Modern slavery statement for financial year 2017/18
This statement is made pursuant to s.54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and sets out the steps that Scotmid Co-operative Society Ltd has taken and is continuing to take to ensure that modern slavery or human trafficking is not taking place within our business or supply chain.
Modern slavery encompasses slavery, servitude, human trafficking and forced labour. Scotmid has a zero tolerance approach to any form of modern slavery. We are committed to acting ethically and with integrity and transparency in all business dealings and to putting effective systems and controls in place to safeguard against any form of modern slavery taking place within the business or our supply chain. In order to progress this, a committee has been set up to review our practices and introduce revised policies and procedures to strengthen our controls in this area.
As a retail co-operative society, our business model has some complexities in that we operate in different sectors. We have multiple suppliers for goods for resale and services. The most significant sector we operate in is Food convenience retailing and over 90% of our stock is purchased from the Co-operative Group via our membership of the Federal Retail Trading Services (FRTS) who have ethical buying policies and are leaders in this field. We support Fair Trade directly through local initiatives but also as part of our membership of FRTS. The majority of Semichem’s suppliers are high profile manufacturers of brand leading consumer goods who publish extensively on their ethical position.
Our high risk areas
Some of our supplies are purchased from suppliers who source outwith the EU and these suppliers are being classified as high risk. We will focus on these suppliers initially and aim to gain assurances that they do not have modern slavery occurring in their business.
We operate a number of internal policies to ensure that we are conducting business in an ethical and transparent manner. These include:
- Recruitment policy. We operate a robust recruitment policy, including conducting eligibility to work in the UK checks for all employees to safeguard against human trafficking or individuals being forced to work against their will.
- Whistleblowing policy. We operate a whistleblowing policy so that all employees know that they can raise concerns about how colleagues are being treated, or practices within our business or supply chain, without fear of reprisals.
We will work on an appropriate Modern Slavery policy as part of the committee activities noted above.
Scotmid maintains a preferred supplier list. We conduct due diligence on all suppliers before allowing them to become a preferred supplier. This due diligence will be revised to include steps to ensure that there is no modern slavery occurring in their business. We are in the process of revising our standard terms and conditions to take account of ethics and modern slavery and then we will reissue these, prioritising the higher risk suppliers.
We will design and deliver training for our procurement/buying teams so that they understand the signs of modern slavery and what to do if they suspect that it is taking place within our supply chain.