We work with a number of partner organisations to conduct deep-dive risk assessments in our highest risk operations and supply chains.
These assessments provide recommendations on how to strengthen our human rights and worker welfare policies and procedures, and have supported us and our suppliers to address key issues. Where risks are flagged, it is our priority to address them, with the rights and needs of the workers at the heart of our response.
OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH THE WILBERFORCE INSTITUTE
Founded in 2006, the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE) is a research unit based at the University of Hull. Bringing together experts in humanities, law, and social sciences, the Institute aims to tackle slavery in today’s societies through research and learning.
In 2015 we commissioned a specialist group at WISE, which included researchers, social auditors and hands-on business advisers all with direct experience of dealing with forced labour, debt bondage, human trafficking, and smuggling in supply chains, to conduct an independent assessment on high risk areas of our business. The WISE specialists have devised a comprehensive framework which utilises desk research, interviews, and site visits. You can find the methodology here.
Initially WISE focused on areas such as logistics and distribution warehouses, and suppliers of cleaning and security services but have since increased this work and are now reviewing our fresh produce and farmed fish supply chains.
ENGAGEMENT WITH NGOs AND TRADE UNIONS
WISE assessments are always completed with the engagement of NGOs and trade unions that can offer a unique perspective on the situation in a particular area or on a specific site or farm. In addition, if a site or farm is unionised then the assessor will also endeavour to speak to the union representative when they are conducting an on site visit.
OUR COMMITMENT TO UNDERTAKE FURTHER RESEARCH
As part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring the rights of workers within our supply chains, by the end of 2022 the Partnership will conduct at least three human rights impact assessments in our food supply chains which will be based on worker voice, and include stakeholder engagement with relevant NGOs and trade unions. These assessments will also review the impact gender has on the ability of workers to realise their human rights.