According to Swedish law Systembolaget can only buy products through a Swedish importer/ beverage supplier. The principle of equal treatment means that Systembolaget must apply the same terms and conditions to all beverage suppliers at any given time, and is not at liberty to negotiate the wording of them with one or several individual suppliers. The conditions are regulated in our purchasing terms.
Our purchasing routines mean that a great many suppliers are offered access to the market and that the market is open even to small suppliers and producers. The deciding factor is quality of the product alone, and not by other factors. Included in the purchasing terms and together with the other Nordic monopolies Systembolaget has a common Code of Conduct that all Nordic importers and their producers must follow. The Code of Conduct is based on Global Compact´s ten principles, ILO´s labour standards and the Ruggie Report with the purpose of making sure that all products sold through all Nordic monopolies are produced in a fair way.
Given below is a brief description of the actual purchasing process:
- An extensive analysis about the Swedish market is summarized in an annual launch strategy.
- All coming launches are announced and briefly described in a launch plan that is published twice a year.
- The launches are then specified in requests for tenders that are published four times a year approximately seven to eight months before launch
- Launch strategy, launch plans and requests for tenders are all available for all approved beverage suppliers (around 950 in 2013).
- Product samples for each request for tender are asked for if the tender is formally correct and the offered product is corresponding with what is stated in the request for tender.
- The final selection is made by a tasting panel in a blind tasting. The product that has the highest quality and is corresponding to the tasting profile written in the request for tender is the product launched.
- A quality follow up based on both sensorial analysis and chemical analysis by our own laboratory is performed just prior to launch to make sure that the delivered products in the stores are identical to the product that took part in the tender tasting.
- All products launched are regularly evaluated and the level of distribution is changed to follow consumer demand as defined in our purchasing terms.