As a Group, we employ over 24,000 people and are committed to upholding the rights of workers. Modern slavery and human trafficking are unacceptable practices that exploit some of the most vulnerable people around the world. Kerry supports all efforts to eradicate these and other human rights abuses from international business and global supply chains.
At Kerry Group, we provide the largest, most innovative portfolio of Taste & Nutrition technologies and systems and Functional Ingredients and Actives for the global food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. Our consumer foods division, Kerry Foods, is also a leading consumer foods processor and supplier in selected EU markets.
Kerry's Agribusiness division works closely with the Group's 3,200 milk suppliers in the South West of Ireland, ensuring the efficient production of high quality milk as a source of premium quality, sustainably produced dairy and nutritional products.
At Kerry, we adopt a zero tolerance approach towards the use of forced, bonded, indentured or involuntary labour in our own operations or in any activities connected with the Group. The Kerry Group mission statement guides our business activities and sets out our commitment to acting responsibly and in the interest of all our stakeholders:
‘We are committed to the highest standards of business and ethical behaviour, to fulfilling our responsibilities to the communities which we serve and to the creation of long-term value for all stakeholders on a socially and environmentally sustainable basis.’
To ensure clarity on the issue of labour standards, there are a number of key policies that set out the requirements of those within the organisation and those whom we seek to do business with. These include the following:
Our Supply Chain
As a global organisation, Kerry Group sources raw materials from numerous independent suppliers around the world. One of the key priorities of the Group’s sustainability programme ‘Towards 2020’, is to ensure our suppliers conduct their business in a responsible and ethical manner.
In pursuit of our responsible sourcing goals, we have a detailed supplier Code of Conduct which outlines the minimum standards we expect from providers of goods and services. In 2016, we revised this Code, to more robustly protect the rights of workers within our supply chain and this document is explicit in directing that forced or involuntary labour shall not be permitted. Where suppliers are found to have contravened the requirements set out in this Code, Kerry Group reserves the right to terminate any associated agreement or business relationship.
We are also a member of a number of industry initiatives and multi-stakeholder platforms that seek to advance responsible sourcing practices, including the promotion of fair labour standards.
Monitoring and Compliance
As a Group, we have the relevant structures in place across our global operations to appropriately manage labour issues. We use internal assessments and independent audits of our facilities to ensure that forced or involuntary labour is not employed at our sites. Our policies are communicated and available to all employees and we have an independent reporting mechanism available in multiple languages to allow for the anonymous reporting of concerns.
Within our supply chain, our Supplier Code of Conduct and Supplier Requirements Manual were revised in 2016 and communicated to all of our direct suppliers in 2017. We adopt a risk based approach to identifying suppliers where additional measures may be required to ensure compliance with Kerry’s standards. As a member of SEDEX (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange), regional and sector level profiles available within this platform complement internal expertise and help to determine inherent levels of risk. Based on this process, we seek to engage further with those suppliers where there is a greater likelihood of non-compliance.
Our independent ethics hotline is also available to our suppliers and their workers at http://www.kerrygroup.ethicspoint.com/
Communication and Training
In 2017, our revised Supplier Code of Conduct was communicated to all direct suppliers. We also took steps to communicate further with those suppliers deemed ‘higher risk’ to inform them of requirements to satisfy Kerry’s expectations. Internally, Kerry makes its policies available online to employees, communicating on any relevant changes or updates. Details of our Supplier Requirements Manual were communicated to colleagues through our award winning ‘mykerry’ platform last year.
In addition, mandatory training for colleagues on the Group’s Code of Conduct is delivered through our Learning Management System. This training covers the key elements of our Group Code of Conduct, which includes our commitment to upholding human rights. In 2017, we also launched further training for all colleagues on the Group’s broader sustainability programme ‘Towards 2020’.
This statement is made on behalf of our UK legal entities and pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.