In 2009 Agenturföretagen / The Swedish Association of Agents turned 95 years old! As you know, a lot has happened during the years and we have helped many agents, distributors and brands with their business. So here’s what happened when Agenturföretagen / The Swedish Association of Agents was born.
In the spring of 1914, a number of representatives of different industries gathered - cheese suppliers, herring suppliers, coffee suppliers and milk suppliers just to name a few. In the light of the approaching World War I, the government were concerned about the main food supply and talked about the possibility of having to impose restrictions and in some cases completely nationalize some commodity groups.
The industry representatives recognized the importance of solidarity and at that meeting they established The Swedish Association of Agents. Negotiations began with the government at the highest level together with the Trade Minister and they came to an agreement, although not completely satisfactory. The collaboration with the Trade Ministry continued for many years and had a major impact, not only during the First, but also during the Second World War.
Article from 1944:
A new period of structure and organization in a spirit of cooperation began after the two world wars. The Swedish Association of Agents expanded into new industries. For example, the textile and clothing sectors quickly became major operators. A special fund for “Dependent widows” was also created. The agents, who in those days almost always were men, were away from their homes for long periods and was subject to many dangers. It was not only the risk of assault and robbery that was imminent, but also the risk of serious illnesses. It sometimes happened that the agent never returned home to his wife and kids, who suddenly was without means. The fund for “needy widows” was then in good stead. Today, society looks completely different and the fund is now an annual scholarship for further education to members.
The Swedish Association of Agents has evolved into a modern association. Apart from acting as an advisor in a number of issues for our members, we also run trade fairs, we have established our own Shoe House and are very active in questions regarding progress of all different industries where our members are active. Internationally, The Swedish Association of Agents are active through our umbrella organization IUCAB (International Union of Commercial Agents and Brokers) when it comes to influence international law propositions and to promote members’ interests.