The UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires businesses to state the actions they have taken during the financial year to ensure that modern slavery is not taking place in their operations and supply chain.
This statement has been published in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015. This statement outlines the progress Samworth Brothers (Holdings) Limited has made during the financial year ending 31st December 2019.
Our business and supply chain
Samworth Brothers (Holdings) Limited is a privately owned, fourth generation family business dating back to 1896. The company specialises in manufacturing high quality chilled and ambient products. The business operates in several different areas including food to go, savoury pastry, prepared meals, sausages, cooked meats and sports nutrition. The group owns a number of popular brands including Soreen, SCI-MX, Ginsters and the West Cornwall Pasty Co.
Samworth Brothers provides employment to approximately 11,000 people. Most of our colleagues are based at our eleven manufacturing sites with a smaller proportion working across our distribution network and in West Cornwall Pasty Co. retail outlets.
In 2019 our company purpose and values were e do refreshed following focus groups with colleagues from GOOD things across the business. Our ambition is to make a positive difference for our people, our communities and all stakeholders. GREAT food Communications and training are being delivered throughout the business in 2020 to reaffirm our purpose and values. This programme was launched in early 2020 with new training for 2000 colleagues involved in managing teams across the business.
In line with our purpose and values, we are committed to reviewing and continuously improving our systems and processes for identifying modern slavery and human trafficking risks within our operations and our supply chain.
Our group Responsible Business Team and People Team are responsible for a number of policies that help our business to combat modern slavery. These policies are approved by our Group Executive Director responsible for our people.
- Equality and Diversity
- Modern Slavery and Forced Labour
- Human Rights
- Right to Work
- Bullying and Harassment
- Bribery & Corruption
- Community Relations
Tackling modern slavery in our businesses
A group led project team has been established to review our approach to tackling modern slavery within our business. Our approach has been developed in line with our commitment to the Stronger Together initiative. We have supported and promoted Stronger Together since 2013, a multistakeholder initiative aimed at tackling modern slavery in supply chains.
The Stronger Together Toolkit has been used to identify areas within our operations that we need to strengthen. In addition to this we have partnered with Slave-Free Alliance for the next three years. Slave-Free Alliance are a social enterprise and membership initiative launched by anti-slavery charity and victim advocacy organisation Hope for Justice. Slave-Free Alliance have been commissioned to conduct a gap analysis on our systems and processes to identify where we can strengthen our approach.
The majority of our workforce are employed on permanent contracts. However, in order to respond to the peaks and seasonal variance in food manufacture we partner with several GLAA registered labour providers throughout the year. We have long standing relationships with our key labour providers, and they have robust onboarding and induction processes which highlight how to identify modern slavery to all workers. Additionally, our People Team regularly audits our labour providers to ensure that there is no risk of exploitation.
We encourage our people, customers and other business partners to report any concerns related to ethical issues, within our business. This includes highlighting any red flags that could be indicators of modern slavery. Our Whistleblowing Policy is prominently displayed at all sites in areas people frequent. This provides details of our confidential, independent hotline which individuals can use to highlight any concerns they may have about any ethical issues.
Training and awareness
Previously we have delivered a series of courses titled ‘Introduction to Responsible Sourcing and Human Rights’ to our Technical, Procurement Managers and Supply Base Auditors. In addition to this, members of our Responsible Business Team and People Teams have attended workshops and events delivered by Stronger Together and Slave-Free Alliance.
All Samworth Brothers colleagues receive an induction which includes how to spot the signs and report modern slavery. The Stronger Together video forms part of this induction for all permanent and agency colleagues. Additionally, as part of our partnership with them, our labour providers run Stronger Together awareness roadshows across the Group on a regular basis.
We recognise the need to refresh our training programme and educate the business further in this area. Our group led anti-slavery team has reviewed this and devised an extensive training schedule to be delivered across the organisation. This will provide tailored training to different functions. We intend to train all Team Leaders and Operational Managers on how to better spot the signs of Modern Slavery.
Human rights due diligence in our supply chain
Our supply chain is extensive, and we continually aim to strengthen our approach to anti-slavery due diligence. We have made a significant investment and are continuing to implement a leading supplier management platform. This technology has advanced our supplier approval procedure, risk assessment and delivered enhanced supply chain traceability.
We have long standing relationships with many suppliers both in the UK and overseas. We aim to work with suppliers that share our values, however, we recognise that modern slavery is predominantly a hidden crime and we have a role to play in uncovering and eradicating it in our supply chain.
Due to the complex nature of our supply chain we adopt an industry best practice due diligence methodology. A foundation of our process is continuous risk assessment and includes assessing both new and existing suppliers. We have continued to strengthen and develop our process, which is built on four core principles:
- Identification – mapping the supply chain broadly to assess raw materials and geographical risks of modern slavery and human trafficking.
- Prioritisation – addressing the highest risk raw materials within our supply chain.
- Mitigation – collaborating with our suppliers and other stakeholders to encourage the eradication of forced labour and promote worker representation. Monitor and Review – strive for continual improvement in our process through monitoring KPls and reviewing the outcomes achieved from the action taken.
One key tool that we use to aid risk identification is the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex). We have been members for several years and have invested in AB membership which enables us to view suppliers’ ethical trade data. As a condition of supply all our suppliers are required to join Sedex as B members, where they complete a Self-Assessment Questionnaire and link to Samworth Brothers to share this information. We also monitor any ethical audits visible on Sedex. Our supplier management platform has been built to include several data fields relating to Sedex and other human rights risk metrics. This helps us to ensure we are managing and monitoring all active suppliers effectively. We work proactively with suppliers to ensure that appropriate actions are taken to any ethical trade risks identified.
Modern slavery and human rights violations are global issues that we cannot tackle in isolation. Therefore, we work closely with our suppliers, customers and peers to identify issues. We were founding members of the Food Network for Ethical Trade (FNET). FNET is an initiative made up of UKbased suppliers and retailers whose mission is to improve human rights in global food supply chains through a common approach to managing ethical trade. Throughout 2019 we have been part of the governance group along with several retailers and suppliers.
We actively participate in a number of FNET working groups; collaborative forums that allow members to develop common approaches to ethical trade. We have contributed to both the risk assessment and spices working group in recent years.
I am pleased to approve this statement for Samworth Brothers as Group Chief Executive and will ensure that it is reviewed annually.
Flor Healy Group Chief Executive