Forest Garden

Modern Slavery Act 2015 Statement Financial year – 1st April 2019 to 31st March 2020

This statement is made pursuant to Section 54, Part 6 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and sets out the steps that Forest Garden Group has taken to prevent slavery and human trafficking from taking place in our supply chains or in any part of the business.

About Forest Garden Group

Forest Garden was founded in 1974 with the aim of supplying high quality timber products to the UK garden market. Today they are the UK’s largest producer and distributor of timber garden products. The timber is sourced from the United Kingdom (UK) and products sold via many different household branded suppliers. The Forest Garden Group has an annual turnover in excess of £90 million

Forest Garden Group supplies products throughout the year, however there is a peak in the business between March and May where Forest Garden Group employs roughly 500 staff across its Group sites and distribution network, with up to 50% of which are supplied via Labour Providers. Labour that is supplied by Labour Providers are mainly migrant workers.

Forest Garden are committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business. Our Anti-Modern Slavery policy reflects our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships by implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to combat and prevent Modern Slavery.

We expect our Labour Providers to have in place a robust system of recruitment that identifies the source of the employee. We also expect that awareness training that includes the ‘signs and triggers’ of Modern Slavery to be delivered to all key staff in the recruitment process.

Supply Chain

 Forest brand has its heritage in retail garden centres and has long been synonymous with high-quality garden products. Today, our range can be found in many garden centres, building centres and supermarkets throughout the UK.

We want our customers to be confident that our business partners and in particular our suppliers treat their employees as fairly as we treat our own employees. Imported products sourced from outside the UK or EEC are potentially more at risk of slavery or human trafficking issues, and we focus our efforts accordingly. Where possible we have built long standing relationships with our suppliers and we make very clear our expectations of business behaviour, engaging only those suppliers that uphold the same principles as ourselves. In the event that suppliers fail to take steps to cease or prevent adverse human rights impacts, Forest will terminate its business relationships with those suppliers.

Due Diligence

As part of our robust initiative to identify and mitigate any risk of Modern Slavery in our business, we are carrying out due diligence on suppliers in high-risk areas and have developed robust methods for effective assessment and auditing of our supply chain.

Where risk assessment identifies risk the following will happen:

Level of Risk identified in risk assessmentAction
HIGHConsideration will be given to reducing the supply from the company and in the worst case scenario seekto cease the contract.
MEDIUMAn action plan will be agreed and Forest Garden will work in collaboration with their suppliers to minimise the risk

We meet and talk with all our Labour Providers on a regular basis to ensure they are aligned with our values and vision in respect of ethics. We stipulate that they train all their staff on specific training relating to Modern Slavery.

We have introduced a basic English language requirement whereby agency workers must pass a basic numeracy and literacy test. A basic level of English has been set to be attained by all our workforce in a reasonable period of time to facilitate better communication, social and workplace integration and the best defence against potential exploitation.

Our in-house Forest Freedom anti-slavery project began in 2017.  As well as training and a poster campaign we have installed a confidential phone line for employees to report any concerns or issues they may have.

Policies

As well as a modern slavery policy a number of other policies have been introduced

  • Ethical Trading Code of Conduct Policy which outlines requirements which all business associates must uphold in relation to their own employees and throughout their own supply. The code includes requirements that employment is freely chosen, child labour shall not be used, freedom of association and no harsh or inhumane treatment shall occur.
  • Migrant Working Policy This is specifically intended to protect workers who may be potentially vulnerable to exploitation in the course of international migration. The policy contains requirements including but not limited to, the withholding of passports and similar documents and the levying of recruitment fees.
  • Responsible Sourcing Policy reinforces our commitment of working together with our suppliers towards a long-term, sustainable and successful future for all parties.

Training

Working with Hope for Justice we have delivered Moderns Slavery Awareness training to our Board Members, Management Teams, Supervisors and all staff in key positions.

Modern Slavery awareness is now covered in Induction training and we are working with Hope for Justice and the Slave Free Alliance who are training our internal auditors.

KPIs

  • Number of employees receiving Modern Slavery Awareness training
  • Number of Forest Garden Group sites assesses as ‘High Risk’
  • Number of Labour Providers assessed as ‘High Risk’
  • Number of internal/external audits undertaken
  • Number of referrals to Hope for Justice
  • Number of Suppliers signing Service Level Agreement

External Partnerships and Continuous Improvement Initiatives

  1. We originally partnered with Hope for Justice, an anti-slavery organisation in early 2017. They will continue to assist with providing Modern Slavery training, and work with us to carry out risk assessments of our supply chains and provide a pathway for any victim of Modern Slavery that requires support and assistance.
  2. We provide support to Hope for Justice to ensure that other businesses and organisations can learn from our practices. The objective is to encourage greater collaboration between the parties facing this issue and to build an intelligence and knowledge sharing cohort.
  3. We are now proud members of the Slave Free Alliance.
  4. We share our ethical audits with customers and suppliers to work towards a greater transparency on our supply chains.

Signed on Behalf of Forest Garden Group:

Guy Grainger

Group CEO  

Date: 1st April 2019       

Review Date: 31st March 2020

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

Forest Garden Ltd 2017 to 2018 Gender Pay Gap Data

  • Difference in mean hourly rate of pay 2.1%
  • Difference in median hourly rate of pay 5.9%
  • Difference in mean bonus pay 22.3%
  • Difference in median bonus pay 13.3%

Percentage of employees who received bonus pay

Male81.2%
Female23.5%
Employees by pay quartileMaleFemale
Upper quartile82%18%
Upper middle quartile89%11%
Lower middle quartile83%17%
Lower quartile79%21%

Number of employees within the organisation: 500 to 999