Modern Slavery Statement

This statement is made pursuant to the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and sets out the steps that Whittard Trading Limited has taken and will continue to take, to ensure the detection and prevention of slavery and human trafficking within the business and its supply chain.

Introduction

This is the second statement that Whittard Trading Limited has published. It reviews the progress made since our first statement for the year ended 2018, and defines our objectives moving forward.

Business Overview

Whittard Trading Limited is a medium-sized business that has experienced solid growth over the last five years. Our business is based in the UK, with a head office in Witney, Oxfordshire.

We are predominantly a retailer of own-brand tea, coffee and hot chocolate. We also sell confectionery, ceramics and equipment.

We have 47 retail outlets in the UK and international partners operating in international locations, including China, Chile and Taiwan. We also trade our products with other independent third-party retail and food service customers, both in the UK and internationally.

Our direct supply base is mainly located in the UK and mainland Europe, although we do also purchase ceramics and equipment from China. Our indirect supply base is more diverse, with ingredients being sourced from worldwide origins, including China, India, Africa and South America.

Activity Overview

The activities described in this statement relate to the period between January 2019 and December 2019. In this time, we have continued to risk assess our supply base, developed training, and gathered information about training programmes within our supply base.

Risk Assessment

Modern slavery is a complicated worldwide issue and is often hidden and/or difficult to detect.

As a company involved in the procurement of raw ingredients globally, including from the developing world, we recognise that this represents a challenge. The focus of our activity is the detection and prevention of modern slavery in our supply chain through an ongoing process of risk assessment.

Governance

The CEO retains ultimate responsibility for ensuring that Whittard Trading Limited monitors human rights risks and takes mitigating action.

The measures we already have in place to protect food safety and integrity overlap with modern slavery.

To date, we have not identified any examples of modern slavery, human trafficking or any other human rights abuses in our supply chain, or in connection with our retail operations.

2019 Progress:

Since December 2018, we have taken the following key actions:

  • A review of existing supply chain risks, taking into account geographical and supplier-specific aspects to identify mitigation where applicable.
  • A review of internal policies and procedures to ensure comprehensive alignment with modern slavery controls.
  • Developed a timeframe for the implementation of retail and head office staff training on modern slavery and human trafficking.

2020 Plans and Beyond:

Our plans in 2020 are focused on improved governance, training, awareness and performance indicators. Please see below a list of workstreams we are committed to this year:

  • Document a modern slavery policy and strategy for issue to our suppliers.
  • Investigation into joining other ethical schemes that correlate with modern slavery controls e.g. B Corp.
  • Propose solutions for educating our suppliers in the core elements of modern slavery controls, particularly in territories where there is currently no equivalent to the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
  • Conduct a review of all policies and training programmes in relation to modern slavery and human trafficking.
  • Adopt an awareness programme on modern slavery acrosss all touchpoints within our business, such as poster campaigns indicating how to report slavery or trafficking concerns.
  • We will raise awareness across all locations highlighting our key policies and helplines.
  • Investing in a full-time compliance employee.
  • Ensure all key partners have confirmed compliance and that they adhere to, and do not assist, contribute or actively participate in modern slavery.
  • We will adopt a robust due diligence approach to ensure all new suppliers hold similar values to Whittard Trading Limited.

Training

Whittard Trading Limited has committed to developing a staff training programme on modern slavery and human trafficking to include:

  • The basic principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015
  • How to recognise vulnerability in purchasing practices and supply chains
  • How to spot signs of modern slavery
  • How to report potential breaches and understanding whistleblowing
  • • Awareness training for the leadership team.
  • • Advanced training for all teams and individuals involved in contracts.

This statement has been approved by the Board of Directors of Whittard Trading Limited.

Nathan Smith, Director.

See our modern slavery statement here: