Modern Slavery Statement

 

Costcutter Supermarkets Group Ltd (“CSGL”) is committed to ensuring that slavery, servitude, forced labour and human trafficking does not occur within its business or in any part of its supply chain. CSGL seeks to act ethically and with transparency in all its dealings and requires the same standards from its suppliers, contractors and business partners.

 

Nature of Business

 

CSGL is one of the largest symbol groups in the UK with over 1,500 franchise stores trading under the brands Costcutter, Mace, Supershop, and Kwiksave. Founded in 1986 the organisation employs over 600 people nationwide with offices in York, Belfast and through a number of company-owned convenience stores within the community. Originally a family owned business CSGL is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Bestway Wholesale Limited, the largest independent food wholesaler in the UK, with over 60 Bestway and Batleys depots across England, Scotland and Wales.

 

Our commitment

 

CSGL is part of the Bestway Group of companies with the ultimate parent company being Bestway Group Limited. The Bestway Group of companies fully endorse the aims of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the “Act”) and take a zero-tolerance approach to slavery and human trafficking in their supply chains and across their business. CSGL is committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking within its own business and in its transactions with other businesses.

 

Employees

 

CSGL respects and supports the rights of those employed by the organisation by ensuring that:

 

  • All employees are eligible to work in the UK to safeguard against human trafficking and protect those who may be forced to work against their will;
  • All employees are provided with a safe and healthy workplace;
  • All employees are provided with a workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment of any kind;
  • Concerns can be raised by any employee without fear or repercussion pursuant to the organisation’s Whistleblowing Policy; and
  • Standards and principles as detailed in the organisation’s Corporate Ethics, Bribery and Anti- Corruption Policy are communicated to employees and that corruption in all forms is

 

Continuing to Operate in the ongoing Pandemic

 

This year our teams have continued to work through the exceptional conditions associated with the Coronavirus Covid -19 pandemic. Through the various national and local restrictions maintaining our supply chain to our customers who serve local communities has been a vital lifeline for many. Despite a further year of unprecedented restrictions and our colleagues working in exceptionally difficult circumstances we have remained focused on our commitments in this statement.

 

Suppliers

 

In 2018 CSGL appointed Nisa Retail Limited (who were acquired by the Co-operative Group (“the Co- op”) in 2018 and are now operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Co-op) as its principal supplier. The organisation works closely with Nisa in relation to the supply of goods. The Co-op is a member of Sedex (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange), an organisation which helps our supplier manage suppliers’ performance on labour rights, as well as other matters such as health and safety, the environment and business ethics.

CSGL has implemented a Procurement and Supplier Management Policy setting out standards and principles that must be adhered to in all procurement. As part of its due diligence process CSGL will require all new suppliers to provide details of its procedures to prevent slavery, servitude, forced labour and human trafficking. In addition CSGL requires that all suppliers comply with local and national laws and regulations.

 

CSGL will not work with any organisation or individual that has been found to be knowingly involved in modern slavery or corruption.

 

Reporting

 

The Bestway Group of companies positively encourage employees to report any unlawful activity and/or any activity which may be in breach of policies and procedures through the Whistleblowing Policy. This includes any circumstances which may give rise to an enhanced risk of slavery or human trafficking.

 

Actions Achieved

 

Since publication of the Modern Slavery Statement for the financial year ending 31 December 2021, Bestway Wholesale Limited acquired CSGL and has undertaken the following:

 

  1. Integration of CSGL and the Bestway Retail business unit within the Bestway Wholesale We have established a broader business wide Steering Group; we have identified 12 Modern Slavery Champions across the organisation. They will work together ongoing to deliver our Modern Slavery Commitment throughout our wider business and supply chain.
  2. We have developed a new Modern Slavery Toolkit, so all practice, policy and learning is available to managers and colleagues to utilise in their
  3. We have developed modern slavery posters which we plan to distribute to all of our depots, shops, distribution centres and offices with information on where to seek help and how to report concerns. This information will also be part of our induction process and available through various sources including our intranet

 

Next steps

 

The Board of Directors of CSGL have ultimate responsibility for the implementation of policies and procedures, including those related to ethical trading and modern slavery. The Board of Directors of CSGL is committed to implementing the following measures:

 

  1. Conducting ongoing analysis of our supply chain highlighting key risk areas, outputs of which will be discussed on a regular basis with the Modern Slavery Steering Group with a view to identifying ways to inform suppliers about the identified
  2. Establishing the role of the newly identified Modern Slavery Champions in the business, including updating the Board of Directors on progress made against our commitments throughout the
  3. Defining, publishing and delivering a series of training for all colleagues across our business using the newly developed Modern Slavery
  4. Providing the Modern Slavery Toolkit to our suppliers, obtaining assurances they either have similar materials available already in their business which they are using or that they will implement training and briefings with colleagues using the provided

 

 

 

Board Approval

 

This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes CSGL’s slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31 December 2020. It was approved by the board on 30 June 2021.

 

Dawood Pervez, Managing Director Costcutter Supermarkets Group Limited

Date:

30 June 2021