The main idea behind the establishment of the “LEVA” Foundation in 2008 was inspired by the desire of “Vinex Slavyantsi” SA to change the status quo in the region and to help its development with “wisdom, patience and positive thinking for the future”. This idea is also behind the name of the foundation – “LEVA” (from Swedish – “life”, from Proto-Bulgarian – “lions”). The foundation was established with the help of a business partner of “Vinex Slavyantsi” SA – “Giertz Vinimport” from Sweden. Currently the foundation is solely financed by the sales of “LEVA” wines, which are well-known and preferred on both the Bulgarian and the Swedish market. A total of 50,000 leva a year are returned to be used for foundation projects.
Since 2008 the foundation performs socially useful activities in the form of financing educational, cultural, sports and other similar events for ethnic minorities within the Sungurlare Municipality, as well as in other municipalities; donations for the education and healthcare of citizens in need; financing legal aid for people with minority backgrounds and in general activities, aiming at achieving the foundation goals:
1. The development and establishment of traditional spiritual and cultural values of ethnic minorities within the Sungurlare Municipality.
2. Helping the social integration and personal realization of citizens of ethnic minority background.
Over the years the “LEVA” Foundation has financed scholarships for children of Roma background who achieve a grade average of Good 4.50 or higher and for all children in the starting years who attend an educational establishment. These scholarships are given to children from the villages of Slavyantsi and Chubra since they go to school in Sungurlare. Every day they have to travel to school and due to financial reasons a large portion of people would not send their children to school. Other types of scholarships are given to children with 1 parent or without any parents. These are the so called “social scholarships”. The aim is to help these children financially so they could go to school regularly.
For the children who go to nursery in Slavyantsi, Chubra and Sungurlare, 2/3 of the monthly fee is paid in order to help parents, to keep the number of groups in the nursery and respectively keep the jobs in the establishment so that the children can be best prepared for school. All this aims at their successful future integration in society.
Scholarships are also given to pupils and students who continue their education in bigger towns.
Code of Conduct of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI)
In 2013 and 2014 “Vinex Slavyantsi” SA was successfully audited by the English company “UL VS” Ltd. by request of the Swedish wine patent “Systembolaget” AB on the implementation of social and ecological standards as shown in the Code of Conduct of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI). BSCI is a European system for social control of ethical security, created by the Foreign Trade Association (FTA) located in Brussels. The BSCI system is based on the work standards of ILO (The International Labour Organisation) and supports the constant improvement of social responsibility of suppliers. In compliance with ILO Conventions, UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child and on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, UN Global Compact and OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and other internationally ratified agreements, the BSCI Code of Conduct aims to achieve compliance with certain social and ecological standards. By signing the BSCI Code of Conduct, the companies, within their influence reach, agree to implement the social and ecological standards, set out within this Code and to take the necessary measures within their company policy for their implementation and realisation. The companies also have to guarantee the Code of Conduct will be kept by their subcontractors, participating in the production processes, connected to the production of the final product, realised on behalf of BSCI members. Third party audits are one of the mechanisms for improving social standards but the key to an actual and sustainable improvement is to work in partnership with suppliers. BSCI aims to reward the willingness of suppliers to cooperate.
Within the limit of possible actions and suitable measures, the companies have to redirect their development to meet the following criteria:
- Compliance with legal regulations
- Freedom of partnership and right to collective agreements
- Zero tolerance of discrimination
- Labour remuneration
- Work times
- Health and safety at work
- No children labour
- No forced, compulsory labour or disciplinary measures
- Matters, relating to environment and safety
- Management systems
For more information visit http://www.bsci-intl.org/resources/code-of-conduct
Fair for Life – Social & Fair Trade Programme
“Vinex Slavyantsi” SA is the first wine-producer in Europe and in Bulgaria to be certified under the Fair for Life – Social & Fair Trade Programme on 17.07.2014 by “ECOCERT IMOswiss AG”. The certification guarantees that the rights of the workers and employees are respected at all times during all stages of production and that the workers and employees have just, fair and safe work conditions. “Vinex Slavyantsi” SA has a long-term strategy for corporate responsibility and sustainable development. The company reports its influence on encouraging ethical consumption through adopting the Fair Trade policy thus helping the FFLSFTCP concept function. For more information on ECOCERT IMOswiss AG and Fair for Life – Social & Fair Trade Programme visit the following web sites: www.ecocert-imo.ch and www.fairforlife.org .
Fair for Life – Social & Fair Trade (social responsibility and fair trade) is a concept, a way of doing business, protecting the environment and the value system of hundreds of thousands of people around the world. This certificate guarantees the consumers of fair trade products that their purchase helps the fair economic and social development, especially the development of society, education, infrastructure and environment protection projects. Fair trade is part of a trading network which aims to achieve better fairness in international trade based on communication, transparency and respect. This system helps social and economic development, both for the producers and the workers. The idea is that no one on the supply chain, from producers to consumers, loses out. For the workers, that means they are treated with dignity and respect, their salaries are paid, they have security and safety at the work place and their human rights are respected. They in turn provide a better life for their families, which affects positively the society they live in.
The certificate is issued by an independent company from a third country after the evaluation of independent auditors of the social responsibility, fair trade and measures for protecting the environment of the certified company. “Vinex Slavyantsi” SA included the use of Fair Trade products within the process of their approval and in all future agreements with partners and contractors. The workers of “Vinex Slavyantsi” SA participate in the Fair Trade policy, which accounts for setting aside and sharing expenses for improving work conditions, as well as achieving a fair socially-oriented trade and activities within the community. Fair Trade products are affordable and their price is determined according to the price-forming policy, while accounting for expenses for social activities and projects. Some of the funds, which are supplementary to the product price, are deposited in a Premium fund with a separate bank account. A committee, elected by workers and working with them, decides how to use the social premium solely to achieve socially significant and responsible projects among the workers and the community. This programme guarantees that the certified products are strictly audited according to the fair trade standards.