Modern Slavery Statement
Thatchers Cider Modern Slavery Statement 2023
This statement describes the steps Thatchers Cider has taken to prevent modern slavery in its business and supply chains for the calendar year ending 31st December 2023 and is published in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
This modern slavery statement covers Thatchers (Myrtle Farm) Limited, and the following companies for which Thatchers (Myrtle Farm) Limited is the ultimate parent company: Thatchers Holdings Limited (Property), John Thatcher Farming Limited (Orchards), Thatchers Railway Inn Limited (Public House), and Thatchers Cider Company Limited (Manufacturing). When we refer to ‘Thatchers Cider’ in this statement it covers all of those companies unless stated otherwise.
Thatchers Cider was established in 1904 by William Thatcher. Martin Thatcher, our current Managing Director is a fourth-generation cider maker who has continued to successfully grow the business year on year, from a local farmhouse cidermaker to a national supplier, employing approximately 245 people. Our roots are firmly placed in heritage, family values and sustainability along with craft, expertise, and a passion for quality. We still make all of our cider at the original Myrtle Farm in Sandford. Thatchers Cider has a board of executive and non-executive directors, a senior management team, supervisors, and operational employees. Thatchers Cider has a modern slavery working group, made up with representatives from across the business that include the Operations Director, Customer Service Team Leader, Quality Technician and Supply Chain Administrator.
Supply Chains, Risk Assessment and Risk Management
Thatchers Cider has assessed its supplier list over the past year and cleansed the data on its systems, which has reduced its “live” approved suppliers list down to 577 who supply apples, raw materials, packaging and services predominantly from the United Kingdom however certain supplies come in from further abroad. All suppliers that are legally required to publish an annual modern slavery statement are asked to provide the details of their compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, the country of origin of their goods and services, copies of their relevant policies and procedures and advise of any incidences of modern slavery that have occurred in their business or supply chain and the remedial steps taken in these cases.
Any suppliers that are not legally required to have a modern slavery statement and therefore do not have their own appropriate policies are required to read this statement and provide written confirmation that they adhere to the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
Thatchers Cider compiles its suppliers responses onto its own systems and identifies any suppliers that have not provided the requested information, allowing further assessment. This would include a selection of follow up emails and phone calls to our suppliers contact points, followed by an escalation process through the management team, with the ultimate consequence resulting in a termination of supply. Suppliers are also referred to www.modernslaveryhelpline.org for further guidance.
If a Thatchers Cider employee suspects any supplier of being involved in modern slavery, they will raise the issue either directly with their Line Manager or by following the Thatchers Cider Whistleblowing Procedure, which gives the individual various routes of reporting issues including an anonymous direct link via email or phone to a third-party HR provider. This will then be reported to the relevant Director, who is required to investigate and communicate their findings to the wider Board of Directors. If those investigations confirm a breach of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 or identify reasonable suspicions that the supplier has not satisfactorily addressed, then Thatchers Cider will make the appropriate notifications to the relevant authorities and Unseen who will advise on the appropriate action to take with the supplier, which is proportionate and adapted to the consequences of the case. Thatchers Cider recognises that instigating and insisting on the implementation of a modern slavery remediation plan with the supplier rather than immediately terminating the relationship may cause less vulnerability and risk for victims.
Due Diligence Processes
Thatchers Cider due diligence includes;
- An approval process for new suppliers. As part of this process an in-depth quality assurance questionnaire is sent to each supplier, with 14 of the questions specific to modern slavery and ethical trading, covering employee training, compliance to minimum wage laws and auditing procedures.
- Implemented policies and procedures, including Whistleblowing, to allow concerns to be submitted to a Director of the company.
- Thatchers Cider monitors and reviews the good practice guidance published by the UK government in managing modern slavery risks (‘Transparency in Supply Chains: a practical Guide’).
- Thatchers Cider partnered with the charity “Unseen” (registered charity number 1127620), who provide guidance on tackling modern slavery in supply chains and monitoring for potential issues.
- During the last year, 35 employees in identified positions that may come into contact with modern slavery, have completed online modern slavery training, using the IHASCO platform.
- Unseen provided training on Modern Slavery for 100 of the wider Thatchers Cider team.
- The modern slavery working group, have contacted all of Thatchers Ciders suppliers; chased and filed responses; checked all responses for suitability and escalated all suppliers that failed to respond.
- In April 2022 Thatchers Cider conducted an internal audit, consisting of procedure reviews, visual inspections and documented checklists. The audit examined Thatchers Ciders recruitment processes, such as rights to work, working conditions and terms of employment, such as pay and working hours. This review found no evidence to suggest modern slavery or other exploitation.
- To complete a gap analysis with “Unseen” to identify any potential gaps in our current procedures.
- The working group will assess and act on the relevant areas identified from the Gap Analysis.
- To have a full modern slavery response from all of its 577 supplier base or have suitability dealt with non-response suppliers by the end of 2023.
- To conduct focussed training around procurement with the relevant people in the business.
- To complete a supplier risk assessment during 2023 / 2024 with “Unseen” to identify any potential high-risk suppliers.
Action taken in the past year
Thatchers Cider acknowledges that the areas within its business which are at the highest risk of modern slavery are procurement, farming and recruitment. Along with the outlined due diligence processes, Thatchers Cider do not currently use agency workers and employ all workers directly. If ever there was a reason for employing emergency agency workers, such as sickness cover, then Thatchers would audit the employment agency and ensure a service level agreement was put in place, to include vigilant checks around rights to works. Identification checks of any agency workers would also be carried out by Thatchers upon arrival at site. Thatchers would always treat agency workers equally to other members of staff.
Key Performance Indicators
During 2023, Thatchers Cider goals regarding Modern Slavery are;
This statement was approved by the Boards of Directors of Thatchers Cider Company Limited on 28/02/2023.
Gary Delafield, Operations Director for Thatchers Cider Company Limited, and authorised by their board resolutions to sign this statement on behalf of Thatchers Myrtle Farm Limited, Thatchers Holdings Limited, John Thatcher Farming Limited and Thatchers Railway Inn Limited.