Modern Slavery Statement
Our mission is to empower people to live healthier lives. In doing so, we are committed to setting a standard for fair, safe and healthy working conditions. We are against all forms of exploitation and expect our team and the people we work with to act with integrity to ensure modern slavery does not exist across our business or wider supply chain.
Modern slavery is a global issue with an increasing number of cases in the UK. No business is free from risk however big or small. This is our first modern slavery statement published in accordance with the UK Modern Slavery Act (2015). The aim of this statement is to highlight the systems and controls we have implemented to ensure no forms of exploitation are taking place in our business.
Business Structure and Supply Chain
Founded in 2015, Mindful Chef is a health focused recipe box proving that nutritious meals can be exciting and delicious; and good for all participants in the supply chain, from grower to diner. Since launching, the range of health focused meals on offer has expanded to include chef-prepared frozen meals, smoothies and broths. In 2018, Mindful Chef was the first recipe box company to become a certified Better Corporation (B-Corp), joining a collective of like minded businesses committed to balancing profits with people and the planet.
Between farm and fork there are many stages in our supply chain. Boxes are delivered across mainland UK from a distribution center in the Midlands. Each individual recipe bag is packed by contract staff employed by a labour agency and is delivered to customers by third party courier DPD. 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 standards for fair, safe and healthy working conditions and set forth standards of ethical behaviour throughout our supply chain. 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 aim to 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. Currently, 86% of our suppliers are members of SEDEX and we aim for 100% by the end of 2021. To support this, we have recently launched a supplier management system that allows us to track which suppliers have signed up to SEDEX.
To protect contracted staff the employment agencies we work with must comply with the 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 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.
To facilitate this we have a Whistleblowing Policy which sets out the procedure 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 which all existing members of our Technical team have received and all new members will receive at the point of joining Mindful Chef.
Focus for the next 12 months
- Enhanced training for all team members that influence the supply chain
- Ensure all suppliers are signed up to SEDEX by Q1 2022
- Renew and re-circulate our Supplier Code of Conduct
- 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.