The B&M group of companies prohibits slavery, forced labour and human trafficking of any kind in relation to our business operations and our supply chains. We support the promotion of ethical business practices and policies to protect workers from any kind of abuse or exploitation in relation to our group businesses and supply chains.
Our group businesses
We are a general variety goods value retailer with stores operating in the UK and Germany. Our stores offer customers a range of grocery and general merchandise products. Our group includes the following businesses:
- the B&M general merchandise retail stores business which operates throughout the whole of the UK through a store chain of around 573 stores (‘B&M’);
- the Heron Foods discount convenience stores business which operates predominantly in the North of England through a store chain of around 263 stores (‘Heron Foods’); and
- the Jawoll general merchandise retail stores business which operates predominantly in North-Western Germany through a store chain of around 84 stores (‘Jawoll’).
Communication, compliance and risk assessment
In the last year we have taken the following steps in relation to our policy on anti-slavery and human trafficking:
- B&M has continued to communicate its Workplace Policy (a copy of which is available by clicking here) to new suppliers along with our standard terms and conditions of purchase which make it a condition of trading with B&M that suppliers adhere to our Workplace Policy standards;
- Heron Foods has adopted its first Anti-Modern Slavery Statement which has been displayed on its website. It has adopted the Workplace Policy of B&M in relation to its business and suppliers and updated its standard terms and conditions of purchase making it a condition of trading with Heron Foods that suppliers adhere to the Workplace Policy standards. The Workplace Policy standards contained in Heron Foods terms and conditions have been provided by it to suppliers; and
- Jawoll has also adopted the Workplace Policy of B&M in relation to its business and suppliers and they have provided copies which are set out together in both English and German to their suppliers.
Our Workplace Policy will be reviewed from time to time, and at least once annually, to determine if any changes are required and any further communication with employees and suppliers.
In relation to the group’s assessment of risk, a balance is drawn between reasonable reliance on blue-chip brand suppliers who have their own comprehensive procedures and policies in place, and, those where other forms of verification processes are required by our group businesses or our sourcing agents. Heron Foods convenience food product lines are sourced from leading brand suppliers. A small number of foods are sourced direct from produce suppliers. These are from a limited number of major suppliers who operate highly mechanised businesses which are non-labour intensive.
The vast majority of products which are imported into the UK by B&M are sourced from China. These are mainly machine manufactured goods, as opposed to labour intensive handmade products.
Where necessary overseas suppliers are required by B&M or its sourcing agents to provide social compliance reports, as a check on compliance with local laws and regulations including labour practices.
B&M’s main Hong Kong based sourcing agent and, where practicable, members of our UK buying team visit new suppliers also as part of our verification processes.
A significant proportion of Jawoll’s suppliers are European based suppliers and wholesalers. Where Jawoll source and import products themselves directly from China they increasingly use the same suppliers and sourcing agents of B&M, which is part of an on-going integration and change-over of Jawoll’s procurement by sourcing products from B&M’s supply chain. Heron Foods sell a limited number of products imported from China which are procured from the B&M supply chain and benefit from the checks and verification processes of B&M and its sourcing agents on a group basis.
Consequences of failure to comply with our policy by our suppliers
In the event of any suspected failure by a supplier to comply with our Workplace Policy Statement, we will then investigate the circumstances of it with the supplier. In the event of a breach of the policy being identified as a result of such an investigation, we will review what appropriate remedial action we require the supplier to undertake and also determine on a case by case basis whether our trading relationship with that supplier should be monitored, suspended or terminated.
We continue to strive to find effective ways of improving communication and adherence to ethical business practices and assessment of risks and always welcome feedback from all stakeholders in relation to our business. Our policies, procedures and approach to verification processes are geared toward what we think are balanced and reasonable, practical and effective.
This statement is made under section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and is our anti-modern slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year 2017/18.
This statement has been approved by the Board of Directors and a copy of it has been signed by the group’s CEO.
31 March 2018