Human rights and modern slavery

We’re committed to doing everything we can to protect human rights and never take them for granted. Remaining vigilant and responding to evolving risks ensures the best chance of protecting everyone who works for us directly and in our supply chain.

We engage and collaborate with a broad range of stakeholder groups, seeking to remain sensitive to the risks of adverse human rights impacts resulting from our products, services and operations. Together with suppliers, we are working to build more equitable, ethical and sustainable supply chains with a focus on respecting human rights and labour rights.

Respecting human rights in our supply chain

We align our work on human rights with the internationally recognised framework of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). From sourcing raw materials through to the finished product, we uphold labour and human rights throughout the entire process. Our Supplier Code of Conduct sets the standards expected of all suppliers and all new suppliers are required to sign this. We have a three-year rolling audit programme for our Tier 1 suppliers providing critical raw materials, with planned and unannounced audits to ensure compliance. If areas of improvement are identified, corrective measures are swiftly set. We also use third parties, including AIM-Progress and SEDEX, to help us track our supplier performance. Our membership of AIM-Progress, a voluntary collaboration of over 40 European businesses that aims to promote responsible supply chains and address human rights in them, also supports greater transparency.

Some of the countries where we operate have specific legislative requirements or are developing them to protect those working in supply chains. Where regulations like this do not currently exist, we have adopted a consistent approach across all our operations, conducting supply chain due diligence and risk assessments of our Tier 1 suppliers to highlight potentially high-risk activities.

Identifying risks and tackling issues

When any potential human rights issue arises, we aim to investigate the matter thoroughly to identify the root cause. Investigations could involve engaging with NGOs, trade unions, or local charities to help us obtain a comprehensive understanding of the situation. We always aim to put appropriate remediation in place to correct issues and mitigate the risk of recurrence.

Raising awareness of modern slavery

Modern slavery practices have no place in our business or our suppliers’ businesses. We adopt a zero-tolerance approach. We honour the commitments of our parent company, Associated British Foods plc (ABF), through the ABF Modern Slavery Statement and by adopting the ABF Supplier Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct requires all our suppliers to adhere to ABF's principles, including zero-tolerance of all types of modern slavery-related issues.

Modern slavery can occur in many forms, including forced labour, child labour, domestic servitude, or human trafficking. Our e-learning programme raises awareness of modern slavery, highlighting the risks of forced labour and guides what people can do if they suspect it. Our senior leadership team, procurement staff, quality teams, and those in customer-facing roles have all completed this essential training.