Alko in brief
- Alko is an independent, totally government owned company. It is administered and controlled by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. Alko’s functions and operations are defined in the Alcohol Act and in a related decree.
- Alko’s operations and the sole right for the sales of beverages containing over 5.5 per cent alcohol by volume are based mainly on social and health political reasons. The sole right position also means that the company is required to treat all suppliers equally, in an impartial and non-dicriminative manner. Impartiality is ensured with public instructions on product listing, in which the operating principles between Alko and its suppliers can be found.
- Alko does not have own production, bottling or brands. All beverages that Alko sells are bought from domestic and foreign companies working in alcohol business.
- In its activities, Alko has special obligation and good possibilities to take into account the different aspects of responsibility: social, economic and ecological.
Who can submit offers to Alko?
• Importers and producers of alcoholic beverages based in Finland; necessary licences are granted by the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health, Valvira (www.valvira.fi)
• Producers of alcoholic beverages abroad or their authorized representatives.
• Other suppliers abroad or their authorized representatives.
How to offer products?
Tenders for general selection must always be based on request for tenders published in Alko’s Purchase plan or as separate documents on the Alko website. The Purchase plan is published twice a year and additional searches as often as needed. The Purchase plan for larger specialties is published three times per year. Possible additional tenders as well as seasonal selection’s product tenders are also published separately.
When you make an offer, you must use Alko’s offer form available on Alko’s website. There are three types of offer forms: one for suppliers from abroad (Alko’s import service) and two forms for domestic use.
Filling in the offer form
You must complete the offer form fully and in specified form, otherwise the offer cannot proceed in Alko’s offer processing. If some points of the form are difficult to understand, it is advisable to contact the buyer in charge for help. Contact information is available on Alko’s website. The product you offer must meet all criteria indicated in the search text.
The party making the offer (= signer of the offer) must, when necessary, attach to the offer an authorization given by the producer or brand owner.
Sending the tender to Alko
The tender for general selection must be at Alko on the last day of the specific month of the request for tenders at the latest, unless other deadline is indicated in the request for tenders. Due to Alko’s pricing cycle, the minimum validity of the offer is twelve (12) months from the end of the specific month of the tender request, if no other deadline is mentioned in the request for tenders.
How is the retail price of the product determined?
Retail prices are calculated by transparent pricing formula. Detailed pricing information can be found in Alko’s listing instructions “Listing procedure and retail sale of alcoholic beverages”. You can make an estimate of the retail price by using our price calculator.
Process of selecting the product
Paper and email form offers are preprocessed as soon as possible after the offer is submitted, but at least after the deadline for tendering has expired. For offers submitted in Partner Network, an automatic sample request will be sent the next day after submitting the offer. All of the offers will be however preprocessed. Offers that satisfy the criteria in the request for tenders and are correctly filled will proceed in the process. Other offers will be rejected. If the number of offers is large, Alko may have to limit it utilizing the criteria announced in the request for tenders. The samples must be delivered according to the instructions in the sample request. In general the samples must be delivered two months after the deadline of tendering at the latest.
When the samples have arrived, they will be rated in a sensory evaluation, and the winning product will be sent to Alko’s Alcohol Control Laboratory (ACL) for analysis. When the product has passed the analysis, Alko will make the decision to purchase it and reject the other participating products. In all the process from the offer dead-line to the purchase decision takes 4 - 6 months. The product will be at Alko shops in about two to three months from the purchase.
Sending samples is acceptable only, if you have received from Alko a specific sample request. The sample request contains more detailed instructions.
Whom can you contact if you need help?
Responsibilities of the buyers at Alko go by product categories, and in the category of wines also by countries. To find the person in charge, please go to “For Suppliers” > “Contact information” on Alko’s website.
What are the ethical principles relating to the business?
Alko started cooperation with the other Nordic alcohol monopolies on responsible practices in supply chain (Corporate Social responsibility, CSR). This program is based on the principles of the UN Global Compact, see website www.unglobalcompact.org. Related requirements were integrated in Alko's listing and purchasing terms at the beginning of 2012. From 2012 onwards commitment to ethical principles has been required from companies willing to participate in competitive tendering.