Alko ( Oy Alko Ab) is a stock corporation under Finnish law in government property that has in Finland on an exclusive license for the retail sale of alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content of more than 4.7 percent. Only alcoholic beverages with less than 4.7 percent can be purchased in regular grocery stores. So there is beer in categories I to less than 2.8 percent and III (medium ( keskiolut ) ) with 3.7 to 4.7 percent.
In the years 1919-1932 there was a total ban on alcohol in Finland ( kieltolaki ), which, however, was undermined by private schnapps. The first alcohol - branch (then Alkoholiliike Oy Ab) was then opened also for a referendum in December 1931 on April 5, 1932 by 10 clock in Helsinki. At that time, customers still had to ask for products and know what they wanted to buy, since the bottles were not presented with the label to the customer on the shelves behind the seller.
Alko presented for the Winter War in the years 1939-1940 a total of 450,000 forth Molotov cocktails that were used against Russian tanks.
In 1995, when Finland joined the European Union, Finland has pledged to dissolve monopolies in production and import. Subsequently, the company was divided into three areas: alcohol ( Sales), Primalco (production ) and Havistra ( bulk purchase ), which all belong to the Altia Group. In 1998, Alko completely solved by Altia and is since then as an independent legal entity, although alcohol remains the main customer of Altia.
May Finns since January 1, 2004, other EU countries, 110 liters of beer, 90 liters of wine, 10 liters of spirits 20 liters and introduce other alcoholic beverages without taxes. Previously, only one liter of spirits and five liters of wine were allowed. Since the alcohol import from Sweden and Norway hardly worth because of the prevailing high prices, most alcohol from Tallinn is introduced, since the Estonian and Finnish language are relatively similar and there are several ferries that the route Helsinki - cope Tallinn in 90 minutes.
There are now 341 Alko shops and 127 order points in places where there is no alcohol outlets. A reorder point is often found in small supermarkets or shops in the country, where you can order products from the Alko range and pick up the next day.
Because of a ban on advertising for high-percentage alcohol drinks also makes the negative effects of alcohol in his advertising attention.
In many Nordic countries, there are similar alcohol monopolies, as in Sweden, Systembolaget, in Norway the Vinmonopolet in Iceland and the Faroe Islands, the Vínbúð the Rúsdrekkasøla Landsins. In Denmark, however, alcohol is freely available.