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Modern Slavery Act

Modern slavery is still an issue in the 21st century. Its forms include, but not limited to, forced labour, human trafficking, domestic servitude and forced marriage. Resolving this issue requires a joint effort from all industries, including food manufacturing.

This statement has been published in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and highlights the actions taken by Marlow Foods Ltd and its subsidiaries trading as Quorn Foods, (collectively “Marlow Foods”, “the Company”, “we” or “us”) to prevent human trafficking and slavery in its own operations and its full supply chain during the financial year ending 31st December 2023 and its continuous progress plans for 2024-2025.

Our Business

Marlow Foods is a wholly owned subsidiary of Monde Nissin (UK) Limited whose ultimate parent is Monde Nissin Corporation, a major international food business based in the Philippines.

The Company specialises in the production of food products made from mycoprotein, a nutritionally healthy meat-free source of protein. Research began with Lord Rank in the 1960s and by the 1980s, the Quorn brand and food products began to sell to consumers.

The Company manufactures, distributes and sells Quorn branded products in the UK, Europe, Asia Pacific and the United States of America, alongside Cauldron plant-based branded products in the UK, and mycoprotein under Marlow Ingredients.

Our Purpose, Ambition and Values

In 2020 the Company Purpose & Ambition were clearly defined and shared, and Values were co-created by all members of staff and clearly defined as follows:

Purpose: To Provide Healthy Food for People and the Planet.

Ambition: By 2030 the Company will:

  • Provide 8 billion servings in a single year. That is equivalent to one serving of great tasting food for every person in the world.
  • Within its own operations, have net zero emissions.
  • Have a net positive impact on the planet, the health of people and the team that delivers it.

Values: The Company’s purpose and ambition is underpinned by its four core values:

  • Stronger Together
  • Make Lives Better
  • Strive to be the Best
  • Think Big, Act with Courage

Our People

The Company provided employment to 855 people as of 31st December 2023. Most of our colleagues are based at one of our three UK sites (Belasis, Stokesley and Methwold) with a smaller proportion based out of our Leeds office and international employees in the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Germany and the USA.

By the end of 2023, some of our employees were represented by two unions. The Company offers competitive benefit packages to all employees, including pension contribution up to 5%, flexible buy and sell holiday scheme, VDU eye check, virtual GP and cycle-to-work scheme. Base salaries at Marlow Foods are above the National Living Wage and benchmarked using independent external bodies.

Our Supply Chain

Our supply chain is extensive, from globally sourced raw materials to international distribution routes to our customers.

We have long standing relationships with many suppliers both in the UK and overseas. We aim to work with suppliers that are like-minded and share our values. We do however recognise that modern slavery is predominantly a hidden crime, and we have a role to play in uncovering and eradicating it, if present, in our supply chain.

One key tool that we use to aid risk identification is the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX), which enables us to view suppliers’ ethical trade data. We have been members since 2014, and we encourage our suppliers to register and connect with us on SEDEX.

Our Commitment

In line with our purpose and values, we are committed to reviewing and continuously improving our systems and processes for identifying modern slavery and human trafficking risks within our operations and our supply chain.

We are committed to preventing slavery, forced labour, harmful child labour and human trafficking in all our activities and require that our suppliers have the same commitment. Our contracts with labour providers and recruitment agencies make provision for their responsibility to ensure appropriate anti-slavery statements and pro-active checks are in place.

As a responsible company, we always strive to do the right thing. We continue to review our current policies and introduce new policies when needed to help us meet this objective. We are committed to communicating openly and transparently with all stakeholders to ensure that our zero-tolerance stance is shared by everyone we work with.

Our Policies

As well as our standard terms and conditions and agreed supplier contracts, we have in place relevant policies and whistleblowing mechanisms to help our business identify and mitigate any potential risk of modern slavery internally and externally, as well as providing suitable support for our colleagues to conduct themselves appropriately while representing the Company. These include:

  1. Right to Work: The Company complete right to work checks for all employees as part of part of the pre-employment checks stated in the recruitment policy.
  2. Equal Opportunities: Marlow Foods is an equal opportunity employer. The Company is committed to ensuring equal opportunities, fairness of treatment, dignity, work-life balance, and the elimination of all forms of discrimination in the workplace for all employees and job applicants. The Company aims to create a working environment in which all individuals can make best use of their skills, free from discrimination or harassment, and in which all decisions are based on merit.
  3. Bullying and Harassment: The Company has an aim to provide a working environment that respects the rights of each employee and where colleagues treat each other with respect. Any behaviour that undermines this aim is unacceptable.
  4. Bribery and Corruption: Marlow Foods does not tolerate any form of bribery and corruption, including any form of unethical inducement or payment including facilitation payments and “kick-backs”.
  5. Whistleblowing Policy and Monde Nissin Integrity Hotline: Integrity is non-negotiable to Monde Nissin. To succeed, we need our employees to believe in our Company. The Whistleblowing Policy aims to provide a platform for employees, business partners and other stakeholders to raise serious and sensitive concerns; and to ensure that such concerns are treated seriously and appropriately. The Monde Nissin Integrity Hotline is an independent confidential channel for all Monde Nissin employees to raise their concerns relating to workplace fraud and misconduct. This hotline is completely anonymous and is independently operated by a third party.

Actions in 2023-2024

  1. Supplier reviews

During the past few years, we carried out a programme of supplier review. For our raw material and packaging suppliers, such reviews are routine between one and four years, tying in with the food safety certification audit, and include compliance, legislative and policy compliance and aspects that support our requirements and expectations in terms of modern slavery prevention. Suppliers need to fill out our Supplier Audit Questionnaire (SAQ) which includes a section on ethical issues.

All existing suppliers are required to comply with the Modern Slavery Act (2015) and to encourage such compliance within their own supply chain. Suppliers are also contractually obliged to provide information related to supply chain audits and compliance activities if required.

Recently launched, the Marlow Foods Supplier Code of Conduct formally consolidates and builds upon all existing principles and practices expected across our supply chain, from all suppliers, including topics of ethics and human rights.

  1. Awareness raising

Employees were periodically and continually refreshed with respect to Quorn’s policies, values and expectations. They are provided with a confidential facility to disclose any concerns that they may have about slavery and/or human trafficking or human rights issues in our Company or our supply chain by invoking our whistleblowing policy.

In 2023-2024, we delivered an awareness raising campaign on modern slavery topic to key colleagues across the business, including the HR team, cross-functional sustainability champion group and senior team leaders at one of our manufacturing sites. They are expected to cascade the anti-slavery message to their wider teams.

  1. Self-assessment

Besides reviewing our suppliers, we have also assessed ourselves against the EcoVadis questionnaire and been awarded a bronze medal. The scorecard can be shared with our suppliers and customers once requested.

In terms of HR practices, we started reviewing employee data to ensure no alert flags on modern slavery such as shared home address or bank accounts in 2023 and will continue this quarterly practice. Our HR team has also reviewed all policies, including those mentioned above and adding Ethical Trading policy to rest assured they give clear guidance on our stance regarding those topics.

2024-2025 Plans and Progress

As a business, the Company has big ambitions underpinned by strong values and a belief that we can make a difference and provide healthy food for people and the planet. As such our commitment to eradicating modern slavery, if it occurs, within our supply chain and beyond grows in importance.

The Company have therefore set up a cross functional team of colleagues who will champion continuous improvement and development across the following areas:

  1. Raising awareness

    • Cascading the awareness raising campaign to all shift managers, familiarising themselves with red flags of modern slavery and forced labour. With their close relationship to all shift operatives, they can be great champions and share the message to the wider group.
    • Including anti-slavery to our induction package for permanent supply chain colleagues
    • Continuing to raise awareness about modern slavery across the business through multiple communication channels like intranet, videos and site posters.
  2. With suppliers

    • As part of the new vendor approval process going forward, it is mandatory for all new suppliers to comply with the Marlow Foods Supplier Code of Conduct.
    • A roll-out programme across all our existing suppliers of the Supplier Code of Conduct has now commenced with over 50% by spend to be aligned by the end of 2024.
    • Over the next 2-4 years, 100% of all suppliers to Marlow Foods shall align and sign up to the Marlow Foods Supplier Code of Conduct.
    • Identifying indirect suppliers with high-risk potential and requesting evidence of their actions on anti-slavery, such as their modern slavery statement and awareness raising practices.
    • Delivering an annual GLAA's Active Checks for labour providers on their license.
  3. Supply chain

    • Completing the SEDEX questionnaire, followed by a gap analysis evaluation to improve our internal performance.
    • Requesting our suppliers to share their EcoVadis scorecards if they are on the platform.
    • Continuing to interrogate responses on ethical issues during our Food Safety Audits.

Statement Approval

I am pleased to approve this statement for Marlow Foods Limited as Chief Executive Officer on behalf of the board, my management and leadership teams and all the Quorn Foods colleagues. This statement will be reviewed annually.

Marco Bertacca, Chief Executive Officer

June 2024

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