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Berry-pickers situation on the agenda

Orkla companies strive to ensure that production throughout the value chain takes place in a responsible manner, and are in the process of implementing procedures for more systematic monitoring of suppliers.

Berries have proved to be a product category that presents special challenges in some connections. In 2010, it was discovered that recruitment companies engaged berry-pickers from Asia to work in Sweden on false premises. This happened despite the fact that steps were taken in both 2009 and 2010 to ensure that berry-pickers from Thailand and other countries were treated well and paid a guaranteed minimum wage during their stay in Sweden.

Several Orkla Brands companies, including Procordia and Stabburet, have taken up the matter on behalf of the berry-pickers. The companies require that the berry wholesalers who supply them with berries guarantee that the pickers’ working and living conditions are acceptable and in line with the ethical requirements that Orkla sets for its suppliers, which include a proper wage during their stay in Sweden. The manner in which the berry wholesalers deal with the pickers’ situation will be an important factor when different berry suppliers are considered. The companies also visit their suppliers to investigate whether the pickers’ working conditions are acceptable.