Swedes and Aussies have two important things in common: fairness is important and therefore we detest bullies; and we live in hostile harsh climates and therefore are strong and do not easily give up.
These similar cultural traits have shown strongly since SVD exposed the dishonest actions of the giant KF retailer (Konsum, COOP etc) against our small wine club company. The blogasphere is buzzing with comments of DDR Sweden, outrage (but not much surprise!) over KF’s actions and support for our position. Blog and web comments live forever thanks to Google!
KF executive Pär Jansson was this week quoted several times in the media (see page above: KF Replies World of Wine article) accepting that he was responsible for the contract with APW but he had no comment because the “issue was finished”. The matter is “with their lawyers”, he added. KF unleashed Sweden’s largest and most expensive law firm against our small company and threatened to sue us (for what they never said) but perhaps that is their next move – bully us harder and hope the next blood nose they give us will scare us away. The last beating they gave us really hurt our company, but this made us stronger and more resolute.
Aussies love a fight against a bully and what characterises a bully is their own insecurities and weaknesses. KF’s weakness is their concern for their reputation above all else: “our 3 million members do not want us to market wine,” said Jansson. What damage does a reputation for breaching legal contracts, bullying small companies and acting unethically do for their company?
“Never give in to a bully”, my father told me when I was a boy, “even if you get hurt, by standing up to them maybe they will think twice before bullying someone else!”