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Cooperation for better working conditions in Morocco

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 new collaboration, Coop Sweden, ICA, Axfood and Greenfood are coming together to find joint solutions for better working conditions, led by Oxfam Sweden and ETI Sweden.



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.


The project in brief

Under the leadership of Oxfam Sweden and ETI Sweden, all relevant stakeholders will come together for a series of roundtables in 2023. The purpose of the roundtables is to create a productive and constructive environment for all stakeholders to understand the challenges in the different stages of the supply chain and propose solutions. Another aim is to enable the different actors to engage in long-term cooperation that can have a ripple effect and create positive change throughout the sector.

The first call will be held on March 14-15 on site in Morocco where stakeholders will jointly decide which problem areas they want to focus on. Subsequently, three digital calls will be held to dive deeper into the areas and formulate potential solutions.

After the talks, a joint report will be formulated and released with proposed solutions and a concrete action plan. Although the project is based in Morocco, the idea is that the proposed solutions can be applied to more of the companies' supply chains as the challenges are often similar.


"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 practicable solutions that will have an impact on more supply chains."

- Caroline von Uexküll, Strategic Partnership Manager Oxfam Sweden



March 2023: Roundtable on the ground in Morocco.

April - June 2023: 3 x digital roundtables.

August 2023: Presentation of results in joint report


Read more about the project on the EIT Sweden website.


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