The Company buys tobacco for its production of smokefree products from a small number of suppliers, who are all major international organizations with their own regulatory frameworks and controls of social and environmental issues. These groups have strict policies with regard to human rights, child labor, and farming practices. The purchased tobacco comes from many parts of the world, from countries such as Brazil, the Dominican Republic, India, Indonesia, and the US.
The Company sources forestry and paper products for its match production from a small number of suppliers, increasingly from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified sources. For indirect materials, the supplier base is larger and more local.
Swedish Match is a small purchaser of tobacco, buying less than one percent of the world’s production. The Company does not perform social audits, but all suppliers are informed about the Group’s Code of Conduct and are requested to sign and return the contract – “Social commitment for suppliers to Swedish Match”– and to complete an agronomy questionnaire. Although no social audits are performed by the Company, tobacco purchasers visit suppliers each year to show that social commitment is of great importance to the Group and to proactively discuss social issues, such as child labor, human rights, and other important matters.
According to the Swedish Match Code of Conduct, the Company shall encourage its suppliers to establish and fulfill their own codes of conduct regulating the basic rights of their employees, occupational health and safety, the prevention of child labor, ethical business conduct, and environmental issues. Should a supplier fail to comply with the Company’s recommendations, Swedish Match shall strive to resolve the situation through cooperation and information or to terminate the relationship.
The Company’s business units are evaluated on the basis of supplier contracts and other areas such as human rights, child labor, forced labor, as well as health and safety matters.
Swedish Match does not tolerate child labor and the Company’s view on this issue follows the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 32.1.
The Company’s own operations are not considered to have significant risk for incidents of child labor. Swedish Match continuously works with tobacco suppliers to ensure that the issue of child labor is addressed.
Swedish Match is represented on the Board of the ECLT Foundation, Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco-growing. ECLT is a foundation that works together with tobacco-buying companies and professional representatives with the aim of eliminating child labor on tobacco fields. The Group’s major tobacco suppliers are also members of ECLT, and in many cases have programs of their own to help enable young people to receive education.
ECLT Annual Report