Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement 2022
End of our last financial year: 31/12/2021
Pets Choice Limited (“Pets Choice”) is committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships. We aim to run our business in a way that makes a positive contribution to our staff, customers and community.
Modern Slavery is a crime and a violation of fundamental human rights. We are fully committed to playing our part in eradicating modern slavery by ensuring that slavery, trafficking, child labour, bonded labour, forced labour, and forced or servile marriage does not take place within our business or any part of our supply chain.
We have appointed Head of Operations and Head of Buying as having shared responsibility for this policy.
Pets Choice is a UK based manufacturer of high-quality food and treats for pets and wild animals. We supply partners in the grocery, independent and pet speciality sectors and export to 32 countries. Our branded products include Webbox, Bob Martin, TastyBone, Feathers & Beaky, Spike’s Hedgehog Food, WildThings, The Original Davies, Oceanic, aniMate and Vitakraft.
For more information about our business and our brands, please visit our website at: https://www.petschoice.co.uk/
Our Supply Chain: Products
We source products for use in our manufacturing processes from around the globe. We have therefore taken steps to ensure that we are able to identify products and countries that represent a high risk of modern slavery and we have built awareness of these risks within our purchasing team.
We aim to build long term working relationships with our suppliers. When choosing a supplier to work with we look for reputable businesses and deal with them directly. We visit our suppliers in order to meet their teams, observe their manufacturing processes and see the working conditions of their staff. When carrying out these visits, our staff are able to look out for and be alert to any potential problems such as unsafe working conditions, underage workers and abusive behaviour. Due to the worldwide pandemic, there has been some difficulty visiting factories as a result of social distancing and travel restrictions. However, we have built a strong relationship with our suppliers over the years and have a good understanding of their processes and ways of working. Any concerns are flagged immediately and we continue to maintain high standards of working.
We make enquiries of our suppliers, which go beyond the basic requirements of price, quality of their product, their reliability as manufacturers and we explore their approach to ethical employment. We require our suppliers to complete due diligence questionnaires, including provision of anonymised information about staff wages and working conditions. We also ask for sight of additional due diligence work carried out, including audits conducted by other customers and third party accreditations. We are members of Sedex and they help us further audit our supply chain.
Price is not the only factor that we look at when deciding which supplier to use. We will not squeeze our suppliers on prices or make last minute changes to our orders or commitments that may lead our suppliers to feel obliged to cut corners as we recognise that this may have a negative impact the quality of their product and the working conditions of their staff.
If we ever have reason to believe that one of our suppliers is behaving in an unethical way, carrying out forms of modern slavery or violating human rights, we will terminate our working relationship with them until the matter is resolved or permanently (as we deem appropriate).
If you are one of our suppliers:
If you supply Pets Choice with products or services, you will be asked to assess your own business and your supply chain and declare to us that you are committed to ensuring that there is no slavery, trafficking, bonded labour, forced labour, and forced or servile marriage within your business or your supply chain.
If you do not give this declaration or we believe that you may be in breach of this declaration, we may terminate our contracts and working relationship with you, report you to the appropriate authorities and pursue any legal remedies available to us against you.
We are committed to ensuring our people receive fair pay and good working conditions.
We are committed to providing state of the art manufacturing and warehousing facilities in the UK, which means that our product quality is controlled from the beginning to the end of the product journey and our staff are working in a clean and safe environment. We ensure that our site, machinery and equipment are well maintained and safe to operate. We provide our staff with personal protective equipment and health and safety training to ensure their safety and well-being whilst working. We clearly display our health and safety rules and procedures and review them on a regular basis.
When recruiting staff, we carry out identity checks and right to work checks prior to commencing employment. With the exception of our temporary workers who are paid through employment agencies (see below), we pay salary and benefits into staff’s nominated bank accounts to ensure that payments are received directly by that person.
We provide every employee with a written contract of employment and confirm terms of engagement to other staff either in writing or via an employment agency (as we deem appropriate). We pay all staff at least the UK National Minimum Wage and comply with our obligations in respect of National Insurance contributions and pension provision.
We ensure that our staff receive regular breaks during their working hours and that they receive at least the minimum rest periods and holiday entitlement set out in UK legislation. We ensure that our staff are able to take time off work for holiday, sickness or for family reasons (including maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave, and time off in an emergency to deal with urgent family matters).
We are an equal opportunities employer. We treat people with respect irrespective of age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, race, colour, religion, ethnic origin or belief. We make employment decisions solely on the basis of job-related skills, experience and performance. We will not tolerate discriminatory behaviour by our staff.
We encourage openness and transparency. Our staff are encouraged to inform us if they have any concerns about the running of our business.
We have an Employee Handbook, which is issued to all employees and includes (among other things) a Bribery & Corruption Policy, a Bullying & Harassment Policy, an Equality & Diversity Policy, a Grievance Procedure and a Whistleblowing Policy.
Bribery & Corruption Policy: makes clear that staff are not permitted to accept or offer bribes from suppliers or customers or otherwise abuse their position with Pets Choice in a way that might impact on our ability to act in an ethical way.
Bullying & Harassment Policy: makes clear that we will not tolerate the mistreatment of our staff and sets out a procedure for complaining about suspected bullying or harassment.
Equality & Diversity Policy: makes clear that we will not tolerate discrimination or abuse of our staff and we are committed to treating staff fairly, including ensuring that salary and benefits and working conditions offered to staff are not influenced by protected characteristics such as gender or nationality.
Grievance Procedure: provides a mechanism for staff to raise concerns about their treatment, including working conditions.
Whistleblowing Policy: provides a mechanism for staff to raise concerns about the actions of Pets Choice, our management and our suppliers where those actions may be unlawful, in breach of our legal obligations or in breach of health and safety practices.
We train our managers and supervisors to be aware of signs of potential breaches of modern slavery in connection with our staff. We display posters in our workplaces to help staff recognise the signs of potential breaches of modern slavery and provide signposting information about seeking help or making a complaint. We have made plans for our management team to undergo training dedicated to modern slavery and this will be followed up in the next twelve months.
Our Supply Chain: People
We engage temporary workers to support our production and operational requirements in the UK.
We use reputable, licensed employment agencies. We ensure that we pay the employment agency an hourly rate for each temporary worker that allows the employment agency to pay the temporary worker at least the National Living Wage, plus employer’s National Insurance contributions and pension contributions, and accrual of holiday pay, along with other costs associated with employing staff and running an employment agency. We conduct interviews with randomly selected temporary workers in connection with the pay and benefits they receive and any terms imposed on them by their employment agency.
We train our managers and supervisors to be aware of signs of potential breaches of modern slavery in connection with our temporary workers. We display posters in our workplaces to help our temporary workers recognise the signs of potential breaches of modern slavery and signposting information about seeking help or making a complaint.
This statement is made in compliance with our obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and has been approved by the Board of Directors.
Chief Executive Officer, Pets Choice Limited