Poundworld Retail Limited is one of the UK's leading value variety retailers with over 340 stores across the UK. Operating under the Poundworld and Bargain Buys brands, we serve more than two million customers every week and employ over 6,000 people nationwide.
We take a zero tolerance approach to slavery and human trafficking. As a retailer that sources products from a large number of suppliers, both in the UK, and from countries in Europe, South East Asia and China, we recognise that there is a risk, however small, that instances of slavery and human trafficking could occur within our supply chain. However, we support the promotion of ethical business practices and policies to protect workers from any kind of abuse or exploitation in relation to our business.
We source and import the vast majority of products from China through our trading arm, ITP Imports. Items sourced by ITP Imports are mainly machine manufactured goods, as opposed to handmade products that require a high degree of labour and hand tooling, therefore, the risk of slavery and human trafficking in the supply chain is low.
We are fully committed to taking appropriate steps to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place within our supply chains. As such, we are about to embark on an auditing programme of all key Tier 1 suppliers to ensure compliance with the business’s Ethical Trading Policy (see below) and contractual requirements. These audits will be carried out by our Quality Audit and Quality Control Team based in China, with support from the UK.
We are also developing a training programme for all relevant employees to ensure that there is complete awareness around the risks of slavery and human trafficking occurring in our supply chains, and all of our employees working in the sourcing team must now fully understand and sign the business’s Ethical Trading Policy.
Over the last 12 months, we have revised our procurement procedures, our terms and our conditions of supply. We have also introduced an Ethical Trading Policy (mentioned above), which can be viewed here: Ethical Trading Policy. We require all suppliers to comply with this policy before we will enter into any contractual arrangement with them. In addition to the Ethical Trading Policy, we have revised our new supplier due diligence process and documentation, and must now have confirmation of anti-slavery and human trafficking compliance with every supplier that we do business with.
Compliance with Poundworld’s Ethical Trading Policy and Anti Bribery and Corruption Policy is a condition of doing business with us. If we are aware of any instances where a supplier has a slavery or human trafficking issue, or a supplier fails to provide us with the requisite assurances, we will not do business with them.
In the event of any suspected failure by a supplier to comply with our Ethical Trading Policy, Poundworld will carry out a full investigation. In the event of a breach of this policy, we will review the relationship with the supplier and take the appropriate remedial action.
This statement is made under section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes Poundworld’s slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31 March 2016. This statement has been approved by Poundworld’s Board of Directors and will be reviewed annually.
Gerry Gray Chief Executive Officer 30th September 2016