Statement of compliance for the year ended 31 December 2017
This statement is made pursuant to section 54, Part 6 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the “Act”) and sets out the steps that PGI Group Ltd and its subsidiaries (the “Group”) have taken and will be taking to ensure, as far as possible, that modern slavery and human trafficking is not taking place either within the Group, or in the supply chains of our businesses.
PGI Group Ltd is a UK based ultimate holding company that owns businesses in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe in Southern Africa. Our companies operate farms and processing factories that produce tea, roses and macadamia nut kernels which are sold into European branded food manufacturers. We also generate electricity from our hydroelectric power schemes, which transmit electricity into the national grid of Zimbabwe. We are a large employer of people in Southern Africa with over 13,000 employees working for the Group.
The Group does not permit slavery, forced labour, child labour, or any use of force or coercion in its operations.
Local management regularly undertakes internal checks and assessments to satisfy themselves that there is no slavery or human trafficking taking place within our businesses. Group directors make regular visits to each operating location to ensure our employee standards are being implemented and upheld. Our employees throughout the Group are encouraged to speak freely without fear of reprisal and this is supported by an employee whistleblowing policy.
We comply with the employment laws of the countries in which we operate and we require those with whom we do business to do the same. We aim to provide higher standards for our employees than those required by local labour laws and we seek to improve upon them by implementing labour and social standards emanating from our external accreditation bodies, which include Ethical Tea Partnership, Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade, UTZ and MPS-ECAS. These bodies require an audit of the Group’s employment practices as part of maintaining the accreditations.
A significant part of our tea supply chain is from the purchasing of green tea from smallholder growers (tier one suppliers) who are typically very small family businesses operating at a subsistence level. We recognise that this part of our business could pose a heightened risk of linkage to modern slavery. To mitigate this, we require each smallholder to comply with all local labour laws and to be accredited to at least two of the international standards of Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ, each of whom require an audit to maintain accreditation.
Surrounding all our businesses are smallholder farmers located on communal land. For many years we have worked hard to ensure that the wider communities in which we operate do benefit from our actions through development projects in water & sanitation, education, health and, more recently, in extending the electricity grid to their villages. Click here to link to the CSR page of our website
During the year we have continued to support and develop our smallholder growers by helping them produce good quality tea and we continue to monitor their activities to ensure compliance with the Act. We recognise that there may always be risks of linkage to modern slavery in the countries where we invest, but to mitigate the risks, as far as resources permit, we aim to take the following steps over the next year:
a) Monitoring potential risk areas in our tier one supply chains on an on-going basis, as time permits, which will be carried out by our local management teams
b) Ensuring as far as possible that our expectations are clearly communicated regarding compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 to our tier one suppliers and contractors
c) Inclusion of modern slavery as part of the internal audit scope
This statement was approved by the Board of PGI Group Ltd on 6th December 2017 and signed on its behalf by:
PGI Group Ltd