ICA Sweden funds local sustainability work in developing countries

ICA is taking the next step in sustainability work by being the first Nordic grocery player to sign an agreement with IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, to partially fund, without intermediaries, sustainability projects in developing countries and make a social difference on site at suppliers.

“We want to help our customers make sustainable choices to contribute to a positive development in the world. This is a priority issue for both ICA’s customers and ICA,” says Anders Svensson, CEO, ICA Sweden.

ICA has worked for a long time with quality assurance of products and suppliers in high-risk countries through audits and certification, but has little possibility to deduce what effect purchases have locally.

“We want to know that the money really goes back to the grower’s village. Through cooperation with IDH we can partially fund development projects together with ICA’s suppliers. This is achieved by putting a premium on selected private label products within fruit and vegetables in the Swedish market”, says Kerstin Lindvall, SVP Corporate Responsibility, ICA Sweden.

The next stage of the cooperation is to look at which products in ICA’s fruit and vegetable range might be suitable and then identify local partners and which projects to support. These might be sustainable farming, health care initiatives or education issues. The ambition is to present later in the year the products that will partially finance the projects. The agreement also commits ICA to perform a social audit of all fruit and vegetable suppliers by 2020, which is in line with ICA’s own target.

About IDH
IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, works for up-scaled sustainable trade by building coalitions of companies, civil society organisations, governments and other stakeholders. With 18 programmes for sustainable trade, IDH works for a long-term transformation of the commodities market and thereby improve the lives of local farmers, contribute to reduced environmental impact and support local communities in developing countries. Read more at www.idhsustainabletrade.com

For more information
ICA Gruppen press service, telephone number: +46 702 53 66 60

ICA Gruppen AB (publ) is one of the Nordic region’s leading retail companies, with around 2,400 of its own and retailer-owned stores in Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Group includes the retail companies ICA Sweden, ICA Norway and Rimi Baltic, ICA Real Estate, which owns and manages properties and ICA Bank, which offers financial services to Swedish customers. The Group also includes the wholly owned portfolio companies Forma Publishing Group and inkClub and partly owned portfolio companies Cervera, Hemtex and Kjell & Company. For more information see www.icagruppen.se