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Modern Slavery.

Modern Slavery Statement

AC Goatham and Son is committed to improving our practices to combat slavery and human trafficking, and to prevent it from 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 3000 acres of pear & apple orchard through 27 farms spread throughout Kent (15 owned & 12 rented long term).

AC Goatham and Son Limited is an active company incorporated in 2016 with the registered office located in Flanders Farm.

Its business is the production of Top Fruit Crops, which it grows, stores, transports, and markets. Its main clients are the major UK supermarkets. The peak within the business is between September and May.

Its annual turnover is 42.4 million.

Our supply chain is simplistic with most 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.

🍎 Trees: 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 and 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 several 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 emphasizes 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 235, 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 are annually audited, and in turn audit the labour recruiters to ensure compliance. We acknowledge that recruiters continue to use third party to source employees, but their primary objective is to recruit directly. However, the continued impact of Covid-19 on global travel, as well as reduced access to potential workers post the end of freedom of movement has meant that utilizing third parties has been needed. We recognise that this increases risks, however the robust auditing, improved procedures and regular reviews held by recruiters mean that this risk is mitigated to an acceptable level.

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 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



🍎Ethical Trading Initiative

🍎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 multilingual posters are displayed at all sites.

Our commitment to improving awareness continues throughout employment, through feedback options available to employees such as anonymous reporting, questionnaires to give opportunity to assess, remedy and for opportunities for further learning and development. Only by understanding employees’ experiences can we effectively put procedures in place, to reduce the risk of modern slavery and exploitation.

We aim to ensure that our business is equipped with the skill and knowledge to recognise the signs of modern slavery.

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

🍎Percentage 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 was signed by Gayle Goatham, HR & Recruitment Director on the date it was published and has been approved for publication by AC Goatham and Son Limited’s management’s board who will continue to renew it annually and publish it on their website.



As a registered member of SEDEX, AC Goatham & Son incorporate the principles of the ETI Base Code into all aspects of our business practices.

Stronger Together

Member of Stronger Together, AC Goatham & Son utilizes the workshops and resources available to enable us to take the next steps in the implementation of tackling modern slavery.


Member of LEAF, AC Goatham & Son is working towards enabling sustainable farming practices.

British Retail Consortium

Member of BRC, AC Goatham & Son is audited by BRC as the go-to association for UK retail businesses annually to assess adherence to the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety.

Red Tractor

Member of Red Tractor, AC Goatham & Son is audited by the UK’s biggest farm and food assurance scheme.