Our commitment to tackling modern slavery
Our mission is to inspire people to love fish now and for generations to come. To achieve this, we believe in doing right by our planet, our partners and our people, whether they work as part of our internal team or are part of our supply chain.
We operate a policy of zero tolerance towards Modern Slavery. Not only because it is our legal obligation to do so, but because it is the right thing to do.
This is a responsibility that everyone here takes very seriously and we support this by our pro-active approach to risk analysis, buying policy, worker training and the provision of appropriate management policies and reporting channels throughout our business.
Our business and supply chains
We’re the largest manufacturer of value added fresh, chilled and frozen seafood products in the UK. Whilst we’re predominantly a seafood business, we also manufacture some added value and recipe meal products using other types of protein such as beef and chicken.
We have manufacturing sites in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, producing food products that carry the Young’s suite of brands as well as major multiple retailer own labels.
We procure raw materials from both domestic UK fisheries and fish farms as well as from overseas sources. We also buy non-fish raw materials, recipe ingredients, packaging items and a range of other goods and services.
Our policies and contractual controls
All raw materials, co-packed products, ingredients, packaging items, goods and services are procured by a central Procurement Department under the management of a board level director. We have a rigorous process which governs the award of all commercial contracts, sourcing from businesses that meet our strict commercial and technical standards. This includes a risk test for the likelihood of Modern Slavery within the supply chain.
Within our own manufacturing facilities, we have Human Resource policies on Preventing Hidden Labour Exploitation and Whistleblowing, and we have recently introduced an Ethical Policy and commitments across our sites. These policies apply to all our employees.
Due diligence and audits of our suppliers and supply chain
We are a member of the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex). So that we can conduct effective risk analysis of our supply chains, all our suppliers are required to register themselves onto the Sedex system and to allow us to see their audit results and self-assessment details.
Our suppliers are assessed in terms of their vulnerability to hidden labour exploitation. Members of our commercial and technical teams (or our appointed and approved representatives) visit our suppliers on a regular basis and audits are carried out in accordance with a schedule based on risk.
Some supply chains are externally audited against third party standards which include an assessment of the ethical treatment of labour. For example, we source aquaculture products from supply chains certified to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council and the Global Aquaculture Alliance and 100% of our palm oil (and palm derivatives) comes from suppliers certified to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) scheme.
Our key performance indicators
With a seat on the oversight board of the Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS) since its conception, we’ve been active in the development and roll-out of the scheme and are committee that all of our UK supply chains will be RFS certified by the end of 2020. We’re also supportive of the roll out of the RFS scheme to international fisheries and expect these supply chains will also be RFS certified, or to an equivalent standard, by the end of 2021.
As a business we’ll continue to engage with the wider industry through our membership of the Seafood Ethics Alliance and other key industry organisations throughout 2018.
Courses attended by our personnel across the business in the past 12 months include: the Seafish Modern Day Slavery Work, the Home Office Modern Day Slavery Workshop and the Stronger Workshop. We shall continue to deliver training staff at all levels of the business throughout the year. At minimum this will introduce employees to our Modern Day Slavery Statement and associated policies, identifying the indicators of Modern Day Slavery and people trafficking.
Throughout 2018 we’ll conduct a full review of existing and new supply chains.
Our anti-slavery training
To raise awareness within our own business, we’ve signed up to be a Business Partner of Stronger Together, the multi-stakeholder initiative aiming to reduce modern slavery.
As part of this initiative, we’ve an action plan for 2018, beginning with training our key Operational/Supply Chain/Technical/HR Management colleagues in our expectations for managing our anti-slavery policy. This includes monitoring the workplace to identify any signs of workers experiencing issues, and making clear our policy on accepting inducements or other forms of worker maltreatment. We’ve also reviewed our audit programme to make recommendations for improvements against anti-slavery requirements. We’ve trained our security staff to monitor ‘alert flags’, and direct cameras and Security Officers to areas where workers disembark from any transport to work to monitor suspicious activity. And we ensure human trafficking and forced labour is on the agenda at regular employee briefings/Engagement Forums/Union meetings.
By the end of the year we’ll have Worker Welfare Officers appointed with relevant language skills to gain trust of fellow workers and help them come forward with information on any difficulties. And we’ll introduce occasional confidential questionnaires to identify potential worker exploitation.