Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31 March 2020.
Modern slavery is a crime and a violation of fundamental human rights. It takes various forms, such as slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking, all of which have in common the deprivation of a person's liberty by another to exploit them for personal or commercial gain.
The Directors of AC Goatham & Son at Flanders Farm are committed to improving our practices to combat slavery and human trafficking and prevent it entering our supply chain.
AC Goatham & Son were originally a family run business which has since grown into both a limited company as well as a partnership. The Goatham family are still the senior members within the business.
The company farms over 2830 acres of pear and apple orchard through 27 farms spread throughout Kent (15 owned & 12 rented long term).
AC Goatham & Son Limited is an active company incorporated on 2016 with the registered office located at Flanders Farm.
Its business is the production of top fruit crops, which it grows and markets. Its main clients are the major UK supermarkets. The peak within the business is between September and May.
Its annual turnover is £37 Million which it has recently achieved.
Our supply chain is fairly simplistic with the majority of our suppliers operating within the UK.
We do however purchase goods from UK based Companies who source outside the UK, such as:
- Grading machinery from France/MAF.
- Bamboo canes and rabbit guards from China.
- Concrete V-System posts and wire clips from Italy.
- Carmo Stakes from Portugal/Agricare.
- Stakes from Belgium/Peter Kelly/Peter Breach.
- Picking trains from Poland.
- Cameo from France.
- Gala 1 from Belgium.
- Flanders Pink from Belgium.
- Conference from Belgium and Holland.
We need to complete further analysis of our supply chain and to understand the 2nd tier supply.
AC Goatham & Son Ltd only engage with suppliers of goods that have been sourced in an ethical, responsible and legal manner, helping to support a sustainable and transparent supply chain.
The business operates a number of policies in support of the company’s strategy to prevent Modern Slavery entering our supply chain which are regularly reviewed and approved by senior management.
The policies are based upon the:
- UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
- ETI Base Code
- GLAA Licensing Standards
- Retailer Codes of Practice that set ethical standards for supply chains.
and consist of:
- Modern Slavery Policy
- Ethical Trading Policy
- Human Rights Policy
- Sustainability Policy
- Whistleblowing Policy
- Young Workers Policy
- Our Employee Handbook which emphasises our values and outlines the rights and responsibilities for our employees
- Equal Opportunities statement
- Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy
- Anti-Corruption and Bribery Policy
- Hidden Labour Policy that includes processes that seek to reduce the risk of supply of labour by unlicensed gangmasters.
With permanent staff of 175, divided between operations, pack house and administration, we also use services of labour recruiters for our field and pack house work to source but not employ our seasonal workers, the majority of whom will have varying levels of understanding of the English language. The majority of the seasonal workers will be European and Eastern European nationals.
Dependent upon seasonal needs, the number we use varies between about 200 to 700 at peak periods.
We do all that we can within the Group to prevent Modern Slavery and Exploitation within our business and supply chains, but we accept that the risk of Modern Slavery and Exploitation is high in agriculture, the food processing industry and wider supply chain. We monitor the risk to ensure that a robust prevention strategy remains in place. We know that our main risks lie:
- In countries where the risk of Modern Slavery and Exploitation is assessed as high
- Supply of temporary labour
- Any supplier, particularly beyond the first tier where we do not have direct sight of processes and procedures.
There are formal risk assessments used by our business and supply chains in the context of
- Ethical risk assessments at our UK sites
- Supplier internal and external audits at all sites
- Supplier verification process;
- Labour supply management process
AC Goatham & Son continues to collaborate with customers, suppliers and external partners to combat and mitigate the risk of Modern Slavery and exploitation in its business operation and the wider supply chain.
We have recently revised the Service Level Agreement between our labour recruiters and the company to include both assurance of their Modern Slavery awareness, and also the need to report any concerns through our regular management pack house overview meetings now included in the agenda.
A key member of staff has attended the Stronger Together workshops on tackling Modern Slavery and are responsible for driving activity throughout the business.
We are business partners of LEAF, RED TRACTOR, Ethical Trading Initiative and British Retail Consortium.
We encourage the seasonal staff to return and monitor the success rate.
We also go a step further and have developed:
- a partnership with an ex Police/GLAA consultant who also has experience of working with an anti-slavery charity.
Training and Awareness
A member of staff has attended a Stronger Together Course on tackling Modern Slavery.
A Modern Slavery Policy has been adopted across the Group that is shared with all employees during induction training.
Stronger Together Modern Slavery awareness multi-lingual posters are displayed at all sites.
Key Performance Indicators
- The number of staff that have received Modern Slavery awareness training.
- The number of internal/external social/ethical audits conducted that include a Modern Slavery risk assessment
- % of returnees
- The number of Modern Slavery/Worker exploitation incidents reported/investigated.
- The number of potential victims of Modern Slavery/Exploitation identified.
- The number of complaints received from workers that relate to an alleged abuse of workers’ rights.
- The number of suppliers assessed as High Risk.
This document has been approved for publication by AC Goatham & Son Limited’s management’s board who will continue to renew it annually and publish it on their website.