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How we follow up the code of conduct

To ensure that Systembolaget’s code of conduct is being followed, we carry out independent on-site audits at producers.

An on-site audit at a producer is carried out by an independent auditor trained in the code of conduct. He/she is completely independent of both Systembolaget and the producer.

The reviewer carries out a number of on-site audits at the producers and at the farms where the crop for the beverage is grown.

The audit process

The audit process involves the following steps:

  1. Documents describing the producer’s work with sustainability are reviewed. This is done to see how organized the work is and to see, for example, whether an overtime system is in place.
  2. Pay slips are reviewed. This is done to check that the correct salaries are paid and that no illegal deductions are made.
  3. Production facilities and farms are visited. This is done to see that the work environment follows the law and that health and safety standards are met. Among other things, the auditor inspects fire safety, toilet facilities, break times, and appropriate use of personal protective equipment.
  4. Interviews with employees, and in most cases union representatives, are carried out. This is so that employees can inform us anonymously if they have experienced any issues.

Deviations require action

Deviations from the code of conduct are not uncommon, even at producers who have worked with sustainability issues for a long period of time. In most cases the issues are not that serious, although they should always be corrected.

All deviations from the code demand a plan of action to be drawn up. In the plan, the producer explains how the deviation will be rectified and gives a time frame for when the work should be done. A follow-up audit – a so called re-audit – will usually take place within twelve months.

At the follow-up, we demand that the deviations have been rectified or that progress has been made.

If positive progress has been made, the producer may be given more time to fix the issues. This is of course dependant on the nature of the deviation, but aims at the goal behind the sustainability work – to achieve step-by-step improvements for workers where needed.

With certain deviations, Systembolaget may stop selling the beverage in question.

Who are audited?

We don’t audit all producers who supply drinks to Systembolaget, as there are thousands of producers in almost 100 countries.

We always audit a producer if we receive information about potential deviations from the code of conduct. We also plan audits in so called risk countries.

Existing audits

If an audit that corresponds to Systembolaget’s code of conduct already has been performed , this may or may not be sufficient.

Such an audit could have been carried out by another member of BSCI (the organization behind the code of conduct), for example another Nordic alcohol monopoly.