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Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

Wynnstay Group PLC

(“Wynnstay” or “the Company”)

 

Modern slavery and human trafficking statement

For the Financial Year ending 31 October 2020

 

Organisation Structure and Supply Chains

This statement sets out Wynnstay Group Plc and its subsidiary companies (“the Group”) actions to understand all potential modern slavery risks related to its business and to put in place steps that are aimed at ensuring that there is no slavery or human trafficking in its own business and its supply chains.

A leading supplier of agricultural products, the Group is dedicated to providing a professional, reliable, and efficient service to a range of customers including farmers and rural dwellers across a wide trading area, currently limited to the UK. Committed to national growth, the Group conducts its activities ethically and with honesty and integrity but recognises the potential for abuses to occur within extended supply chains and wishes to do all that it can to prevent modern slavery and human trafficking acts. The Board will not tolerate business relationships with organisations knowingly involved with such abuse.

This statement therefore sets out the Group’s current approach to understanding the potential risks of such abuses, and the steps in place and to be implemented, to prevent modern slavery or human trafficking events occurring within its own business and associated supply chains. This statement relates to intentions and actions taken during the financial year, and to the future development of procedures for identifying risks and preventing abuses.

In accordance with Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and considering the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it has been essential for the Group to maintain its services to its communities. In doing so, the Board continues to ensure that all operating procedures have incorporated sufficient health and safety standards for its workers and its premises, while ensuring that any changes to working practices continue to ensure a reduced risk of harm to health and the continued reduction of potential risk of labour exploitation.

Policies in Relation to Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

The Modern Slavery Policy complies with the Act 2015 and incorporates a risk assessment protocol, including COVID-19 considerations, which identifies and assesses potential risk within the organisation. Appropriate investigative and auditing processes should a risk be identified, will be conducted immediately, as necessary and reported to the Board by the Operations & Procurement Director.

The Whistleblowing Policy encourages all workers, customers and other business partners to report any concerns related to the direct activities, or the supply chains of, the organisation. This includes any circumstances that may give rise to an enhanced risk of slavery or human trafficking. The organisation's whistleblowing procedure is designed to make it easy for workers to make disclosures, without fear of retaliation.

The Modern Slavery Policy and the procurement process is intended to comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and incorporate a risk assessment protocol which identifies and assesses potential risk within that particular supply chain. Appropriate investigative and auditing processes commensurate to the scale of the enterprise and risk, are executed, as necessary.

Due Diligence Processes

The Wynnstay Board has committed to preventing modern slavery and human trafficking acts from its corporate activities, and to ensure that its national and international supply chains are free from such abuses. Where possible the organisation prefers to build long standing relationships with suppliers, where through a strengthening of trading commitments, we can make clear our expectations of business behaviour.

During the last year, the Group continued to review its primary trading partners with a view to identifying relationships where a risk may now exist, where previously it may not have done. During the ongoing review, engagement with a number of suppliers continue to ensure their processes and agreed procurement policies include appropriate ethical and supplier codes of conduct.

The Board also recognise that concerns about modern slavery are not just limited to the Group’s supply chains but may also be a risk within the Business’s own employment environment, and particularly with regard to temporary or agency staff use. The HR function continues to assess hiring practises and only approved agencies with appropriate employment due diligence processes have been used during the previous year.

Risk Assessment and Management

Standard trading conditions have been amended for all new relationships to incorporate appropriate confirmations on these matters, with a view to normalising the consideration of modern slavery and human trafficking risks in the usual commercial contract terms for our business.

All suspected cases of modern slavery and human trafficking will be reported to the Operations and Procurement Director immediately following any concerns, and any such report will be investigated on a case by case basis, with appropriate remedial action taken immediately.

Key Performance Indicators to Measure Effectiveness of Steps Being Taken

The organisation continues to review its key performance indictors and as a result, the organisation identified, and continues to identify, appropriate colleagues requiring training on modern slavery. Additionally, a system has been developed whereby the supply chain verification process is completed prior to the supplier entering the companies supply chain and, the organisation continues to evaluate all existing suppliers.

Training on Modern Slavery and Trafficking

Colleagues are provided with sufficient training where appropriate, enabling them to identify risk and ensure the expectations of the procurement policy and its associated processes are understood at all levels across the Business.

Board Approval

Modern slavery is a pernicious crime that targets the most vulnerable and preys on the weak. It is estimated that there are tens of millions of victims of modern slavery across the world and last year alone, over 10,000 potential victims of modern slavery were identified in the UK. Slavery has resulted in victims of human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude often hidden in plain sight in our communities (Priti Patel, Home Secretary Statement, October 2020).

This statement has been approved by the Company's Board of Directors, who have assessed that current risks with regard to modern slavery and human trafficking abuse within the business and its direct supply chain is low due to the nature of its continued operations.

 

By order of the Board

Claire Williams

Company Secretary, Wynnstay Group Plc

19 January 2021