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Good working conditions - worldwide

Working conditions in the beverage industry are good in most places. However, in some parts of the world this is not the case. We continuously work to improve conditions for workers where needed. Here we tell you how.

Systembolaget offers drinks from a wide range of countries. Many people are involved in bringing drinks products to our shops. Together they form a complex chain of farmers, producers and importers.

Systembolaget makes demands

We demand that importers ensure good working conditions. The Swedish import companies are the organisations with which Systembolaget has agreements.

The demands are set by Systembolaget’s code of conduct. All parts of the chain are included in this code. The code was developed by a global organisation called the Business Social Compliance Initiative, BSCI, of which Systembolaget is a member.

Follow up

We follow up on our demands via independent on-site audits carried out at production facilities and farms. We focus our efforts on locations where the risk of defective working conditions is greatest. According to BSCI, this is the most effective way to work with sustainability.

Who do we follow up?

  1. Producers from countries with a heightened risk of defective working conditions, so called risk countries. Every producer with products from identified risk countries in Systembolaget’s set range of products is assessed for how developed they are as regards to sustainability.
  2. If we receive a report about a potential deviation from the code of conduct, we act by investigating the matter. We do this regardless of whether the product is in our set range or in what we call our order range.

Read more about how we follow up the code of conduct here.

Read more about how Systembolaget follow up the Code of Conduct in South Africa.

Can you trust that your beverage has been produced according to the demands in the code of conduct?

In one way, yes – the code applies to everyone and should be followed. But we can’t guarantee total compliance for all of the approximately 19,000 drinks that can be bought from Systembolaget and we know from our reviews that there are places where conditions are deficient.

This brings us to the heart of the matter of working with the code of conduct; working with sustainability is working to improve conditions.

It’s work that should be viewed over the long haul. It’s a step-by-step process to improve working conditions.

If the breach of the code of conduct is serious we can stop selling the product, but this is a last resort.

The long term goal

To improve conditions for people working on farms and at production facilities, we demand that defects are corrected and we follow up to make sure that this happens within the time frame set. Sometimes this happens quickly, other times it may take years. It depends on the number and type of defects. Regardless of this, we always demand that improvements are made.

Our goal is that all people who work to produce the drinks we sell have good working conditions.

Other things we do:

  • Cooperate with the other Nordic alcohol monopolies, for example by arranging talks with the beverage industry in different countries.
  • Visit producers in so called risk countries to promote awareness of sustainability issues.
  • Engage in dialogue with unions, NGOs and human rights organisations.
  • Work together with BSCI and other sustainability initiatives, for example the Chilean “Wines of Chile” programme, to develop our code of conduct.
  • Review the sustainability work at Swedish import companies who import beverages from risk countries.
  • Perform status analyses of our Swedish suppliers’ sustainability work.