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The five state-owned Scandinavian alcohol monopolies - the Swedish Systembolaget, the Finnish Alko, the Norwegian Vinmonopolet, the Icelandic Vínbúðin and the Faroese Rúsdrekkasøla Landsins - have presented a joint programme to combat climate change. Their goal is to reduce CO2 emissions to half the 2019 levels by 2030. To achieve this, all phases of the production, packaging and distribution process will be analysed. In the Scandinavian countries, recycling rates and acceptance of alternative packaging are very high.

In addition to the commitment to lighter and more recyclable packaging, the requirements for cultivation are also increased. This means that the majority of products listed by the monopolies must be certified ecologically sustainable. In addition, certification according to social guidelines will probably also be necessary. This will place the responsibility on suppliers to document every step of their own activities as well as those of their suppliers if they want to continue supplying to the monopolies.

While Systembolaget from Sweden has worked out quite clear ideas on how to achieve these goals, the other monopolies are not yet ready to give concrete steps and means to achieve them. The five companies have agreed on a regular exchange.

Suppliers fear that they will have to bear the full risk of the conversions. There would not be many suppliers for alternative packaging like PET or aluminium cans. But the monopolies hardly want to make commitments for the necessary quantities and share the risks, said the sales manager of a well-known trading company from Bordeaux, who wished to remain anonymous: "The Scandinavian market is a challenge because the monopolies demand a lot but commit little. The tenders are published with little knowledge of the producers' financial possibilities." Only a few large suppliers could procure the required quantities of alternative packaging. There is a fear of being disadvantaged in tenders and losing market share.

(al / Source: Wine Business International; Photo: 123rf)

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Systembolaget aims to halve its emissions by 2030