Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement
This statement is made in line with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and sets out the steps Riverford Organic Farmers takes to ensure where possible that modern slavery and human trafficking does not take place in our business or supply chain. Modern slavery encompasses slavery, servitude, human trafficking and forced labour.
Riverford is known for dealing fairly with staff, suppliers and customers and we are committed to being open and honest in how we do business. Fairness to all is embedded in the values of the business. We are an approachable company and encourage anyone in our supply chain, including staff, to raise concerns where they see them.
We already have some systems in place to protect against human trafficking but we are introducing further systems to safeguard against any form of modern slavery taking place in our company or supply chain.
Our business and structure
Riverford Organic Farmers is a family owned company growing, packing and delivering organic produce direct to customers’ doorsteps in England and Wales. The company’s headquarters are in Buckfastleigh, Devon, and all other Riverford sites and businesses are based in the UK. We also work with local organic growers in the UK and overseas. The company turnover is around £55m.
What’s in place now?
We work with licenced recruitment agencies and gangmasters to prevent modern slavery; making sure anyone working for Riverford is treated fairly and paid at least the minimum wage. This process includes regular audits to check working conditions and ensuring all agencies have an up to date licence from the Gangmasters Licensing Authority.
We work with growers and suppliers over the long term, fostering close, personal relationships both in the UK and overseas. Respecting human rights and environmental issues in the supply chain is ultimately our suppliers’ responsibility. However we visit our suppliers in the EU on a regular basis and conduct sporadic visits to those further afield to audit their processes and minimise the risk of modern slavery. We are rare for a business of our scale in that we deal directly with all our suppliers, avoiding middlemen that disconnect the retailer from the producer. We do this to give us greater confidence in the ethics of those who supply us in relation to their production practices and their treatment of staff.
We believe we can go further and in the future plan to do more detailed audits where we check working conditions and general welfare, pay, H&S and living conditions, talking to some employees where possible.
Current and future processes in place
We are committed to ensuring that modern slavery and human trafficking does not take place in our business or supply chain. As part of this commitment, over the coming 12 months we will continue our current audits and take these additional steps:
- Introduce a new policy on modern slavery
- Introduce a new policy on whistleblowing
- Formalise our audit process of suppliers and agency providers, including the introduction of a more formal checklist of areas to look into during our visits to suppliers and agency work providers
- Where possible make suppliers and labour providers aware of our stance in relation to modern slavery and ensure that where appropriate they have the necessary anti-slavery and human trafficking procedures in place.
- Ensure everyone is aware of the procedure to follow should they have any concerns they wish to raise
- Ensure all relevant people internally are briefed on the subject
This statement represents our group’s slavery and human trafficking statement for the current financial year.