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Responsible Sourcing in our Supply Chain

As a trusted partner, responsible sourcing starts with transparency and integrity in our supply chain.

We work with growers and partners throughout our supply chain, and use our influence to promote a shared understanding of the importance of respecting human rights, environmental risks, and ingredient integrity.​​​​​​​

Our supply chain experts use a number of tools to help us assess specific risks, and take targeted action to prevent, address and respond promptly alongside our supply chain partners.

Supply Chain Human Rights

At Bakkavor, respect for human rights is central to responsible sourcing. We will never tolerate any form of modern slavery, whenever or wherever identified within our supply chain and we work closely and openly with our suppliers to ensure our expectations are understood and upheld.

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Human rights and people

Environmentally Sustainable Sourcing

At Bakkavor we recognise our responsibility to procure the ingredients and materials we use in a way that is as environmentally sound as possible. Environmental sustainability is one of the core pillars of our responsible sourcing strategy to ensure the long-term sustainability and resilience of our supply chain.

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Raw material integrity

Ingredient Traceability and Integrity

We work with our suppliers to prevent food fraud (i.e. substitution and adulteration). This ensures the right materials come into our business from trusted suppliers.

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Threats and vulnerability

Responsible Sourcing Model

To deliver against our model, our Responsible Sourcing Steering team formed of multidisciplinary experts from HR, procurement and technical teams meet regularly to monitor progress.

We visit and audit suppliers to ensure compliance, but also work collaboratively to provide training, build their own capacity to manage sustainability risks and share best practice in a pre-competitive environment.

View More in our latest Annual Report.

Policies & Downloads

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  • Supply chain human rights
  • Supply chain human rights
  • Environmentally sustainable sourcing
  • Ingredient traceability and integrity

Supply Chain Human Rights

We recognise our role in monitoring and safeguarding the human rights of people across our business and wider supply chain.

The food supply chain is immensely complex. Bakkavor directly sources over 5,000 ingredients from over 740 suppliers in 50 countries. They, in turn, work with thousands of their own suppliers who grow and move hundreds of raw materials across global supply chains.

Therefore, a risk-based approach to identifying human rights issues is essential. We assess risks in our own operations and our supply chain and use this information to target action on any issues in collaboration with our customers and suppliers.

For example, we have been working in the poultry sector in Thailand and in the fresh produce sector in Italy. More around these projects can be read in our latest Modern Slavery Statement.

Our Trusted Partner commitments – Supply Chain Human Rights

  • Use our supplier management tools to identify suppliers deemed ‘high risk’ on our combined risk approach for our UK business. (2020)
  • Expand supplier management tools to our USA and Asia businesses to expand our human rights risk mapping. (2022)
  • Empower worker voice and collaborative dialogue within our direct supply chain by promoting independent whistleblowing channels and effective grievance reporting mechanisms. (UK: 2022, Asia and USA: 2024).
  • Actively participate in industry action alongside our customers on areas of strategic importance to the Bakkavor supply chain. (Ongoing)

Environmentally Sustainable Sourcing

We source ingredients and materials from more than 50 countries, and the environmental impacts of their production can be very different. By working openly and closely with our suppliers we can evaluate the environmental impacts of certain materials and ingredients and determine the appropriate sourcing approach.

As well as having our own approach to environmental sustainability, we support our customers’ commitments which can include commodity-specific sustainability standards, such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), Rainforest Alliance or the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as some examples.

Our dedicated sourcing teams in Asia and Spain work closely with our producers, ensuring we are aware of ongoing developments, opportunities and challenges.

Our Trusted Partner commitments – Environmentally Sustainable Sourcing

  • Use our supplier management tools to identify the hotspots of highest environmental risk in our UK business’ supply chain (2020).
  • Expand these tools to our USA and Asia businesses to replicate our environmental risk mapping (2022).
  • Ensure that discussions with our top five strategic suppliers include an understanding of their environmental challenges and their plans to mitigate (2021).
  • Identify the 20 strategic raw materials for our UK business with the highest levels of environmental risk and develop action plans or sourcing policies for each (2021).
  • Engage with key suppliers to ensure shared understanding of responsible use of plastics (2022).

Ingredient traceability and integrity

Trust and traceability are fundamental principles in how we procure our ingredients to ensure that our end products can be consumed with confidence.

All our ingredients can be traced back to our direct suppliers and many of them can be traced back to the field or farm.

We benefit from close relationships with strategic suppliers, based on a mutual understanding of our expectations and clear communication around challenges. Nevertheless, some ingredients or products have more complex supply chains or are more challenging to procure directly.

To this end, we work with our suppliers to prevent ‘food fraud’ – where raw materials can be substituted and/or adulterated. This ensures the right materials come into our business from trusted suppliers.

It’s important that the industry works collaboratively on this topic and as such, we are members of the Food Industry Intelligence Network (FIIN). This collaborative project supports information sharing and horizon scanning around food traceability, surfaces risks and promotes best practice action.

We assess our supply chain risk based on potential impact on our business and use the information to target our approach on testing materials or to conduct routine trace exercises and audits within our supply base. Where we find issues or inconsistencies, we work with the supplier to take rapid action and implement a solution, with regular follow ups, and use the learning to monitor similar supply chains.

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