Modern Slavery Act Statement
Fighting Modern Slavery
Financial Period ended 31st December 2020
This statement is published in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and sets out the steps that Scotts Limited (Scotts & Co) has taken during the previous financial period to prevent modern slavery and human trafficking from operating within its own operations or within its supply chain. At Scotts & Co. we recognise that we have a commitment to understanding the risks of modern slavery and take our responsibilities seriously.
Scotts & Co is a multi-channel retail business with four active brands trading through the legal entity Scotts Limited. With brands including “Scotts of Stow”, “Gift Discoveries from Scotts of Stow”, “Expert Verdict”, “Solutions World” and “Bloom”, we largely trade with our customers through mail order, supported by two flagship retail outlets in Stow-on-the-Wold and an increasingly successful web business. Our Cotswold heritage dates back 30 years, to when our first shop in Stow first opened its doors in 1991. Since then, the Scotts & Co business has grown significantly with sales exceeding £45m. The business is privately owned with sites in Groundwell, Wiltshire and Stow-on-the-Wold.
Modern Slavery within our Business
Scotts and Co wants its customers and suppliers to be confident that employees of the business are treated fairly, with respect for human rights and are not exposed to unsafe working conditions or in any way forced to work under slavery. Ethical standards are in place to protect employee well-being and to improve quality and productivity. We do this through a series of measures and policies covering equal opportunities, positive working and health and safety, and by ensuring that all employees have an employment contract. We monitor employee remuneration, benefits and working hours to ensure we meet local and European legislative requirements. Over the next 12 months we will continue to educate all employees on modern slavery at every level and in every department of the business in a format appropriate to their role.
We have assessed the risk of slavery occurring within our business. As a retailer, the most likely source of slavery occurring in our business is via the product supply chain. We have attempted to mitigate this by increasing our knowledge of our suppliers’ businesses and how they source materials and manufacture the products they supply. For our own-sourced products, we endeavour to trace back to factory level. This allows us to satisfy ourselves, and our customers, that the products are not created as a result of slavery.
Modern Slavery and our supply chain
We have built long-standing relationships with our supply chain and work with over 500 suppliers globally, sourcing our products from around 20 countries, including China, USA, India and Hong Kong, as well as European countries such as Spain, France and Italy. We understand that respecting human rights is ultimately our suppliers’ responsibility. However, as customers we recognise our involvement in ensuring that there are good working conditions for all workers, despite not owning the factories that supply our products. We fully support the government’s objectives to eradicate modern slavery. To that end, we work closely with our supply base, both UK-based and abroad, to ensure that they are compliant with a code of conduct that covers the following key areas:
- No forced labour.
- Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.
- Safe and hygienic working conditions.
- No child labour.
- Payment of living wages.
- Working hours are not excessive.
- No discrimination is practised.
- Regular employment is provided.
- No harsh or inhumane treatment.
Compliance with this code forms part of their contract to supply our company. Any suppliers found to be in breach of the Modern Slavery Act will be asked to take immediate action to improve conditions. Business relationships may be terminated swiftly if the required improvement is not forthcoming.
Due diligence process
In 2020 we continued to maintain a register of those suppliers signing up to the Scotts Code of Conduct or adopting their own similar policy. However, the global pandemic meant that travel and therefore factory visits were restricted. In 2021 we will continue to focus our due diligence on the higher risk areas of our supply chain, those suppliers based overseas. With continued travel restrictions we will look to utilise our local agent in the Far East for focused site visits.
Key performance indicators to measure the effectiveness of steps being taken.
In 2021 our key performance indicators will be assessed using the following parameters
- Training – equality and diversity, and Modern Slavery training will be given to all current staff and new starters. Going forward all staff will receive refresher training every two years.
- Regular reviews - a wider project team will constantly review and adjust current processes in our supply chain.
- Board level awareness – the Board of Directors and Senior Management Team will include Modern Slavery incidents and actions on the agenda every quarter.
We will continue to focus on our supply chain as this is where we recognise many of the issues could potentially reside. This statement is made in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes the Company’s modern slavery statement for the current financial year.
Approved by the Scotts & Co board on 10 June 2021.
Chairman – Scotts & Co
10 June 2021