🌱 Slavery in UK SME Supply Chains: How can your business can help?
Featuring Tony Chocolonely, Mackie's of Scotland, TRIBE Freedom Foundation, innocent drinks and more...
This week we cover:
Foodies Fighting Slavery: How TRIBE Freedom Foundation are teaming with the UK government to fight exploitation in food supply chains
Tony’s Chocolonely: Shaking up the chocolate industry, bean by bean
In case you missed it: Bread & Jam’s Future Summit: Key Sustainability Lessons From Leading Challenger Brands.
> Good News Last Week
🎯 Mackie's of Scotland installs T-FIT® Unique Insulation Technology high-performance insulation to save energy and increase service life of pipeworks, in an aim to become ‘Britain’s greenest business.’
🎯 innocent drinks introduced their Carbon Neutral Orange Juice, certified by the South Pole Climate Neutral Product certification scheme and unveiled The Big Rewild in partnership with THE ORCHARD PROJECT (CAUSE) LTD to create new urban orchards.
🎯 BrewDog joins forces with sustainable plant-based pioneers TiNDLE Foods on the launch of their chicken alternative dishes in the UK. The partnership will mean over 50% of the dishes on offer in every UK BrewDog Bar will be plant-based, and served alongside a core beer range which is 95% vegan friendly.
⭐️ Luxury fashion group LVMH and Italian brand Fendi are working with Imperial College London and Central Saint Martins, University of The Arts London to develop lab-grown fur fibres using keratin, in a move away from the plastic alternatives.
⭐️ Nestlé Nespresso SA is a freshly certified B Corp certification with a score of 84.3 points.
⭐️ Burger King becomes with first fast-food brand to trial reusable packaging in partnership with Loop, as part of its plans to reduce carbon emissions, by 41% in value chain emissions per restaurant by 2030. The restaurant chain has also pledged to 0% single-use plastic by 2025.
⭐️ Tesco has set a target of removing plastic from a total of five billion products sold by 2025, in an aim to accelerate their 4R’s strategy.
⭐️ Asda has announced the ‘All Good Food Fund’ in partnership with FareShare UK to suppliers with the extra costs involved in redistributing surplus food. Asda has committed to cut food waste in their operations and the supply chain to deliver a 20% reduction by 2025 and a 50% reduction by 2030.
> Click on each link to read more.
> Quick Take
Foodies Fighting Slavery: How TRIBE are bringing justice to food supply chains
‘Foodies Fighting Slavery’ is a new campaign launched by TRIBE Freedom Foundation, in collaboration with the UK Anti-Slavery Commissioner and STOP THE TRAFFIK, seeking to empower SMEs with the resources and knowledge to tackle modern slavery within their supply chains.
The Food & Drink Industry has a crucial role to play in combating modern slavery worldwide. SMEs make up 97% of this industry but lack the knowledge and, equally crucially, the resources to take action. Their overall goal for the 12-month project is to mobilise and empower 5,000+ UK Food & Drink SMEs with the tools, the impetus and the know-how to take action against modern slavery.
There are currently an estimated 16 million people trapped in forced labour across the private sector and it has been found that labour exploitation exists at every level of the global food industry. Although below the threshold of the UK Modern Slavery Act, SMEs make up 97% of the UK Food and Drink industry. As highlighted by Dame Sara Thornton:
“SMEs have a really key role to play… It’s clear that SMEs have “huge intent and desire to do the right thing” but there is “concern about how you do that.”
"The Food & Drink Industry has a crucial role to play in combating modern slavery worldwide and SMEs make up the vast majority of this sector, 97% in total. By failing to address the risks of modern slavery across their businesses, they are enabling this horrific crime to continue. However, this need not be the case. There are a number of exciting initiatives helping to drive change and we want to highlight the opportunities to create an impact as these positive initiatives will be amplified where more businesses join the agenda to work collaboratively and fight modern slavery in their supply chains." Laragh O'Malley, TRIBE Freedom Foundation
The Foodies Fighting Slavery team have found that SMEs within the food and drink industry are currently lacking both the support and the resources to manage the risks of modern slavery within their supply chains. To understand this, they have been working with SMEs to uncover the main barriers which prevent modern slavery from being addressed, and demonstrate the need for ‘simple, practical guidance’, regarding “where to start” and “how to overcome these initial barriers.”
The Foodies Fighting Slavery toolkit (keep an eye TRIBE’s blog for news) will provide clearly signposted guidance on how SMEs can start to address the risks of modern slavery across their operations as well as guidance on “going the extra mile”; from looking at engaging with growers, to championing supply chain transparency and working with survivors. The project seeks to inspire and empower SMEs to take on the challenge, as well as help to raise awareness of the issue amongst wider industries and consumers, to create a collaborative, powerful network of food and drink SMEs all doing the same.
Want to take action?
Learn about the risks your business could be exposed to
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved
> Brand Spotlight
Unwrapping Tony’s Chocolonely’s impact strategy
Recent winner of the Stop Slavery Award 2022, Tony’s Chocolonely have been shaking up the chocolate industry, cocoa bean by cocoa bean. The Dutch start-up is pioneering ethical chocolate practices and challenging the market leaders such as Cadburys and Hershey’s to tackle and eliminate child slavery in their supply chain.
Since day 1, Tony’s main aim has been to disrupt the chocolate industry. In a radical move, founder Tuen van de Keuken famously requested to be prosecuted for knowingly purchasing an illegally manufactured product.
As a mission-led business, Tony’s has set out a roadmap to make 100% slave free the norm in the chocolate industry. Here’s how they’re doing it.
Empowering farmers and the cocoa communities is central to Tony’s mission. With increased knowledge and understanding they can make informed decisions and take responsibility to fight child labour.
“As long as the chocolate industry remains undivided, our chocolate bar will too”
Each Tony’s chocolate bar is made up of uneven sized pieces to demonstrate the inequality within the cocoa supply chain. Tony’s creates awareness for choco fans and retailers to join them and actively demand slave-free chocolate.
Leading by example
Tony’s shows that running a successful business can be achieved with traceable cocoa and slave free supply chains. It’s not all been plain sailing, though: their work with chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut has come under scrutiny, and Tony’s was taken off the Slave Free Chocolate List for their partnership. However, Tony’s maintain that they are leading by example and working with Barry Callebaut to demonstrate full traceability at scale and show ‘Big Cocoa’ that it can be done.
Inspiring others to act
Through sharing their impact and knowledge, Tony’s inspires other key players to act. They seek partners to implement their model and work with government, NGOs and academics to increase the pressure on the industry to adopt their 5 sourcing principles. Not only will this eliminate slavery, but investing in the supply chain will build resilience and value to the people and communities.
Tony’s 5 sourcing principles for slave-free cocoa:
Traceable cocoa beans - trade directly with farmers and follow the bean through the supply chain from farm to fork.
A higher price - pay farmers a living wage and develop long-term contracts to give farmers security and enable their resilience to external pressures. Increased stability brings the reduction in leaning on child slavery for lower labour costs. In addition to the Fairtrade premium, Tony’s pays farmers their own premium to help enable farmers have a living income. 9.2% of the retail price of the bar goes directly to the farmers. help enable farmers have a living income.
Strong farmers - work to professionalise farming cooperatives as collective strength empowers farms to structurally change the inequality in the value chain.
The long-term - give farmers income security through a commitment to sales at a higher price for 5-years.
Improved quality and productivity - provide training to farmers and build agricultural knowledge and skills.
Tony’s cannot claim perfection in supply chain ethics, reporting in their 2020/2021 FAIRE Report the existence of child labour within their supply chain. The brand have argued that finding it (and, crucially, reporting it) is necessary before being able to eliminate it and make the change. With a brand mission to structurally change a whole industry, Tony’s evidently has a long way to go. On a hugely promising note, key leaders within the chocolate industry are finally making pledges for traceable supply chains, steps are already being made.
Support Tony’s Chocolonely via their shop:
> In case you missed it
Bread & Jam’s Future Summit: Key Sustainability Lessons From Leading Challenger Brands.
Hear from innocent drinks, TRIBE, Minor Figures, Abel & Cole and more...
Follow up with…
Article: Slavery In Supply Chains
Documentary: Rotten: Bitter Chocolate