ICA's local social responsibilities

ICA Gruppen wants to be a force for good, with a local presence in the community, and to participate in debates and various initiatives. It also wants to sponsor and support projects in its local areas. In Sweden there is a connection through local ICA retailers, who own their stores and live and work in the local area. In connection with new store openings ICA works with municipalities, regions and authorities to support local development.

In Sweden there is a strong focus on refining the retail network that has been built up over more than 90 years, so that it remains sustainable and attractive. Great consideration is given to the local environment when new stores are opened. Customer needs for transportation to and from stores must be met in a way that benefits the local community. For example, new stores along existing thoroughfares are given priority to avoid increased traffic and allow customers to get to the store on cycle paths or footpaths or using public transport.

Locally produced food

One thing that unites customers in all ICA Gruppen’s markets is an interest in locally produce food. In addition to several initiatives to label local products in all ICA countries, ICA is doing a number of things to satisfy the growing interest from consumers. Starting in 2014, ICA has decided to accept local quality standards (as well as GFSI-approved standards) for local food suppliers of corporate brands, in order to promote local production.

During the year ICA Sweden provided the stores with support – through its partners – for sourcing from local producers. It does this in order to ensure the same high food quality from local producers as from central suppliers. A list of over 700 (700) local suppliers has been compiled to support local purchases by stores.

“ICA Selection Gårdsgris” pork, launched in Sweden in 2010, is locally produced by four selected farms in south-east Sweden. The breeding pigs are raised on feed made only from Swedish ingredients, i.e. without any imported soya. The sows farrow on thick straw. The farms are expected to run primarily on renewable electricity from wind power and hydroelectric power. Production is certified to IP Sigill (Swedish Seal of Quality), which guarantees that certain criteria are met in terms of animal welfare, environmental protection and food safety.

Rimi Baltic continues to promote freshly harvested local products in Latvia. In Estonia, Rimi Baltic cooperates with the Association of Estonian Food Industry to label local products with the Estonian flag.

Rimi Baltic in Lithuania has the Vikis concept, a shop-in-shop that sells only local products from a number of enterprises. In a Vikis store customers can find everything from dairy products, meat, vegetables and bread to jams, oils and honey.