Corporate Social Responsibility Policy
As one of the UK’s leading fresh produce companies we are committed to managing our organisation in a responsible manner and in a way that meets or exceeds ethical, legal commercial and public expectations that society has of business.
What makes a responsible business? In our view it is one that tries to minimise its environmental impact while making a positive social contribution to the communities with which it works. For MWW those communities include our suppliers, customers, local residents and employees.
This policy outlines in more detail some of the initiatives we employ to exercise our CSR.
Consumers are naturally concerned by publicity surrounding food scares or food-related diseases, whether pesticide related or GM crops. Of late, concerns about childhood obesity have dominated the news. All this can erode consumer confidence. Not surprisingly, customers want to know that the food they are eating is safe and healthy. They want to know where it comes from, how it has been produced and what it contains. MWW puts food integrity and traceability at the top of its sourcing requirements. MWW relies on long-term relationships with its suppliers, its own inspections and a range of assurance schemes to ensure food quality. For instance our suppliers will be regularly audited and assessed against our standards for ensuring food safety. Production facilities and growing methods will meet BRC and Global GAP (or equivalent) standards. Where necessary we help develop our suppliers to reach these minimum standards by transferring knowledge and expertise. We ensure that systems are robust enough to ensure full traceability from our customer to the grower.
We organize our supply chain to reduce food miles and a perfect example of this is by encouraging local sourcing. We have developed a local grower base to enable us to supply locally grown seasonal produce to our customers.
The process by which the characteristics of a crop are modified by implanting a gene from, for example, another plant. This can improve productivity or increase resistance to pests or diseases, but may also lead to unintended changes in the crop or other species. MWW does not allow the use of any GM crops, or food ingredients and additives derived from GM crops.
Organic production limits the use of artificial chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides on the land, developing a healthy, fertile soil and growing a mixture of crops. In this way the farm remains biologically balanced, with a wide variety of beneficial insects and other wildlife acting as natural predators for crop pests. MWW is a member of the soil association allowing us to source organic products.
MWW wholeheartedly supports Fair-trade and holds a Fair Trade Foundation License. We have pioneered several Fair-trade products including pineapples, coconuts and mangoes. The FAIRTRADE Mark is an independent consumer label, which appears on products as an independent guarantee that disadvantaged producers in the developing world are getting a better deal. MWW recognised the important role that consumers and businesses can play to improve the situation for producers. By buying direct from farmers at better prices, helping to strengthen their organisations and marketing their produce we offer consumers the opportunity to buy products which are bought on the basis of a fair trade.
MWW has long held the view that its suppliers should be treated fairly and honestly and it expects a similar attitude throughout its supply chain. In brief, our sourcing policy defines how MWW suppliers are expected to behave with regard to:
Policies and standards regarding the employment of children, forced labour, Freedom of association, working hours, worker accommodation, equality of treatment, wages, security of employment and more. We expect suppliers to ensure that their workers are protected against dangerous substances and conditions. Workers must also be protected from exploitation by Gang masters. Where relevant MWW and its suppliers will comply with or exceed the requirements of the code of good practice for labour providers.
Encouraging the best environmental practices, taking into account the different industry standards and legislation in various countries.
MWW has a longstanding dedication to waste recycling and reduction. After all, it makes good business sense as well as being kinder to the environment. Like others, though, it is under increasing pressure to sort and reduce its waste further. MWW complies with and supports the Waste Packaging Regulations. We have put into place processes to separate and monitor waste. We have invested heavily in cardboard recycling and pallet recycling and generate revenue from these sources whilst avoiding disposing of waste into landfill. We have promoted the use of returnable trays and pallets thus avoiding one trip packaging.
We have invested heavily in energy, gas and water saving fittings and equipment and pay our part in saving resources.
We purchase vehicles that are fuel-efficient and organize our logistics in a manner that minimizes fuel consumption, reduces noise. We optimize journeys so that we carry out fewer journeys and reduce food miles. Our Depots are also strategically located so as to reduce further, food miles by distributing from the nearest depot to the delivery point.
MWW encourages consultation and participation by its work force. We have therefore established a Staff Consultation Committee which is made up of elected representatives from the workforce and Directors. They meet regularly to discuss issues relating to the workforce and the businesses.
The MWW H&S committee meets four times a year to review H&S risks associated with the business and its staff. We are pleased to report that we have had no RIDDOR incident in the last three years and year on year work related incidences have continued to decline to negligible levels.
We are committed to the development of our staff and indeed any agency staff we may employ. Our Investors In People Accreditation underpins this and other initiatives.
MWW’s overall aim is to be an, ’employer of distinction’. That means it is continually working to improve pay and benefits, and to develop its approach in areas such as work-life balance and fair treatment for all employees.
Employees are treated as individuals and with respect, honesty and fairness. Employment policies are fair and provide equal opportunities for all and MWW respects and reflects the communities within which it trades.
Embracing diversity helps MWW to attract, retain and develop employees. The HR team and managers consistently promote a diverse workforce.
The following list gives an idea of some policies with these values in mind:
- Introducing new grievance procedures to comply with new regulations and legislation. The company’s grievance procedure already goes further than the proposed new statutory approach and includes a final appeal to a senior Director who is independent of local line management.
- Annual appraisals for all first line staff. Two appraisals a year for all senior staff.
- Issuing a MWW handbook to provide clear information on what it means to be an employee.
- Learning & development Policy
- A flexible working policy
- Equal opportunities policy
- Anti-Harassment policy
- Environmental policy
- Agencies supplying MWW with staff have to pass our audit and comply with the code of practice for labour providers.
- Rewarding employees who go ‘one step beyond the call of duty’ and use their initiative do something exceptional
- Parental Leave, Maternity leave, Time off for dependants Policies
- We encourage and support our employees to give back to the community. So we support charity events, help local schools with support and careers advice. Members of staff sit on the council of the local Chamber of Commerce (the second largest in the UK) and the African development body COACP.