Human Trafficking and Slavery Policy (Last Updated Mar 2020)
Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking Statement - GERBER GOLDSCHMIDT GROUP (UK) LIMITED, BEESWIFT LIMITED, BEESWIFT BV
October 2019/20Gerber Goldschmidt Group (UK) Limited, Beeswift Limited and Beeswift BV, are publishing this statement under the provision of the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the “Act”). The Act requires businesses to state the actions they have taken during the financial year to ensure modern slavery is not taking place in their operations and supply chains.
In striving to improve conditions for all workers throughout our supply chain, we recognise the importance of transparency from our suppliers.
We believe in partnership and actively engaging with not just our suppliers but with similar interested parties in other supply chains.
This statement refers to the financial year ending 31 September 2020.
Supply Chain Transparency Progress 2019/20Communication with Suppliers
This year we have achieved success and progress in communicating with all of our suppliers. Due to the unprecedented time of the pandemic, we have endeavoured to find out how the pandemic has affected our preferred suppliers in our supply chain. We decided early on in 2020 that we would construct a short simple questionnaire which would enable us to understand some of the practical problems and situations for our partners. We forwarded a questionnaire to our top 50 suppliers by volume / sales for the preceding year. We received an overwhelming response from our partners, which hopefully will galvanise our relationship with them and their transparency with us.
The importance of adherence not only just to legislation in those countries but with agreement and support with the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Our approved facilities have been contacted not just to read our policy, agree with it but to sign a Slavery and Human Trafficking Declaration.
In addition to our partners continuing to agree with us with our determination to protect our supply chain from human trafficking, we this year have also produced a child labour policy which we have sent to our preferred suppliers. Although, this is a useful policy to support businesses and to protect workers, we are not under any illusion that these policies on their own will 100% keep our supply chain free from slavery and forced labour. We will continue to work with our partners to support them and liaise with them in dealing with this global issue.
Gerber Goldschmidt Group (UK) Limited, Beeswift Limited and Beeswift BV undertakes increased levels of due diligence on all proposed third parties. This is done prior to entering into agreement with them to ensure that third parties connected to Gerber Goldschmidt Group (UK) Limited, Beeswift Limited, and Beeswift BV, conduct themselves in a manner conducive to the Act and to the highest ethical standards expected by Gerber Goldschmidt Group (UK) Limited, Beeswift Limited and Beeswift BV.
Communication with third parties
Following on from our initial foundation basis as members of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) we have continued to improve and develop our policies and systems. Consequently, as a result of showing “continuous improvement” we were granted full membership status. We are very grateful and look forward further to collaborating and working with ETI in the future.
Training with Staff
Following on from our Modern-Day Slavery and ETI staff training (which will be repeated in 2021), we have worked with third parties who have developed and provided training for Beeswift Limited on discrimination - how to recognise it and what to do when staff come across it.
In addition, we have also carried out mental health training for senior managers and staff.
Supply Chain Policy
Gerber Goldschmidt Group (UK) Limited, Beeswift Limited and Beeswift BV activities are not just UK based but Europe and the Rest of the World.
This year we achieved a turnover in excess of £80 million and we envisage growth to continue. We will provide additional resources to improve and mitigate our supply chain.
In total our markets continue to expand with increased growth in sales and our developing product portfolio now reaching a supply chain in over 20 countries. We make use of a manufacturing basis which uses over 140 production facilities with a core of 30-35 main active long-term partners.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the auditing of our supply chain by carrying out SMETA audits has sadly not occurred. This has been a great disappointment, but we acknowledge that keeping our supply chain, our staff and auditors safe from additional Covid-19 outbreaks has been paramount.
In addition to the first-tier supply chain work that we carried out in 2019 we have further delved into our supply chain and started looking at the issue of cotton-based products. We are particularly looking into the security of our supply chain and ascertaining what risks we may be exposed to. In particular when we source some of our cotton-based products from China. Initial work and evidence show that the suppliers that we use and the source of the cotton does not originate or have any links with the Uighur region or the people in this area.
We are working with all our suppliers to assist them in identifying any areas in their supply chains and to mitigate the risk of modern slavery occurring.
Going forward in 2021 and beyond: -
- Reassess the possibility of using our own IRCA Accredited auditors to carry out SMETA 6.1, Four Pillar audits on our own supply chain.
- Continue specific training especially anti-bribery and corruption for all senior managers and supervisors.
- Review, audit, consolidate third party employment agencies to see that they meet the working principles of the ETI and most importantly comply with SMETA 6.1 (1QTR/2nd QTR2021).
- Continue to close off existing non-compliances and successfully challenge observations for social audits with particular reference to dealing with the root cause (on-going).
- Develop auditing training in the context of SMETA audits for stakeholders (on-going).
- Monitor the working hours in tier one suppliers.
- Training for our third-party partners on the principles of the ETI.
- Participate in ethical training particularly looking into Human Trafficking and Due Diligence which will help us to delve deeper into our supply chain and produce actions to deal with salient points.
- Collaborate with ETI Initiatives especially "The Industry that we want"
We have produced a Corporate and Social Responsibility Policy, which reflects our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all business relationships. Gerber Goldschmidt Group (UK) Limited, Beeswift Limited and Beeswift BV’s policy is based on the principles of the ETI Based Code which is based on the International Labour Organisation.
Gerber Goldschmidt Group (UK) Limited, Beeswift Limited and Beeswift BV, will continue to take specialist legal advice to ensure we are informed of any updates or changes to its obligations under the Act.
Gerber Goldschmidt Group (UK) Limited, Beeswift Limited and Beeswift BV committed to upholding human rights and safety in our supply chain and we will be reviewing our progress and effectiveness in combatting slavery and human trafficking on a regular basis.
Les Giles, Chief Executive Officer
On behalf of Gerber Goldschmidt Group (UK) Limited, Beeswift Limited and Beeswift BV
Print Name: L M GILES