Carlsberg Group has conducted an internal investigation of the company’s actions relating to the presence in Myanmar in the period from 1996 to 2011. The investigation was spurred by questions from the NGO “Justice for Myanmar” in April 2023.
Following the investigation, we can confirm that Carlsberg in 1996 provided a loan to a partner in Malaysia, which established the company Brewinvest and then entered into a joint venture with Myanmar Economic Corporation and Myanmar Golden Star to establish Dagon Brewery in Myanmar. The installation of brewery equipment in the brewery was done by the company Danbrew, which was a Carlsberg company. These actions were contrary to public statements from Carlsberg in 1996 of the intention to not invest and operate in Myanmar.
The investigation also found that Carlsberg acquired the shares in Brewinvest in April 2004. Immediately after the introduction of EU sanctions on 24 October 2004 against several entities in Myanmar, including Dagon Brewery, Carlsberg sold its stake in the brewery to the majority shareholder in the brewery, Myanmar Economic Corporation, on 10 November 2004.
We have not been able to establish when Dagon Brewery ended the use of the SKOL brand. Through the investigation, we have not found evidence of a licensing agreement in place for the brand or royalties received by Carlsberg for the use of the brand going back to the establishment of Dagon Brewery.
The actions uncovered during the investigation are not in line with the standards for business conduct found in Carlsberg today. Although almost 30 years have passed, we still strongly condemn the actions by management at the time. The managers involved with the actions are no longer employed by Carlsberg.
In 2012, Carlsberg re-entered the Myanmar market through a joint venture with Myanmar Golden Star. We have not had any other investments or dealings in Myanmar outside the joint venture since then. Through our presence, we believe that we impact the local community for the better. We directly employ 430 people and support around 30.000 jobs in the local economy.
In 2022 we started conducting a series of enhanced human rights due diligence activities to better understand the operational environment in Myanmar. This work is being done in conjunction with external parties and involves input from a wide variety of stakeholders with expertise in human rights and the local environment. The outcome of this process will be communicated in our global ESG report when finalised.