Pilgrim’s UK, one of the UK’s largest food companies and Britain’s biggest provider of higher welfare pork, together with its retail partners Waitrose and Co-op, have conducted a first-of-its-kind human rights impact assessment (HRIA) on its integrated pork and lamb supply networks. The assessment is aimed at helping the businesses achieve their shared ambition of a fully transparent supply chain.
The assessment is the first-of-its-kind for a livestock supply chain globally due to its scale and wide-ranging criteria. It spanned Pilgrim’s UK’s outdoor-bred pig farms and lamb farms, as well as the business’ processing and abattoir sites, from which Co-op and Waitrose source the majority of their pork and all of Waitrose’s lamb products.
Pilgrim’s UK, Co-op and Waitrose’s HRIA will help all three businesses gain a deeper understanding of how their practices are affecting farmers, workers and other stakeholders working in the pig and lamb supply chains within the UK, and the actions they can take to mitigate, prevent or remediate any identified impacts.
The assessment has been undertaken in collaboration with ethical trade consultancy firm, Impactt Ltd.
The assessment covered the period between October 2021 to February 2022, during which the UK pork industry faced the most severe challenges in its history, with labour shortages and end of the Covid-19 pandemic being among factors that led to a significant backlog of pigs.
Please see here the link to the Executive Summary and Action Plan
Please see here the link to the full report
We have a strong and robust Modern Slavery Policy and are working towards being best practice in our processes and procedures. We work in partnership with our labour providers, the GLAA (Gangmaster and Labour Abuse Authority), UK and Welsh Governments and Anti-Slavery Commissioners, to drive up standards and rid the food supply chain of this crime and support
Modern slavery is where one person, or persons control another or a group of people by exploiting a vulnerability. It is often linked with human trafficking, where a person is forced into a service against their will – usually forced work or prostitution. The control can be physical, financial or psychological.
We are actively engaged in our communities and share responsibility for their ongoing development, through volunteerism, donation, and sponsorship opportunities.
And our belief in the right collaboration includes strong community partnerships in every region we work in.
Safety at Pilgrim’s UK is a condition, not a priority. Safe people, safe products and healthy attitudes are ingrained in our view of sustainability. We have improved our health and safety performance year-on-year and our positive progress has accelerated since we re-defined health and safety as a condition.
We aim to provide as much opportunity for all sectors of society through Movement to Work and the Bright Futures programme, which we are a founder board member of. This aims to close the loop for Modern Slavery victims by offering them a paid work placement and the possibility of a permanent role with a non-competitive interview.
Our strong commitment to mental health and wellbeing for every team member includes ongoing, data-lead communication with our people and a wellbeing strategy that will ensure re our people are the happiest and healthiest at work.
We are committed to providing safe work environments within our business and supply chains. We invest and resource in our teams, including ongoing career development and training, to ensure we have the best people to deliver our goals.
We are committed to a fully transparent, ethical supply chain and a responsible sourcing policy. All our supply partners are subject to our Supply Chain Code of Conduct to ensure robust standards across the chain.
Like many food productions companies, we employ a mix of our own workforce, who are directly employed and agency staff who are employed by the agency but work on our site.
We operate across 15 sites in the UK with 5,889 permanent employees with up to an additional 2,100 additional agency workers at peak periods.
We class agencies as high risk as we do not have direct control over every single agency site in the UK, and how they operate on a day to day basis. Unlike our own 15 sites.
Their role is to protect vulnerable and exploited workers. Through the intelligence they receive from our inspections, the public, businesses and other government departments, they investigate reports of worker exploitation and illegal activity such as human trafficking, forced labour and illegal labour provision.
They all aspects of labour exploitation in England and Wales but we also work with partner organisations such as the police, the National Crime Agency and other government law enforcement agencies to target, dismantle and disrupt serious and organised crime across the UK.
Our licensing scheme regulates businesses and labour agencies, such as Staffline, who provide workers into the food industry to make sure they meet the employment standards required by law.
Stronger Together is a multi-stakeholder business-led initiative that aims to reduce modern slavery particularly forced labour, labour trafficking and other hidden third party exploitation of workers. It provides guidance, training, resources and a network for employers, labour providers, workers and their representatives to work together to reduce exploitation
The ALP was established in 2004 at the instigation of the UK government, ALP is a specialist trade association, of which Pilgrims in an active associate member, which promotes responsible recruitment and good practice for organisations that supply the workforce to the food processing, agricultural and wider consumer goods supply chain.
The ALP and its members work to influence government, regulatory policy and provides a range of useful information and services to its members.
Bright Future is a unique collaboration between business and the charity sector. It has recently been established as a stand alone co-operative. Pilgrims is a founding member of this and has been involved since 2017. This has helped Pilgrims to ensure that we have more than doubled the number of modern slavery survivors we have helped into permanent employment over the past 12 months
The Responsible Recruitment Toolkit (RRT) enables labour providers, employers and brands to raise the standard of recruitment in their business and global supply chains.
RRT is an online toolkit that provides comprehensive and practical step by step guidance, tools and resources to support businesses to embed responsible recruitment practices, within their business and supply chain. Pilgrims is a “Plus” member, as we are supported by our customers, such as Waitrose and Co-Op, to drive change in this area through all our wider supply chains
Pilgrims is proud to support victims of Modern Slavery into permanent employment. We have strong policies and procedures in place to ensure that the focus is on the needs of the victim.
Hope for Justice is a charity that exists and is focussed to bring an end to modern slavery by preventing exploitation, rescuing victims, restoring lives and reforming society
Slave-Free Alliance is a social enterprise and membership initiative launched by anti-slavery charity Hope for Justice.
Membership includes global multinationals, household names like Aviva, Dixons Carphone, Clarks and Arriva, as well as small to medium enterprises (SMEs) with only a few employees. They all share a common goal: working towards a slave-free supply chain.
Pilgrims is proud the be the first meat company in the UK to sign up to support this unique partnership.
We undertake extensive training to help equip all our colleagues to be able to “Spot the Signs” and to raise awareness within Pilgrims and our supply chains.
As part of our standard induction for all workers on our sites, we promote Stronger Together and show videos to begin to raise awareness amongst all our colleagues.
Pilgrims has developed our own bespoke, online training package for anyone within the business who manages any number of people. This is compulsory training and is regularly refreshed and updated. Click here to view their website.
Slave Free Alliance
Pilgrims is proud to be working with Slave-Free Alliance to develop awareness raising training and support our agricultural supply chain, to know what to do should they “Spot The Signs”, of Modern Slavery in their farms. Click here to view their website.