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Responsible Sourcing in our Supply Chain

A resilient supply chain relies on assessing risks and working with growers and partners to support the rights and livelihoods of the millions of people employed in agriculture worldwide, whilst minimising environmental impacts, including deforestation and climate change, in order to guarantee the future sustainability of our food systems. Our risk-based approach to Responsible Sourcing involves detailed assessment of risks in our own operations and in our supply chain and using this information to address any issues collaboration with our customers and suppliers.

The Supply Chain Director and the Group Technical Director lead the Responsible Sourcing Steering Group who manage supply chain risks on a day-to-day basis and both report to the Chief Operating Officer on supply chain and responsible sourcing issues respectively who has ultimate responsibility at Board level.

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
  • Supply chain human rights
  • Supply chain human rights
  • Environmentally sustainable sourcing
  • Ingredient Integrity

Supply Chain Human Rights

The complexity and pace of the global food supply chain places it at risk of human rights abuses like modern slavery and inadequate labour practices. Ensuring the welfare and rights of workers throughout our supply chain is a top priority for our business and a central element to our Responsible Sourcing strategy. We make our expectations clear to our suppliers and work with them to ensure that they can meet and maintain the standards required. For details about our practices in our own operations, see Responsible Recruitment and Employment.

Our commitments:

  • Expand supplier management tools to our US and Asia businesses to expand our human rights risk mapping (2022).
  • Work collaboratively with our suppliers on any breaches of our Code of Conduct to develop and implement a clear and appropriate corrective action plan (2021 and ongoing).
  • 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 US: 2024).
Read the fact sheet: Supply Chain Human Rights

Environmentally Sustainable Sourcing

We have a responsibility to procure the raw materials we use in a way that is as environmentally sound as possible, with concern for impacts on the land, water and biodiversity in their growing and production. In this way, our focus on environmental sustainability not only ensures care for the planet but improves the resilience of our supply chain.

A key issue for the food industry as a whole is the impact of certain commodities on deforestation and land conversion. We commit to working towards zero net deforestation for our relevant raw materials: palm oil, soy, cocoa and carton board -based packaging and beef. We are clear in our commitment to eliminating deforestation risks in our supply chain sourcing and have sourcing approaches for the high-risk commodities relevant to our business. These are summarised below, and our detailed deforestation statement is available online.

In addition, we are committed to working with our UK customers in the shift towards 100% cage free eggs by 2025. As of 2021, 77% of our eggs are from cage-free sources and as part of our supply chain engagement we are working actively with our suppliers to increase this each year.

Our commitments:

  • Expand supplier management to our US and Asia businesses to replicate our environmental risk mapping (2022).
  • Work towards zero net deforestation for our forest risk raw materials (palm oil, soy, wood-pulp based packaging and beef)
  • Engage with key suppliers to ensure shared understanding of the responsible use of plastics (2022).
Read the fact sheet: Environmentally Sustainable Sourcing

Ingredient traceability and integrity

Our success in continuing to deliver products of the highest quality to our customers is built on trust and our ability to consistently deliver high standards of raw material integrity and traceability.

Our Food Safety and Integrity approach aims to minimise the risks of unauthorised or unsafe food ingredients entering the Bakkavor manufacturing chain.

Also known as ‘food fraud’, our strategic approach relies upon intelligence gathering from a variety of sources; verification processes that include laboratory analysis, traceability checks and audits of materials where claims are made; and a governance process that includes supplier audits or investigations, to manage the variety of materials we source from across the world.

Regular audits and trace exercises play a strong role in helping us to monitor the integrity of our ingredients. Where testing is available, the raw materials are analysed at specialist accredited laboratories. Supply chain traceability is also used to verify the authenticity of specific materials. 2021 saw us almost double the number of traceability checks and tests conducted compared to 2020.

Where we identify high risk ingredients, we work directly with our suppliers to understand their control systems, share best practice and reduce the risks of fraud and adulteration in the global supply chain. Where our analysis or trace procedures identify irregularities, we take rapid action to implement control measures and ensure corrective actions are robust and sustainable, to improve the supply chain visibility and integrity.

Read the fact sheet: Ingredient Integrity