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This statement is made on behalf of the board of Minor, Weir & Willis with regards to the Modern Slavery Act 2015 which requires large employers to be transparent about their efforts to eradicate Slavery and Human Trafficking in their supply Chain. The Act makes provisions about slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour and about human trafficking, including provision for the protection of victims. In accordance with the Act, this statement articulates our policies and practices around recognising and preventing human trafficking and slavery in the global supply chain.

Minor, Weir & Willis employ over 200 staff in a number of locations throughout the UK. Our workers are recruited from throughout the EU and employed in the UK. Minor, Weir & Willis is one of the UK's largest handlers of fresh produce. Established in 1963, and located in Birmingham at the heart of the UK's road and rail networks, we specialise in the procurement and growing of produce from around the world and UK for sale in the UK and Continental Europe.
We source over 100 products from more than 40 countries, and also work closely with British growers to offer local produce when in season.

As part of our commitment to combating modern slavery, we have implemented the following within our organisation:

We ensure our labour providers have a GLA licence and follow the provisions of the Gang master Licencing Act 2004 and accordingly adhere to their main standards.

The standards are that all legal requirements to protect workers from poor treatment and exploitation. They cover issues such as working hours, training, terms and conditions, the national minimum wage and transport to ensure our labour providers meet the basic safety and welfare standards.

As such we adhere to these standards which collectively address our commitment to human rights and the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour.

We also follow the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) which is a leading alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that promotes respect for workers' rights around the globe, with the vision of a world where all workers are free from exploitation and discrimination, and enjoy conditions of freedom, security and equity.

As well as members of Stronger Together a UK multi-stakeholder collaboration between supermarkets, the Association of Labour Providers, the Gang masters Licensing Authority, Migrant Help, industry trade associations, NGO’s, individual employers, labour providers and trade union representatives. Which seek to reduce the occurrence of forced labour, labour trafficking and other forms of hidden third party labour exploitation.

Finally we are also an associate member of the Association of Labour Providers whose aim is for “The provision of temporary labour to the UK food and agricultural sectors to be recognised as a model of good practice.”

This will be achieved through:

  • Raising Standards – Promoting a stakeholder partnership approach to continuously improve standards of labour provision and to raise labour standards beyond base compliance.
  • Promoting Growth – Raising awareness of labour providers’ contribution to supply chain efficiency through effective sourcing and supply of the workforce to plant, pick and produce our food.
  • Responsibility to workers – Supporting labour providers and users to meet their legal and ethical responsibilities to the contingent workforce and to treat temporary and seasonal workers fairly and with respect.
  • Sustainable Supply – Facilitating the definition and application of fair pay and charge rates that enable business sustainability and do not foster worker exploitation and tax evasion.
  • Proportionate Regulation – Advocating proportionate regulation of labour provision that facilitates fair competition.
  • Sector Support – Championing work and careers in UK agriculture and food production.

We also make sure that our suppliers are aware of our policies, and adhere to the same high standards by issuing a yearly ‘supplier mandate’ which includes a section on ethical policy.

As part of Minor, Weir & Willis efforts to monitor and reduce the risk of slavery and human trafficking, our HR department have adopted the following to measure the effectiveness in ensuring that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in the business or our supply chain.

  • Monthly checks of the GLA website to ensure no issues have been raised against our labour suppliers
  • Due diligence checks twice a year on each our labour suppliers
  • Full audits using complier audit system from ALP twice yearly with all labour suppliers
  • SMETA audit carried out yearly for our customers
  • Fortnightly interviews with field workers

We also adhere to standards of responsible conduct and train employees to treat each other with respect, and to adhere to laws, regulations and standards as referenced above.

As part of the companies due diligence process into slavery and human trafficking the supplier process will incorporate a review of the controls undertaken by the supplier, imported produce from sources outside of the UK and EU are potentially more at risk for slavery and human trafficking issues. The level of management control required for these will be continually monitored. Also our commercial and Technical teams whilst out visiting farms carry out an ethical based audit to challenge suppliers around labour. We ensure that all our suppliers adhere to our ethical standards and anti-slavery policy. We enforce a strict code of compliance and do not tolerate slavery and human trafficking within our supply chains.

Our procedures are designed to:

  • Establish and assess areas of potential risk in our business and supply chains;
  • Monitor potential risk areas in our business and supply chains;
  • Reduce the risk of slavery and human trafficking occurring in our business and supply chains;
  • Provide adequate protection for whistle blowers.

Minor, Weir & Willis regularly evaluates the nature and extent of its exposure to the risk of modern slavery occurring in its supply chain.

We invest in educating our staff to recognise the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking in our business and supply chains. Through our training programmes, employees are encouraged to identify and report any potential breaches of the organisations anti-slavery and human trafficking policy. Employees are taught the benefits of stringent measures to tackle slavery and human trafficking, as well as the consequences of failing to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from our business and supply chains.

This statement is made in accordance with Section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes Minor, Weir & Willis slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year commencing 1st January 2016 and ending 31st December 2016.

Sant Mehta
Director
Minor, Weir & Willis

Date 3rd January 2016



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