Offering products

Instructions for new suppliers about the listing process stages and a step-by-step guide for submitting tenders. 

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 4.7 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. Purchase plan is published twice a year and additional searches as often as needed.

Offer forms

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.

Samples

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.

Who can make offers?
  • 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.
Authories in alcohol business

Licences:
National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira)
Telephone +358 9 772 920
Website www.valvira.fi

Customs information service:
Telephone +358 20 690600
Website www.tulli.fi

Alcohol Control Laboratory (ACL)
Telephone +358 20 711 11
Website www.alko.fi

Step-by-step guide for making offers


1. Read the Listing instructions

Our instruction leaflet Listing procedure and retail sale of alcoholic beverages is an extensive reading package , where the listing procedure is explained in detail. We recommend that you start with checking the rules in this document.

2. Check the Purchase plan

Our purchase plan is a summary of the general selection request for tenders, or searches, as we can also call them. We publish the purchase plan every six months.

From the purchase plan you can see the products you can offer us and the right time to make the offer. We also publish some request for tenders as separate announcements in between the purchase plans. Seasonal products and additions to purchase plan are examples of such cases.

3. How to make an offer?

Find Alko's tender forms and choose the form type corresponding the terms of delivery you will be using. Fill in the form with great care and remember to give all information requested under search criteria. When calculating the price, use our price calculator.

Offers can also be submitted in Partner Network. It is a web-based extranet portal that eases the making, submitting and following of offers and tenders. If you are interested in having a Partner Network ID, please contact Mari Raunio. (mari.raunio@alko.fi)

Attach the following documents to your offer:

  • Authorization of the producer or brand owner. However, if you offer your own brand or a limited availability product which you own, no authorization is needed.
  • An image of the product, if requested in the search.

Send the undersigned offer to us by email to offer@alko.fi or by traditional mail to the following address:

ALKO INC., Products and Purchasing
PO Box 99, Arkadiankatu 2
FI-00101, HELSINKI FINLAND

The offer deadline is often mentioned in the search. If it is not mentioned, the deadline is the last day of the search month, and the offer must be at Alko on that day.

4. Processing the offers

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.

  • If your offer is correctly filled in and corresponds to the search, you will receive a sample request. In Partner Network, the sample requests are sent automatically after the offers are sent.
  • The offers are reviewed after the search deadline has passed. If the offer is not correctly filled, required information is missing or the offer doesn't correspond to the search, we must send you a rejection of offer.

5. Sending the samples, when and to which address?

Our sample request includes detailed instructions and delivery address for the samples. Normally you will have one month for sending the samples.

Please attach to the samples:

  • If the sale-to-order selection products is concerned, an analysis conducted by an official laboratory and an analysis summary on Alko's form as well as certificates of e.g. organically and ethically certified products.
  • For all other products, documents required in the search or sample request.

6. Purchase decision

When the samples have arrived:

  • We first make a sensory evaluation and then send the product chosen for listing to be analyzed by Alcohol Control Laboratory (ACL).
  • Offers proceeding in the purchasing process of general selection will receive a request for additional samples.
  • If everything is in order, we purchase the product and send a purchase decision to the offeror.

The purchase of the product will take place in about 4-6 months from the end of the search period.