Fair Trade Beer

Our campaign and this website refer to fair labour practices. It is not affiliated with the Fairtrade certification mark (see www.fairtrade.net), which applies to fair price.

Many "beer promotion women" in Cambodia may die on the job unnecessarily within the next 2 years: 20% are HIV/AIDS sero-positive but cannot afford life-saving medications. How can we urge international breweries to take urgent steps to save the lives of these women? This website hopes to publicize proactive efforts by companies towards our fair trade standard.

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Beers Behaving Badly: Brands not yet achieving our Fair trade Standard for beer sellers in Cambodia (observed 2000-2013)

Heineken family (includes Asia Pacific Brewery, Cambodia Breweries Ltd, Attwood Import/Export, Thai Asia Pacific Brewery)
ABC| Anchor| Bintang| Cheers| Gold Crown| Guinness
Heineken| Hennessy Cognac| Johnny Walker| kingway beer| Tiger

Bass Ale| Becks| Branik Special
Budweiser| Cass| Corona
Double Deer Beer| Labatts Ice| Leffe| Stella Artois| Three Horses

Carlsberg Family (includes Cambrew Ltd)
Angkor | Bayon| Black Panther| Carlsberg| Holsten| Lao Beer| Royal Stout Ginseng

Other beers/brands
Archer| Asahi| Bavaria| Black Beer| Blue Ice| Cambodia| Chang| City| Gold| Hite| Hollandia| Jade| Kingdom| Leo| Love Beer| Miller| Mittweida| Oettinger| Ox Beer | Pax| Pearl River| Phnom Penh| San Miguel| Sao Pai| Singha| Singha Lite| Taiwan| Valor| Vigo| Yanjing| Zorok

Glenfiddich| Gold Regent| Jim Bean| Otard cognac|

Chateau Cruscades (Fr.)| Chateau Du Gestat (Fr.)| Chateau La Prevote (Fr.)| Chateau Malesan (Fr.)| Randonal wine (Sp.)| Roberts Estate (AUS)| Srach Dom/ Muscle Wine (Cambodia) |

Beer-sellers in Cambodia face violence, forced sex, HIV/AIDS, alcohol risks, no health-care provision and mortality; why are they not being cared for? read more 

Announcing 2015 Cambodia Internships.

Join SiRCHESI staff and Prof. Ian Lubek in Siem Reap for 17-day supervised intensive research and health promotion experience. Registration is first come, first serve with a US$250 non-refundable deposit. 3 places remain for February and 4 for August 2015.
APPLY for an internship NOW!
Download the 2015-brochure(pdf-file,5.5MB)

Read about Heineken's efforts from 2001-2009 and how more work is needed - includes CAS Audit, (word 633kb) and Prof Lubek's reaction (April 2009) (rft 28kb) and SOMO (NL)'s research overview to Heineken shareholders pdf (114.4 kb).

SiRCHESI working to improve things better for beer-sellers?
SiRCHESI are working to encourage breweries to put into practice their Fair Trade Standard detailed below (4).

  • Evidence driven "living Wages" ($208 monthly in 2009) - sufficient to feed family - would add an additional annual cost of $1500 to each beer seller's salary. This would remove the necessity of a second job, which for illiterate women, often means accepting occasional propositions to exchange money for sex, sometimes after drinking with a client to reach a sales quota.

  • Free HAART (high active antiretroviral therapy) for beer sellers and infected families (estimated cost $110-330 per person per year).

  • Recognition by International Brewers and local distributors that women beer sellers are "workers" under Cambodian Labour Code and are elligible for all international company benefits and local labour rights.

  • Behaviour-changing health education about alcohol, AIDS, reproductive health, workplace behaviours prior to start of work, and continuous updates

  • An end to forced workplace alcohol consumption


Staffordshire University
Read about the scientific involvement of Staffordshire University in Improving the health and life choices of women beer sellers in Cambodia.

February 2014
Cambodian garment workers are confronted with similar issues as beersellers. Read about the fight of garment workers for fair wages in this article.

27 Aug 2012
Danish brewer Carlsberg has vowed to improve working conditions for Cambodian beer promoters. Read article in the Phnom Penh Post (pdf, 224Kb)

27 Aug 2012
Danish brewer Carlsberg has vowed to improve working conditions for Cambodian beer promoters. Read article in the Phnom Penh Post (pdf, 224Kb)

22 Aug 2012 Statistics show job risks for beer promoters an article in the Phnom Penh Post reveals.

Aug 2012 SOMO releases an independent report on beer-sellers in Cambodia

13 March 2012 "Cambrew continues to fire its female workers without legal cause for simply standing up for their rights" Michelle Tolson's follows up on the beer sellers strike. Read her article online at www.thewip.net and also, a report in Khmer (pdf) in the Phnom Penh Post.

Jan 2012. Intensive Internships in CambodiaApply for supervised internships in Siem Reap Cambodia in 2012. 2 weeks (extendable) of intensive field work in HIV/AIDS prevention, alcohol and violence reduction workshops, anti-trafficking programs, reproductive health community outreach with peer-educators, as well as rounds/visits in local hospitals and health centres, VCCT clinic, HAART provision. more info & how to apply (pdf 3mb).

Aug 2011
Beer Sellers Take Action in Cambodia photo of beer sellers protesting outside Cambrew
Local newspaper stories cover the beer-sellers strike in Cambodia: from protest outside Cambrew Headquarters in Phnom Penh to campaigns to Carlsberg and the Deputy Governor intervention with a commitment to paying overtime.
Read press coverage
See photos of the protest

On 5 Aug the Beer Sellers Union CSFWF contact beer sellers about the temporary ending of the strike. Read letter (rtf)

On 18 Aug it is reported that Cambrew has agreed to pay Angkor beer sellers overtime (US$2) for working on Sundays. Read article (pdf)

In March 2011 the independent and non-commercial Belgian newssite De Wereld Morgen published an article  on the Cambodian beergirls, written by Hilde van Regenmortel, an Oxfam regional casemanager for Asia. The focus on the article is on the activities of the Cambodian trade unions (see elsewhere on this website). Read the original article through this link - for translations in other languages please use the available (online) software, for instance Google translate.

22 Dec 2010 SiRCHESI continues to work towards reducing workplace risks for beer sellers in Cambodia Read SiRCHESI 2011 newsletter to find out about all the positive work SiRCHESI is doing for beer sellers in Siem Reap.

To continue this important work SiRCHESI URGENTLY NEEDS FUNDING. Read a letter from Ian Lubek detailing what a difference your donation can make for beer sellers in Cambodia. (International adviser to SiRCHESI).
Please give a donation now!

9 Aug 2010 Beer-sellers and hostesses form a Workers Union in Siem Reap Read more

April 26 2010 Press release Canadian and Cambodian researchers find beer industry response ineffective: "Toxic" workplace conditions still exist in 2009-10 for women selling all major brands of beer and spirits in Cambodia Read press release

April 2010 Health,safety and security for Cambodian women beer sellers were substandard in 2009: Urgent actions are still required by all major brewers (AB/INBEV, Carlsberg, HEINEKEN/ Asia Pacific Breweries, SAB/Miller, Guinness, San Miguel, Bavaria, Asahi, etc.) Read report by Michelle Green & Ian Lubek (pdf)

Brewers & Brands proactively achieving our Fair trade Standard in Cambodia for their beer-sellers

updated 27/09/13