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UK Modern Slavery Act Statement

Here at Winfresh we believe that every single person within our supply chain should be treated with fairness, dignity and respect.

Modern slavery can take many forms. These can include (amongst many) the trafficking of people, forced labour, domestic servitude, sexual exploitation and criminal exploitation.

Modern Slavery is a major global problem with an estimated 21 million men, women and children in forced labour (International Labour Organization, 2017,)

Forced Labour is defined in the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) Forced Labour Convention of 1930 as “all work which is extracted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily”

Forced Labour can occur in any gender, race or religion and in any country. It is, however, more prevalent in vulnerable groups with approximately two thirds of victims being female and every fourth victim a child.

Here at Winfresh we believe there is no place for any form of forced labour within our supply chain and we work actively with all of our partners and stakeholders to make progress on this issue. As part of this, it is important to acknowledge that this is not a problem that only occurs in faraway places and developing countries, but can happen anywhere throughout the world. In 2013 the ILO estimated that 1.5 million victims of forced labour were in North America and the EU (where we sell our products), with a further 1.8 million people in forecd labour in Latin America & The Caribbean (where we produce our products).

Actively protecting our workers

Forced Labour is an issue we here at Winfresh are determined to address at every stage of our supply chain – and to which we have a zero tolerance approach. It’s why we have long-term relationships with our suppliers and farmers and put ethical trading at the forefront of all of our business practices. This is illustrated through our Fairtrade accreditation, membership of the ETI and adherence to its Base Code and through regularly auditing our suppliers, to ensure they meet the specifications for these accreditations.

We also help our farmers to prevent problems before they happen, through working closely with them on farming practices and advising on the management of their workers. As a result of working closely with all our farmers we have a high presence on the farms that supply us – giving us the opportunity to identify any potential vulnerable workers.

 

Taking extra steps

Due to the high levels of migration from neighbouring Haiti, the Dominican Republic (one of our major sources of Bananas) is identified as ‘medium risk’. As such, together with our supplier, we ensure workers are not exploited, and feel part of the community. This is done through a number of initiatives.

We assist with the acquisition of work permits and documentation, such as birth certificated and passports, which they may not already have. Once the workers are in possession of these, they’re able to access other services like healthcare, further reducing their vulnerability. We also work with our farms to ensure that contracts are either bilingual or that they have access to interpreters.

In the UK we’ve taken steps to address the possibility of trafficking by reducing our reliance on labour agencies. All our permanent staff are employed directly by us and many have been selected from agency staff who have worked for us previously. Our UK company has a high level of vertical integration within its supply chain, through a number of directly owned subsidiaries and suppliers that we work very closely with on a day to day basis across the globe.

We know we can’t end modern slavery on our own, but we’ll continue to do everything we can to help.

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