ICA’s aim is to provide a wide range of ethical label products. ICA private label products with ethical labels are clearly marked so that customers can find them easily. The ethical labels are UTZ Certified, Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade.
During 2012 ICA reintroduced Fairtrade-labelled roses as a private label product, which has had a positive effect on sales in 2013. In March there was also a campaign in respect of ICA Fairtrade-labelled roses. Each bouquet of roses was accompanied by a wristband made by women in five different Kenyan tribes. The wristbands gave over 400 women and their families financial support to joint projects in the village, for example, to medical centers, daycare centers and water wells. The wristbands were unique and were available only at ICA.
In Sweden all of ICA’s private label coffee is UTZ certified. The cost of UTZ certified products includes a premium paid to the growers for investments in social projects, such as life insurance and nursery schools. In 2013 sales of ICA’s UTZ certified products in Sweden generated around SEK 605,000 in premiums to growers. Since 2013 ICA Sweden has taken part in UTZ Certified’s cocoa initiative, with the result that also ICA's cocoa products can be UTZ-labelled. The first products in 2013 were two kinds of chocolate confectionary.
Traceability check of Moroccan tomatoes
During the year, ICA Sweden conducted a traceability inspection on one of its largest Moroccan tomato suppliers. The survey was performed to ensure that the tomatoes are grown in Morocco and not in Western Sahara. ICA Sweden follows the recommendations of the Swedish government and the UN on acting with extreme caution when it comes to conflict areas and has therefore chosen not to buy goods from Western Sahara. The focus of the inspection was on checking whether the code on the ICA packaging, the batch code, provided full traceability back to the grower via the packing facility. ICA visited both the tomato plantations and the packing facility to see how boxes and pallets are labelled after picking and to monitor the flow from delivery to sorting, washing and packing. The inspection showed good traceability throughout the chain.