Alko’s special mandate

Alko’s special mandate is specified in the Alcohol Act: we engage in the retail sale of alcoholic beverages in a manner that accounts for the harmful effects of the products we sell.

Alcohol is not an ordinary commodity, which is why particular attention must be paid to its sale. Alko Inc. was established to handle this responsible task. Alko is a limited liability company that is wholly owned by the Finnish State. It has the sole right to engage in the retail sale of beverages containing more than 5.5 per cent alcohol by volume, with the exception of microbrewery beers and Finnish farm wines. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for the ownership steering and supervision of Alko.

Alko’s primary objectives are social, not commercial. Alko does not aim to sell as much alcohol as possible. That’s why we:

  • don’t sell products at a discount or give free gifts as incentives. Sales techniques such as these have no place in the responsible retail sale of alcohol.
  • we don’t market individual products, as we treat all our producers and suppliers equally.
  • we don’t reward anyone on the basis of sales.

Responsibility is the cornerstone of Alko’s operations. We carry out our responsible role in many ways, for example, by ensuring that we both buy and sell products responsibly. We also run campaigns to promote responsible alcohol use and cooperate with our partners to reduce the harmful effects of alcohol consumption. We promote the wellbeing of people in Finland, and work with our partners to prevent phenomena such as social exclusion. Responsible solutions in line with sustainable development are an important aspect of all our activities.

We want to play our part in steering Finnish food and drink culture in an even better direction. We believe that our skilled and enthusiastic staff, combined with our high-quality selection, are responsible ways of participating in this cultural effort.

  1. Controlling the availability of alcohol with opening hours and the number of stores.
  2. Cooperation to mitigate the harmful effects of alcohol. Support for alcohol research.
  3. Responsible customer service: sales supervision, Concern Card and purchase ban agreement.
  4. Communications about alcohol and health.
  5. Responsible pricing. Balanced product displays.
  6. Non-alcoholic and low-alcohol products, and small package sizes.
  7. Promoting the culinary arts and drinking culture through multiple channels.

Preventing the harmful effects of alcohol

Total alcohol consumption and its harmful effects go hand in hand: the more that is drunk, the greater the harmful effects. The harm caused by drinking can be reflected in one’s family, work community and the people around us.

Responsibility plays a role in all of Alko’s operations. We promote the wellbeing of people in Finland, and work with our partners to prevent social exclusion. Read more about Alko’s partnerships.

When selling alcohol, we are uncompromising in our age-limit checks. Every Alko employee must complete a sales supervision course before their first shift at the cash register. Our pricing policy is based on responsibility and the equal treatment of all our suppliers.

Responsible solutions in line with sustainable development are part of all our operations. Read more about our corporate responsibility.

Alko annually evaluates success in its special mandate

At Alko, it is important for us to operate responsibly and in a way that is supported by our owner, customers and other stakeholders. Alko’s social approval is measured using the Opinions on Alcohol Policy survey commissioned by the National Institute for Health and Welfare. Alko’s approval rating stood at 60 per cent in 2020 (2019: 62%).