Absolut Vodka is made from wheat. In 2018, Absolut, a Pernod Ricard brand, bought more than 107,000 tones of wheat, that’s 10% of all wheat produced in southern Sweden, from around 400 farmers. Absolut Vodka and Absolut Elyx are produced from winter wheat, which is rich in starch, a prerequisite for high-quality vodka. It is also hardier than summer wheat and therefore does not need as much fertilisers or plant protection chemicals.
Absolut works in partnership with farmers to source high-quality wheat that meets Absolut’ sustainability criteria. A concept was developed that sets out guidelines and expectations in terms of wheat quality and sustainable farming methods, including reduced use of fertilisers and plant protection chemicals, and responsible use of resources.
Alongside this, Absolut provides training and monitoring to ensure that requirements are met, and also provides a bonus to farmers whose production meets our expectations. Over the years, the data collection on farming has been digitised.
In addition, Absolut is taking part in a case study on sustainable farming all year long carried out in partnership with NBR (Nordic Beet Research) and SLU (the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences). The objective is to identify new methods to improve sustainability performance in farming. On one of the farms that produce winter wheat, various “intermediate crops” were planted to keep the land in use before planting sugar beets in the autumn. This is part of Absolut work to contribute to a good system of crop cultivation in Sweden. The study evaluates how the intermediate crops affect for example incidence of weeds, soil humus and nutrient content.
Pernod Ricard is a member of spiritsEurope.