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Cooperation for better working conditions in Morocco

Oxfam, ETI, Coop, ICA, Coop and Greenfood.

"By bringing together such a large part of the Swedish grocery trade, their suppliers and producers in Morocco, we hope to be able to come up with practical solutions that will have an impact on more supply chains."

Caroline von Uexküll, Strategic Partnership Manager Oxfam Sweden.

Much of the fruit and vegetables we see in Swedish supermarkets are imported from other countries. Morocco is one of the countries that several food companies trade with. However, in Morocco, many farmers and workers in the agricultural sector are forced to work under harmful working conditions. Human rights violations are common, not least in the form of forced labor, sexual harassment and discrimination. In a collaboration, Coop Sweden, ICA, Axfood and Greenfood came together to find common solutions for better working conditions, led by Oxfam Sweden and ETI Sweden.


Trust is the key going forward

Led by Oxfam Sweden and ETI Sweden, the event brought together food industry actors in Sweden and other stakeholders, such as local civil society, suppliers, producers, trade unions and Moroccan authorities. The aim of the discussions was to create a common understanding of the main challenges in the sector and to prioritize and tdiscuss potential solutions together. The three areas jointly identified by the participants to discuss in more detail were:

  • safe transportation

  • sustainability standards

  • purchasing practices

By engaging different stakeholders can help companies identify risks and prioritize at the sectoral level. It is important that all actors, especially those affected by violations, are heard and that barriers to engagement are addressed. Trust is key to enable everyone to participate in an open conversation about challenges and solutions. This can be challenging, especially in contexts where trust between stakeholders has been low historically.

It took a lot of time and effort, but in the but in the end we managed to create constructive dialogues between the different actors - something that is incredibly important for an effectiveeffective due diligence work.

More about the project

Transparent Dialogue Can Enable Stronger Human Rights Action




In 2020-2022, Oxfam, on behalf of Coop Sweden, conducted a human rights review (HRIA) of Coop's supply chain for Moroccan citrus fruits. The review was presented in a report published in April 2022, which identified risks such as forced labor, sexual harassment and substandard wages.

Conditions for workers are not unique to Coop's supply chain, but are a pervasive problem in the global food sector. As part of its human rights work, Coop is a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative Sweden (ETI Sweden), a membership organization open to companies, trade unions, civil society organizations and public actors. In total, the organization has over 30 members, including Oxfam Sweden, which is also a co-founder of the organization.

Three other members are ICA, Axfood and Greenfood. They also import fruit and vegetables from Morocco, and all four companies saw the benefit of jointly addressing the situation of workers in the country.

At the same time, the government and companies in Morocco see that they must improve working conditions in the country in order to remain attractive for trade with Sweden and Swedish companies. Furthermore, they are aware of the upcoming EU legislation on corporate responsibility for human rights and the environment and the demands it will place on them.

All this formed the basis for the collaboration described above.


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