Modern slavery is still an issue in the 21st century. Its forms include, but not limited to, forced labour, human trafficking, domestic servitude and forced marriage. Resolving this issue requires a joint effort from all industries, including food manufacturing.
This statement has been published in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and highlights the actions taken by Marlow Foods Ltd and its subsidiaries trading as Quorn Foods, (collectively “Marlow Foods”, “the Company”, “we” or “us”) to prevent human trafficking and slavery in its own operations and its full supply chain during the financial year ending 31st December 2022 and its continuous progress plans for 2023-2024.
The Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Monde Nissin (UK) Limited whose ultimate parent is the Monde Nissin Corporation, a major international food business based in the Philippines.
The Company specialises in the production of food products made from mycoprotein, a nutritionally healthy meat-free source of protein. Research began with Lord Rank in the 1960s and by the 1980s, the Quorn brand and food products began to sell to consumers.
The Company manufactures, distributes and sells Quorn branded products in the UK, Continental Europe, Asia Pacific and the United States of America, alongside Cauldron plant-based branded products in the UK.
Our Purpose, Ambition and Values
In 2020 the Company Purpose & Ambition were clearly defined and shared, and Values were co-created by all members of staff and are clearly defined as follows:
Purpose: To Provide Healthy Food for People and the Planet.
Ambition: By 2030 the Company will:
Provide 8 billion servings in a single year. That is equivalent to one serving of great tasting food for every person in the world.
Within its own operations, have net zero emissions.
Have a net positive impact on the planet, the health of people and the team that delivers it.
Values: The Company’s purpose and ambition is underpinned by its four core values:
- Stronger Together
- Make Lives Better
- Strive to be the Best
- Think Big, Act with Courage
The Company provided employment to 905 people as of 31st December 2022. Most of our colleagues are based at one of our three UK sites (Belasis, Stokesley and Methwold) with a smaller proportion based out of our Leeds office and across three international offices in the Netherlands, Sweden and the USA.
By the end of 2022, some of our employees were represented by two unions. The Company offers competitive benefit packages to all employees, including pension contribution up to 5%, life insurance, health care and company cars. Base salaries at Marlow Foods are above the National Living Wage and benchmarked using independent external bodies.
Our Supply Chain
Our supply chain is extensive, from globally sourced raw materials to international distribution routes to our customers.
We have long standing relationships with many suppliers both in the UK and overseas. We aim to work with suppliers that are like-minded and share our values. We do however recognise that modern slavery is predominantly a hidden crime and we have a role to play in uncovering and eradicating it, if present, in our supply chain.
One key tool that we use to aid risk identification is the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX), which enables us to view suppliers’ ethical trade data. We have been members since 2014, and we encourage our suppliers to register and connect with us on SEDEX.
In line with our purpose and values, we are committed to reviewing and continuously improving our systems and processes for identifying modern slavery and human trafficking risks within our operations and our supply chain.
We are committed to preventing slavery, forced labour, harmful child labour and human trafficking in all our activities and require that our suppliers have the same commitment. We request labour providers and recruitment agencies to share their anti-slavery statements and actions with us.
As a responsible company, we always strive to do the right thing. We continue to review our current policies and introduce new policies when needed to help us meet this objective. We are committed to communicating openly and transparently with all stakeholders to ensure that our zero-tolerance stance is shared by everyone we work with.
As well as our standard terms and conditions and agreed supplier contracts, we have in place relevant policies and whistleblowing mechanisms to help our business identify and mitigate any potential risk of modern slavery internally and externally, as well as providing suitable support for our colleagues to conduct themselves appropriately while representing the Company. These include:
Right to Work:
- The Company deliver the right to work check to all employees before signing contracts with them.
- Marlow Foods is an equal opportunity employer. The Company is committed to ensuring equal opportunities, fairness of treatment, dignity, work-life balance, and the elimination of all forms of discrimination in the workplace for all employees and job applicants. The Company aims to create a working environment in which all individuals can make best use of their skills, free from discrimination or harassment, and in which all decisions are based on merit.
Bullying and Harassment:
- The Company has an aim to provide a working environment that respects the rights of each employee and where colleagues treat each other with respect. Any behaviour that undermines this aim is unacceptable.
Bribery and Corruption:
- Marlow Foods does not tolerate any form of bribery and corruption, including any form of unethical inducement or payment including facilitation payments and “kick-backs”.
Whistleblowing Policy and Monde Nissin Integrity Hotline:
- Integrity is non-negotiable to Monde Nissin. To succeed, we need our employees to believe in our Company. The Whistleblowing Policy aims to provide a platform for employees, business partners and other stakeholders to raise serious and sensitive concerns; and to ensure that such concerns are treated seriously and appropriately. The Monde Nissin Integrity Hotline is an independent confidential channel for all Monde Nissin employees to raise their concerns relating to workplace fraud and misconduct. This hotline is completely anonymous and is independently operated by a third party.
During the past few years, we carried out a programme of supplier review. For our logistics suppliers, we sent out a specific questionnaire to assess or confirm their position with regard to The Modern Slavery Act 2015 and would review this process on a regular basis.
For our raw material and packaging suppliers, such reviews are routine between one and four years, tying in with the food safety certification audit, and include compliance, legislative and policy compliance and aspects that support our requirements and expectations in terms of modern slavery prevention. Suppliers need to fill out our Supplier Audit Questionnaire (SAQ) which includes a section on ethical issues.
All existing suppliers are required to comply with the Modern Slavery Act (2015) and to encourage such compliance within their own supply chain. Suppliers are also contractually obliged to provide information related to supply chain audits and compliance activities if required.
Employees were periodically and continually refreshed with respect to Quorn’s policies, values and expectations. They are provided with a confidential facility to disclose any concerns that they may have about slavery and/or human trafficking or human rights issues in our Company or our supply chain by invoking our whistleblowing policy.
In 2022, we celebrated Anti-Slavery Day at Marlow Foods through various means of communications like intranet post and posters as a tool to remind our employees about this topic and enhance their knowledge on identifying and taking actions when encountering modern slavery within our supply chain.
2023-2024 Plans and Progress
As a business, the Company has big ambitions underpinned by strong values and believe that we can make a difference and provide a better planet and healthier people. As such our commitment to eradicating modern slavery, if it occurs, within our supply chain and beyond grows in importance.
The Company have therefore set up a cross functional team of colleagues who will champion continuous improvement and development across the following areas:
Improving the understanding of HR, Supply chain, Procurement and Logistics colleagues regarding modern slavery and forced labour, helping them to be the first line of defence.
Including anti-slavery to our induction package for permanent supply chain colleagues.
Requiring labour providers to include anti-slavery to their briefing to agency workers.
Continuing to raise awareness about modern slavery across the business through multiple communication channels.
Delivering a desktop check on all workers for alert flags on modern slavery. Freshening up factory shift managers’ knowledge on signs of modern slavery and how they should respond in those situations
Reviewing our requirements to labour providers on anti-slavery issue.
Reviewing and updating, where required, all appropriate policies, i.e. Diversity and Inclusion, Human Rights for the management team to adopt, approve, communicate and train throughout the business.
Completing SEDEX questionnaire for 2023.
Interrogating responses on ethical issues during our Food Safety Audits.
Mapping of the supply chain to identify high risk geographical, category or supply areas
I am pleased to approve this statement for Marlow Foods Limited as Chief Executive Officer on behalf of the board, my management and leadership teams and all the Quorn Foods colleagues. This statement will be reviewed annually.
Marco Bertacca, Chief Executive Officer