Modern Slavery Act Statement
for the financial year ended 30 June 2019
KWS UK LIMITED is a family and value-oriented company. We live in the community together with our employees, and with farmers and trade partners. A respectful and reliable approach forms KWS foundation. We are committed to ensuring transparency with our suppliers and are mindful as to what steps can be taken, where necessary, to combat slavery and human trafficking. We operate in partnership with our suppliers and service providers within a very low risk industry. Despite this, throughout 2020 we have a strategy for further improving our practices.
We are committed to ensuring our employees, indeed all people, have dignity and intrinsic value, independent of the work they do. We treat our suppliers, and we treat each other, with respect. We vigilantly strive to meet the needs of those who use our services.
Our Code of Business Ethics includes the following:
- This Code of Business Ethics applies to all employees and directors at the KWS group worldwide. Every staff member is personally responsible to respect existing laws and ethical principles.
Discipline of Violation
- Every staff member is obliged to notify immediately of any actual or potential violation of the present Code of Business Ethics. The company will make sure that no staff member has to suffer discrimination or is adversely affected by reports done in good faith.
Fair Treatment of Employees
- Fairness and respectful relationships are of the highest priority for our company. Every staff member has to be aware of the fact that his conduct will be identified with the company. Therefore, we act friendly, objectively, and fair in our relations with colleagues and third persons.
This statement relates to KWS UK LIMITED, a company based in the UK.
KWS UK LIMITED is a subsidiary company within an international group, which is a wholly owned by KWS SAAT SE. This business is registered in Germany https://www.kws.com/gb/en/company/at-a-glance/
Headquartered in Einbeck, Germany, KWS Group has offices in 70 countries with capability to support our clients around the world. The Group has approximately 5,100 employees, including approx. 1,900 staff working in seed research and development.
The operating business of the KWS Group is managed in the three product segments of corn, sugar beet and cereals. KWS Group’s value chain extends from variety development to propagation and production of these varieties, to marketing and distribution to farmers around the world. Our global expertise and plant development services all work together to move potential new products through the development journey smoothly and cost-effectively.
KWS UK LIMITED has its registered office at 56 Church Street, Thriplow, Royston, Hertfordshire, SG8 7RE and our financial year is 1 July to 30 June.
OUR SUPPLY CHAINS
The aim of our breeding work is to offer every farmer varieties and solutions targeted to their needs.
Although operating in various locations, we believe that the risk of modern slavery for our business, and in our sector, is low. Our employees and contractors are largely professionals who have significant scientific and professional training. Our business does not operate in areas particularly at risk of slavery and human trafficking. We require our suppliers to comply with all UK laws, rules and regulations.
OUR POLICIES AND TRAINING ON SLAVERY AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING
KWS UK LIMITED is committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business. Our Code of Business Ethics reflects our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls.
All our employees are required to read and understand this code. Employees are expected to report concerns and management are expected to act upon them. Employees who fail to follow established guidelines and training are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
DUE DILIGENCE PROCESSES FOR SLAVERY AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING
As part of our initiative to identify and mitigate risk, we comply with the UK’s employment and social security laws. We do not tolerate slavery or human trafficking.
We have complete management visibility of all employees in the UK. Strict control is operated.
SUPPLIER ADHERENCE TO OUR VALUES
We are currently developing a programme whereby all our suppliers will be subject to reviews, as part of our consideration to do business with them. For example:
- we will request information about the direct suppliers’ supply chain
- we will put measures in place to make sure that the KWS Group Code of Business Ethics for Suppliers is signed by our suppliers. This Code of Business Ethics includes avoiding the use of forced labour and/or exploit child labour.
- where it is deemed to be appropriate by KWS we may carry out audits at our supplier’s facilities and monitor adherence to the KWS Group Code of Business Ethics for Suppliers.
If at any point a supplier does not meet its obligations, and/or we suspect or know of slave labour and human trafficking issues, we will discontinue the use of that supplier. This is unlikely to happen given the context of the industry in which we operate.
We have in place systems to:
- Make our suppliers sign KWS Group Code of Business Ethics for Suppliers..
- Identify and assess potential risk areas in our supply chains.
- Monitor potential risk areas in our supply chains.
- Protect whistle blowers.
Whilst we will have processes in place, it is important to note that we are in the process of liaising with various parties to ensure that slavery and human trafficking issues are sufficiently dealt with and this may mean delegation to others.
We are confident that within our own business there are no issues with slavery and human trafficking, and we are committed to preserving our excellent reputation.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 30 June 2019.
ANDREW NEWBY (For and on behalf of KWS UK LIMITED 4th August 2020)