Mindful Chef's Modern Slavery Statement 2022
Our mission is to supply ethically and sustainably sourced food, empower people to live healthier lives, and use our business as a force for good. As a certified B Corp, we are committed to meeting the highest standards of social and environmental impact. Our three values, Mindful, Personal and Unafraid underpin our ways of working and define the spirit in which we intend to do business.
We recognise that no business is free from the risk of exploitation. Modern slavery is a global issue with an increasing number of cases in the UK. We are against all forms of forced labour and expect our team and the people we work with to act with integrity to ensure, as far as we are able to, that modern slavery does not exist across our business or wider supply chain.
The aim of this statement is to highlight the systems and controls we have implemented to tackle any forms of exploitation that could be taking place in our business. We are committed to setting a standard for fair, safe and healthy working conditions for all.
This modern slavery statement is published in accordance with the UK Modern Slavery Act (2015).
Business Structure and Supply Chain
Founded in 2015, Mindful Chef is a health-focused recipe box delivering nutritious meals across mainland UK.
Since launching, the recipe box offering has expanded to include a Ready to Go range of chef-prepared frozen meals, smoothies, soups, broths, desserts and breakfasts.
Despite a streamlined supply chain, there are still risks of exploitation from farm to fork. We source ingredients from suppliers across the UK. All produce is handled & packaged by the suppliers or is sent to a co-packing site where it is pre-portioned. Ready to Go products are manufactured by independent food businesses.
All stock is delivered to a distribution centre in the Midlands where each individual recipe bag and Ready to Go order is packed. Workers at the distribution centre are either directly employed by Mindful Chef, employed by the distribution centre, or contract staff employed by a labour agency on behalf of the distribution centre. Boxes are then delivered across mainland UK by a third-party courier service. All other day-to-day activities are carried out from the HQ in South West London.
Sourcing ethically and responsibly has always been incredibly important, so we only work with suppliers who share our values. We prioritise purchasing from the UK where possible, but sometimes we do have to go further afield. When we do, we expect the same standards of quality, transparency and sustainability and that our suppliers will hold people working in their supply chains to the same high standards.
This policy applies to all persons working for us or on our behalf in any capacity.
Our Policies and Due Diligence
Forced labour is a hidden crime that many employers are unaware could be taking place in their supply chain. We have taken the following steps to assess and reduce the risk of it taking place across ours.
We have a written Supplier Code of Conduct. The code has been put in place to define expectations for fair, safe and healthy working conditions and set forth standards of ethical behaviour throughout our supply chain. It outlines what suppliers can expect from us and what we expect from them as a supplier to Mindful Chef. All suppliers must commit to the Code and make improvements when any of these Code standards are not met. We will work closely with suppliers on these improvements. To monitor this we conduct annual reviews / audits of our suppliers.
In addition to our Supplier Code of Conduct, Mindful Chef is a member of SEDEX (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange). SEDEX provides a platform which enables supply chain transparency and responsible purchasing through collaboration and information gathering. By requiring our suppliers to become members we are able to manage risk and drive responsible business across our supply chain.
In 2021, 86% were members of SEDEX, now 98% have been onboarded. Our ambition is to have all suppliers registered with 100% completion of the SEDEX self-assessment questionnaire.
Since setting this requirement we have launched a management system which enables us to track SEDEX membership among our suppliers and how they perform. Further to this, we actively support suppliers who need additional help registering with SEDEX and completing their self-assessment.
To protect contracted staff the employment agencies we work with must comply with the UK Modern Slavery Act (2015). They must also ensure the following are in place:
- Availability of correct paperwork in relation to right to work in the UK
- Legal docs, e.g. passport / evidence of proof of ID
- Formal written contracts with workers
- Agency workers are paid directly into their own chosen bank account
Whistle blowing & Anti-Bribery policy
An important aspect of accountability and transparency is positively encouraging and supporting our team and people within the organisation to voice concerns in a responsible and effective
manner. We encourage people to raise concerns about any issue or suspicion of modern slavery in any parts of our business or supply chains at the earliest possible stage.
Last year, following the release of our first Modern Slavery Statement, we updated our Whistleblowing policy and created a new Anti-Bribery policy. Together, these policies clearly outline the procedures individuals should take to inform the company when they have discovered malpractice, impropriety or any other potential issues that they identify.
We provide training to relevant members of our team to inform and equip them with the knowledge required to recognise and identify all forms of exploitation and potential risks. This includes training on SEDEX, as well as Modern Slavery training, Whistleblowing training and Anti-Bribery training.
Going forward: Focus for the next 12 months
- All suppliers registered and completed a self-assessment questionnaire on SEDEX
- Roll out training and annual refresher training via The Access Group E-Learning platform
- Increased collaboration with out partners to ensure alignment across all parts of the business, in particular with our distribution centre.
- Continually assess and manage the risks of exploitation in our supply chain.
This statement has been approved by our board of directors and will be reviewed and updated annually.
Director signature & date here.