Rader av vinrankor i solljus.

Reasons for terminating agreements on the basis of defective working conditions

Our work with sustainability is based on making demands for improvements where defects are evident. Ultimately, we may halt the sale of a beverage, but we see this as a last resort only to be taken if one or more of the demands listed below are not met.

Within the scope of the work to achieve good working conditions, independent companies perform on-site audits at producers and farms where the crops are grown. These audits are done at the request of Systembolaget or the importer who imports the drink into Sweden.

If a producer refuses an independent audit, Systembolaget might halt the sale of the drink.

There are also other instances when we might stop the sale of the drink.

For sales to be stopped, there needs to have been a deviation from the demands in Systembolaget’s code of conduct. The breach also needs to be deemed to be “material”, which means that it needs to be serious.

Serious deviations may be:

  • Serious crimes against human rights, such as slavery, child labour, or when workers’ lives and/or health are endangered. In these cases, deviations must be corrected immediately.
  • Other serious defects, but where there is no immediate danger to life or health. For example, substandard toilets, wages below the minimum wage, wrongful deductions from  employees’ wages and dangerous but not life-threatening use of chemicals. In these cases, the deviations should be corrected, but the assessments include how well the producer is working with working conditions in general.

Systembolaget or the importer must inform the producer about the deviations and allow a reasonable amount of time for them to be corrected. What is reasonable depends on the nature of the deviation, but if, for example, it a deviation concerns child labour and/or life-threatening working conditions it has to be corrected immediately, while a bit more time can be allowed for substandard toilets or wrongful deductions.