Collaboration to Combat Modern Slavery

The scale and cruelty of this crime is truly unimaginable. Now that we are aware of the scope and scale of the problem of modern-day-slavery, we cannot look away. All food businesses have a role to play in the fight against modern slavery.

Trafficking in persons violates the core tenets of civilized society. It risks economies and security, the environment and the well-being of future generations. Most importantly, it is morally wrong.

With the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2105 now coming into force, the issue of modern-day-slavery is now firmly in the spotlight for all business.

Whilst slavery and human trafficking are not thought to be prevalent directly in UK-based businesses, the onus is on all to investigate deep into the complex and extended supply chains which now exist throughout the food manufacturing industry where the potential for violations of the Act may thrive, often unnoticed, normally at the bottom of the production line.

For slavery legislation to be effective, businesses must look critically at supply chains without fear of being demonised.

The introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 is a major piece of legislation which will have far reaching impact throughout the industry. It means more transparency, more awareness and more consistent ethical choices.

The Act applies to all organisations with a turnover, or group turnover of £36 million or more which are either incorporated in the UK or carry on a business in the UK. Section 54 of the Act requires those organisations to prepare and publish a statement setting out the steps that they have taken during that financial year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking are not taking place.

Thus, companies sourcing products that originate in high risk areas, should seek clarification from their supplier of their own stated policies against slavery and, it is hoped should set up procedures to monitor and check the legitimacy of suppliers claims. As much of the potential for violation takes place at the bottom of the supply chain at the point of source of food materials, the only really safe way of doing this is to have a full understanding of the supply chain back to point of origin.

Thanks to the new legislation, consumers will be able to differentiate those businesses which are really committed to eradicating slavery and human trafficking by reading their commitment to it from a simple public declaration on responsible businesses websites. This will mean that businesses with the desire to maintain their reputation, will go the extra mile and become leaders in the fight against Modern Slavery by following 3 simple steps;

For slavery legislation to be effective, businesses must look critically at supply chains without fear of being demonised.

Posted by: Authenticate 08/02/2016