Behrens - Modern Slavery Statement 2019

Modern Slavery Statement 2019

Introduction

This statement has been published in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015. It sets out the steps taken by the Behrens Group during 2019 to prevent modern slavery and human trafficking in its business and supply chains.

Our business

As Manchester’s oldest textile company, we have been supplying fabrics and finished products into all areas of the textile wholesale and retail markets for close to 200 years. Ever since the industrial revolution, international trade has been an integral part of our operations and our well-established sourcing & distribution networks currently spread across five continents: Europe, Asia, North America, South America and Africa. The Behrens of today is a sixth-generation family-owned business, managed by the descendants of Sir Jacob Behrens who established the company in 1834

Policy

The Behrens Group Ethical Purchasing Policy (EPP) sets out our commitment to worker rights and our expectations of our suppliers. It is based on the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code. Clause 1 of the code states that employment must be freely chosen, with no forced, bonded or involuntary labour.

The EPP is approved and signed by the Managing Director and can be found on www.behrens co.uk. It is applicable to all suppliers of goods and services.

Suppliers trading with the Partnership are expected to be compliant in meeting their contractual requirements and all relevant Behrens Group policies, including the EPP. In applying the policy, suppliers must also comply with all relevant national and other applicable laws.

Risk Assessment

We operate the Labour Standards Assurance System (LSAS) adopted by the NHS to manage our supply chain. Risk assessment forms a large part of LSAS. We are independently audited each year to ensure compliance. Risk assessment forms a large part of LSAS.

Effectiveness

Our due diligence processes are robust and help us to uncover areas in our supply chains where the risks of modern slavery are greatest. However, modern slavery is a criminal activity and the signs can often be difficult to identify, so tools such as ethical audits can only get us so far. That is why we go further with the initiatives described in this statement During 2018/19, the Behrens Group did not identify instances of modern slavery in its supply chain