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Modern Slavery Statement

Buitelaar Modern Slavery Statement 2024

The Buitelaar Group is committed to preventing and addressing modern slavery in all its forms within our operations and supply chain. We recognise that modern slavery is a grave violation of human rights and a criminal offense under international law. As a responsible corporate citizen, we are dedicated to upholding the highest standards of ethical conduct and ensuring that slavery and human trafficking have no place in our business or in the businesses of our suppliers.

This statement is published in line with section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

About Buitelaar

Established in 1922, with over 100 years and five generations of success behind it, the family owned Buitelaar Group specialises in providing sustainable and higher welfare, end-to-end value chains supplying into both human and pet industries.

As farmers ourselves, we understand the challenges faced right from land through to market and recognise that our hardworking and dedicated team are central to achieving our ambitious targets and commitments. As such, our people-focused core values ensure every decision made throughout the Group is aligned with our family style morals and code of conduct.

Our commitment to the principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015

The Buitelaar Group is committed to the principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the abolition of modern slavery and human trafficking. We acknowledge the role that we can play to help to bring this about.

We are an equal opportunities employer, fully committed to creating and ensuring an inclusive and respectful working environment for all our staff.

We want all our staff to feel confident that they can report concerns without any risk to themselves.

Our recruitment and people management processes are designed to ensure that all prospective employees are legally entitled to work in the UK and to safeguard employees from any abuse or coercion.

We recognise that, as a purchaser of goods and services, we have the opportunity to influence good practices in the employment of people by other organisations.

We do not enter into business with any organisation, in the UK or abroad, which knowingly supports or is found to be involved in slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour.

We recognise that the complex nature of global supply chains requires constant vigilance and proactive measures to combat exploitation. Therefore, we are committed to transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement in our efforts to eradicate any semblance of modern slavery from our business practices.

Our commitment extends to:

  1. Upholding rigorous standards: We adhere to strict ethical sourcing policies and standards that prioritise human rights, fair labour practices, and dignity for all workers involved in our supply chain.
  2. Collaboration and engagement: We actively engage with our suppliers, stakeholders, and industry peers to promote awareness, share best practices, and collaborate on initiatives aimed at eliminating modern slavery.
  3. Due diligence and monitoring: We conduct thorough risk assessments and regular audits of our supply chain to identify and address any potential instances of exploitation or human rights violations.
  4. Worker empowerment: We believe in empowering workers with knowledge, resources, and avenues for reporting grievances without fear of retaliation. We support initiatives that promote worker education, empowerment, and collective bargaining.
  5. Transparency and accountability: We are committed to transparency in our supply chain practices, including disclosing relevant information about our suppliers, sourcing locations, and efforts to combat modern slavery. We hold ourselves accountable to the highest ethical standards and welcome scrutiny from stakeholders.
  6. Continuous improvement: We recognise that the fight against modern slavery is ongoing and requires continuous improvement. We remain dedicated to learning, evolving, and implementing effective strategies to prevent, detect, and address any instances of exploitation within our supply chain.

In taking these actions, we affirm our unwavering commitment to respecting and upholding the rights and dignity of every individual involved in our operations. We understand that eliminating modern slavery is not only a moral imperative but also essential for building a sustainable and responsible business for the future.

Our supply chain

We procure goods and services from the UK and a limited number of overseas suppliers. Where possible we make full use of approved ……

We build relationships with our suppliers to communicate our expectations regarding ethical conduct and modern slavery prevention and ensure they understand our values and comply with our expectation and commitment to protect human rights and the environment. We require suppliers to adhere to the principles outlined in this policy and to implement their own measures to combat modern slavery.

As part of our procurement processes, we require all of our suppliers to comply with the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act and include appropriate contractual obligations within our commercial agreements.

We require organisations tendering to work with Buitelaar to confirm that they have fulfilled their statutory requirement to have produced a Modern Slavery Statement if they meet the criteria to do so.

Our policies which relate to the Modern Slavery Act 2015

The following policies are available to all staff through the Buitelaar Human Resources software:

  • Code of conduct
  • Dignity at Work
  • Whistleblowing
  • Recruitment and Selection
  • Disciplinary Procedure
  • Procurement Policy

These policies set out the standards required of our staff and include details of the mechanisms in place which can be used report issues or concerns about Modern Slavery linked to our organisation taking place.

Due Diligence

  • Through undertaking due diligence in our activity, we seek to ensure that we do not inadvertently support Modern Slavery. We make our processes known to potential staff and suppliers as a means of encouraging good practice.
  • We ensure that all staff are legally entitled to work in the UK and that the contract is directly with them.
  • We also ensure that any recruitment agency we utilise for the placement of temporary staff follows the same requirements to confirm the identity and right to work of individuals placed with us.
  • We also reserve the right to challenge any abnormally low-cost tenders to ensure they do not rely upon the potential contractor practising modern slavery.
  • We will further review our supplier onboarding process to embed checks on suppliers to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Risk Assessment and Management

The Buitelaar Group will maintain a dedicated Risk Assessment Management Team to report on the application of the modern slavery policy.

The two main areas of risk in relation to modern slavery at Buitelaar relate to our contractual arrangements and recruitment of staff. The steps that we will take to manage these risks are outlined below.

We will ensure that consideration of the modern slavery risks and prevention are added to Buitelaar’s Procurement Policy review process as an employer and procurer of goods and services.

We will ensure when undertaking a further review of relevant people policies they include the consideration and prevention of risks of engagement of people or groups through Modern Slavery.

The Buitelaar Group will regularly review and update the policy and associated procedures to adapt to changing risks, regulations, and best practices. This will include incorporating lessons learned from incidents or near misses to strengthen the company's approach to combating modern slavery.

Training

We will provide mandatory awareness training to all staff on the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and inform them of the appropriate action to take if they suspect a case of modern slavery or human trafficking.

We will ensure that staff involved in buying or procurement, and the recruitment and deployment of workers, receive training on modern slavery and ethical employment practices.

Key Performance Indicators

  • 100% of all new recruits will undertake the Buitelaar Group 2024 Modern Slavery training module and achieve a passing score in a knowledge test.
  • 100% of all staff will have undertaken the Buitelaar Group 2024 Modern Slavery training module and achieve a passing score in a knowledge test by 31st July 2024.
  • All people policies to be reviewed and updated by 30th April 2024.
  • Carry out quarterly risk assessments and audits of our supply chain.

Contact Details

If you suspect modern slavery, report it to the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or the police on 101. In an emergency call 999, your information could save a life.

In addition, staff and external contacts can report any concerns in relation to potential modern slavery linked to Buitelaar’s operations to HRTeam@buitelaar.co.uk.

At Buitelaar, we believe that by working together with our employees, suppliers, and stakeholders, we can make a meaningful contribution to ending modern slavery and promoting ethical practices across the supply chain.

Joe Mannion

Managing Director