Tackling Modern Slavery

Natco Foods sources, processes and distributes ambient foodstuffs from around the world to consumers primarily in the UK. We recognise we have responsibilities to stakeholders at various stages of the supply chain.

Natco Foods Limited commits to developing and adopting a proactive approach to tackling hidden labour exploitation.

Hidden labour exploitation is exploitation of job applicants or workers by a third party by individuals or gangs other than the employer or labour provider, including rogue individuals working within these businesses, but without the knowledge of management. It includes forced labour and human trafficking for labour exploitation; payment for work-finding services and work-related exploitation such as force use of accommodation. It is understood that it is often well hidden by perpetrators. Victims, if they perceive of themselves as such, are reluctant to come forward.

Coverage

This applies to workers at Natco Foods Limited, Osier Way, Buckingham, MK18 1TB and Natco Cash & Carry Limited, Silverdale Industrial Estate, Silverdale Road, Hayes, Middlesex, UB3 3BL.

Responsibility 

Sivadas Chirakkal, CEO, has overall responsibility for this policy. Elaine Holmes, HR Officer, and all managers/supervisors, have specific responsibilities for various aspects of this policy.


Policy Commitments

With regard to our own staff and hiring policies, Natco Foods Limited shall:

  1. Designate appropriate managers (Elaine Holmes, HR Officer) to attend ‘Tackling Hidden Labour Exploitation’ Training and to have responsibility for developing and operating company procedures relevant to this issue
  2. Accept that job finding fees are a business cost, and will not allow these to be paid by job applicants. The company will not use any individual or organisation to source and supply workers without confirming that workers are not being charged a work finding fee
  3. Ensure that all staff responsible for directly recruiting workers are aware of issues around third party labour exploitation and signs to look out for and have signed appropriate Recruiter Compliance Principles
  4. Ensure that labour sourcing, recruitment and worker placement processes are under the control of trusted and competent staff members
  5. Adopt a pro-active approach to reporting suspicions of hidden worker exploitation to the Gangmasters Licence Authority and police.
  6. Provide information on tackling ‘hidden labour exploitation’ to our workforce through a variety of formats such as workplace posters, worker leaflets, induction and other training
  7. Encourage workers to report cases of hidden third party labour exploitation, provide the means to do so and investigate and act on reports appropriately
  8. Positively encourage and support employees and agency workers to report such exploitation which may be occurring within their communities
  9. Require labour providers and other organisations in the labour supply chain to adopt policies and procedures consistent with the above.


Supply Chain

Natco sources products from many different countries and industries around the world, where the risks of slavery and exploitation vary.

  1. Natco Foods only works with reputable suppliers. All of our suppliers must be approved in advance, and they are required to provide details about their staff and recruitment policies.
  2. Natco pays fair prices for the food products that we purchase, enabling suppliers to pay their staff fair wages. We do not place our suppliers under undue pressure to hit deadlines which can encourage unfair working conditions.
  3. We gather information from suppliers such as their staff contracts, the hours that staff work, remuneration, overtime and weekend work, how staff receive wage payments and the regularity of payments. These are core indicators of how staff are treated.
  4. We have long-term partnerships with suppliers which enable us to have better knowledge of their operations and policies.
  5. Where possible, Natco audits factories to see the working conditions in which our products are manufactured.
  6. Natco endeavours to have detailed expertise on the countries of origin of our products so that we are aware of areas of concern and high risk.
  7. We keep abreast of industry insights through membership of associations such as the Sustainable Spice Initiative and the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council. These institutions can leverage their influence to demand best practices throughout the supply chain.
  8. We would not work with a supplier who is found to have engaged in modern slavery practices.

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