Drakenstein Municipality to host first international Fair Trade Towns Conference in Africa

2024-09-20  2024-09-22

 Drakenstein Municipality is honoured to have been chosen as the host destination of the very first International Fair Trade Towns Conference in Africa, set to take place from 20 to 22 September 2024 in Paarl and Wellington.

This will be the 17th international conference of its kind, with over 400 sustainability influencers invited from around the world to come and experience Drakenstein’s sustainability milestones first-hand - and savour its warm hospitality, natural splendour, and authentic attractions.

This announcement was made at the 16th International Fair Trade Towns Conference, held in Glarus Nord, Switzerland, in September this year. [View Drakenstein Municipality’s conference promotion video here.]

“This is a major business confidence booster for the Municipality’s quest to attract more meetings, incentives, conferences and events to Drakenstein, as well as to promote our sustainable tourism offering and new Sustainable Route,” said Alderman Conrad Poole, Executive Mayor of Drakenstein Municipality.

The aim of the International Fair Trade Towns Conference is to strengthen and further the participating towns’ Fair Trade activities, find synergies among them, and increase the value creation of fair trade around the world. On the agenda will be in-depth analyses, practical examples, engaging plenary discussions, interactive workshops, and networking opportunities. The attendees, who will include like-minded professionals, industry peers and potential collaborators, will also do site visits in the surrounding Cape Winelands rural areas.

In 2020, Drakenstein Municipality became the first town in Southern Africa to self-declare as a Fair Trade City, making it the first Fair Trade City in South Africa and the fourth on the continent. This declaration signifies the Municipality’s support for goods produced using fair labour practices and environmentally friendly production processes.

The Municipality’s sustainability vision is to grow the area and build a city of excellence for its people. “We want to attract investment to stimulate development, economic growth and job creation so that we can improve people’s lives without compromising the quality of the environment for our future generations,” said Alderman Poole. [Please see “Drakenstein’s Sustainability Journey” attached.]

As a Fair Trade City, Drakenstein Municipality is dedicated to motivating residents to work towards a common goal and stay on course by advocating for environmental sustainability and supporting local sustainable businesses. It believes this will lead to job creation – by residents for residents. This means that businesses, institutions, and producers should work in compliance with Fair Trade criteria. They should also help educate the community about environmentally sustainable practices and the importance of supporting local industries, respecting the environment, and practicing climate-smart agriculture.

“We look forward to welcoming this prestigious conference to Drakenstein next year and are excited to connect with individuals from all over the world who share our passion for Fair Trade and sustainable practices and consumption,” said Alderman Poole.

“It is our commitment to the common message and the choices of individuals that change the lives of small-scale producers and the community. We want to increase community engagement around making Drakenstein Municipality a Fair Trade City of Excellence. All of us can contribute to securing a more sustainable future for generations to come,” he concluded.

Issued by: Communication and Marketing, Drakenstein Municipality


For media enquiries, contact: Riana Geldenhuys, Manager: Communication and Marketing, Drakenstein Municipality, on 021 807 6390, 082 460 5554 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..