirts. While the first edition was made of cotton, the shirts are now even available in fair trade activewear material.
The town's commitment to fair trade can also be tasted. With the introduction of Fairtrade chocolate made to its own design, Monheim am Rhein is making the topic of fair trade part of town life and local shops even more. By doing this, the Fairtrade Town, together with the retail and gastronomy sectors, demonstrates that good taste and fair trading conditions can go hand in hand.
The chocolate is produced in by the luxury chocolate manufacturer Zotter, who stands not only for fair and organic production methods but also for highest quality and particularly exquisite flavors.
Many retailers and catering establishments already include the Fairtrade chocolate in their product range, so demonstrating their support for the Fairtrade movement. You can find out where to get the chocolate here.
Fair trade refers to a trade partnership that includes social rights and ecological standards in addition to fair and appropriate payment. The aim is to make global trade fairer by giving greater support to the producers at the start of the supply chain to improve their living and working conditions in the long term.
Consumers also benefit: Fairtrade products meet high quality standards and are largely grown organically. At the same time, by choosing Fairtrade products, consumers specifically opt for fairer and more sustainable trading conditions around the world.
The Fairtrade Deutschland association awards the Fairtrade seal, which identifies products from the global south that have been produced according to international Fairtrade standards. At the same time, Fairtrade importers such as GEPA, El Puente, WeltPartner, Zotter and Globo offer a guarantee that fair trading conditions have been complied with. The association’s business structure is exclusively focused on fair trade and close cooperation with producer organizations. In doing so, they adhere to the principles of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). The same applies to all goods that are offered in recognized Worldshops.