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Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

Introduction

This statement is made pursuant to s.54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, and sets out the steps that Compagnie Fruitiere UK Limited (CFUK) has taken to understand the potential modern slavery risks related to its business and to put in place procedures, to ensure that its own business and supply chain is free from slavery and human trafficking.

CFUK recognises there is scope for slavery and human trafficking in its supply chain and has a zero-tolerance approach to it in any form, in both its own operations and its supply chain.

Company structure and activities

CFUK is primarily engaged in the importing and distribution of bananas, pineapples and other fruit destined for the UK retail and wholesale markets. It is a subsidiary undertaking of Compagnie Fruitiere Paris, a company incorporated in France. CFUK is part of the wider Compagnie Fruitiere group of companies (group).

CFUK undertakes the import, warehousing, distribution, ripening, packing, and supporting back office functions solely within the United Kingdom, in two primary locations - Dartford, which incorporates the Head Office function, and Wigan. The workforce comprises a mixture of permanent and agency labour CFUK imports fruit from group-owned farms as well as independent fruit growers based in Central America, Caribbean and North Africa. CFUK utilises a group owned shipping line (Africa Express Line), which operates a number of vessels, to ship fruit from African growing countries into the UK and Europe. It also utilises other shipping companies to perform a similar role when required from Latin America. CFUK also owns a number of freight lorries to support its UK based logistics operation, but also sub-contracts this work to recognised hauliers as and when required.

Responsibility for anti-slavery and human trafficking initiatives

The company handbook makes it clear to employees the actions and behaviour expected of them when representing the company. The company strives to maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct both from its own employees and within the extended supply chain. The CFUK Managing Director is ultimately responsible for implementation of all anti-slavery initiatives and ensuring adherence to the Modern Slavery Statement, however all employees are expected to share responsibility to look out for, report and if necessary act on any instances of suspected modern slavery. They are supported in this through a training programme.

The CFUK Technical Team conducts a programme of regular audits of our supply chain which cover staff welfare and labour provision. The HR team are responsible for ensuring that all management have attended the requisite training and also for raising awareness of the signs of modern slavery amongst the greater workforce and how to deal with them.

Training

All senior managers attend Continuous Professional Development (CPD) accredited training courses on tackling Modern Slavery in supply chains provided by Stronger Together, and have responsibility for developing and operating company procedures relevant to this issue. Further and wider training will follow as and when the need is identified. The training covers:

  • CFUK's purchasing practices
  • How to assess the risk of slavery and human trafficking
  • How to identify the signs of slavery and trafficking
  • What initial steps should be taken if slavery or human trafficking is suspected
  • How to escalate potential slavery or human trafficking issues to the relevant parties within the company
  • What external help is available
  • Guidance for suppliers and other business partners/contractors to implement anti-slavery policies
  • What steps the organisation should take if suppliers or contractors do not implement anti-slavery policies in high risk scenarios including their removal from the company's supply chain

Awareness-raising programme

As well as training staff, the company has raised awareness of modern slavery issues by providing relevant information via workplace posters and on the internal intra net system. These explain to staff:

  • The basic principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015
  • How employees can identify and prevent slavery and human trafficking
  • What employees can do to flag up potential slavery or human trafficking issues to the relevant parties within the company
  • What external help is available

By end of June 2017, all senior managers will have attended workshops on Tackling Modern Slavery in either the UK, or the global supply chain, or both. These workshops are run by the Stronger Together initiative. By the end of the financial year 2016/2017, all UK employees will have received communications related to awareness raising.

Policies

We have issued a number of policies to set out our approach to tackling modern slavery and human trafficking which are contained within our Employee Handbook. These include; young worker and child labour, freedom of association, agency workers, grievance and whistle-blowing.

Whistleblowing

CFUK encourages all its workers, customers and other business partners to report any concerns related to the direct activities, or the supply chain of, the company. This includes any circumstances that may give rise to an enhanced risk of slavery or human trafficking. The company's whistleblowing procedure is designed to make it easy for workers to make disclosures, without fear of retaliation.

Supplier/Procurement Code of Conduct

CFUK is committed to ensuring that their suppliers adhere to the highest standards of ethics. Prospective suppliers are subjected to a comprehensive due diligence process, which includes a focus on their ethical management of labour and prevention of slavery and forced labour. This due diligence process is overseen by the company's Procurement Director.

Once engaged, suppliers are required to continually demonstrate that they provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and act ethically and within the relevant country's law in their use of labour. The company risk assesses and works with suppliers to ensure that they meet these standards and improve their worker's working conditions. All of the company's produce suppliers must be members of SEDEX.

Failure of a supplier to meet the necessary audit standards or to act on any non-conformances within a specified period will lead to sanctions up to and including suspension of business with that supplier.

Recruitment/ Agency workers

CFUK uses only specified, reputable employment agencies to source labour and always verifies the practices of any new agency it is using before accepting workers from that agency. CFUK only forms contracts with UK agency labour providers that are GLAA registered. Labour suppliers are regularly audited by CFUK.

 

Signed By Keith Sadler, Managing Director
Keith Sadler
Managing Director
6th July 2017

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