This statement has been published in line with the Modern Slavery Act 2015. It outlines the measures taken by Alpro UK Ltd. to prevent slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour (Modern Slavery) in our business and supply chains.
Alpro’s mission is to change the way the world eats for the better. We care for people and for the planet. We rely on our brilliant brands, building strong relationships with our customers and partners, care and invest in Alpro employees.
At Alpro, everything we do must respect our ethical standards and the laws of all countries where we operate. Our Business Code of Conduct sets out our commitment to our stakeholders and the standards of behaviour to which all of us at Alpro must adhere. This is vital not only for the effectiveness and the sustainability of our business, but also for the continued reinforcement of our dual economic and social commitments.
On April 12th 2017, the acquisition of the WhiteWave Foods Company by Danone SA, which includes Alpro UK Ltd, was finalized. As a consequence of this acquisition, Alpro became part of a company which is completely aligned with its own values.
Already in 1972, Antoine Riboud, Danone’s founder and former CEO, stressed the “dual project” of Danone, which is a commitment to ensure that economic success is balanced with social progress, in the sense that company growth cannot and should not happen at the expense of Danone’s corporate and social responsibility: “Corporate responsibility does not end at the factory gate or the office door. The jobs a business creates are central to the lives of employees, and the energy and raw materials we consume change the shape of our planet […]. It is clear that growth should no longer be an end in itself, but rather a tool used to serve the quality of life without ever being detrimental to it.”
Both Alpro and Danone strongly believe that people are their greatest assets, as we work with thousands of people in order to produce, source and sell our great products.
The creation of social and economic value is at the heart of what Alpro has been doing for more than 40 years. With and through Danone, we will further build our impact for a better world, were we will make a difference to our company, our planet and the communities with whom we share the world with.
Organizational structure and supply chain
Alpro is part of Danone, a world leading food company with headquarter in Paris. Danone is present in more than 130 countries across five continents with over 100,000 employees. Alpro’s headquarter is based in Ghent, Belgium, with factories in Wevelgem (Belgium), Issenheim (France), Kettering (UK) and commercial offices in Ghent (Belgium), Birmingham (UK), Breda (the Netherlands) and Düsseldorf (Germany) and other European countries.
Steps taken in 2018
Gradual adoption of Danone’s policies
Subsequent of the acquisition by Danone, Alpro’s policies and procedures are in the process of being gradually aligned with Danone’s policies and procedures. This also goes for Alpro’s Ethical Charter, which has been replaced by Danone’s Sustainability & Ethical Principles as well as Alpro’s Code of Business Conduct, which has been replaced by Danone’s Code of Business Conduct.
(a) External policies
Danone Sustainability & Ethical Principles
All suppliers contracting with Alpro must accept these principles as these are part of their contract. Alpro cannot work with a supplier who refuses to accept these key principles.
By accepting these principles, a supplier commits i.a. to respect 7 social principles which are based on the international labour standards defined by the International Labour Organisation:
The supplier does not employ children aged under 15. If the law sets a higher minimum working age or compulsory schooling is to a higher age, it is this limit that applies. Educational programs and training are not included in this limitation.
The supplier does not use forced or compulsory labour, meaning any work or service performed under threat or that is not consented to by the person concerned. This refers to the three following Principles:
- Every worker should have freedom of movement and freedom to leave employment subject to normal contractual provisions. The ability of workers to move freely should not be restricted by the Company through physical restriction (confinement) abuse, practices such as retention of passports and valuable possessions, threat of reporting illegal workers to the authorities or the menace of any form of penalties.
- No worker should pay for a job. Fees and cost associated with recruitment and employment should be paid by the employer, not the employee (Employer Pays Principle).
- No worker should be indebted or coerced to work. Workers should work freely, aware of the terms and conditions of their work in advance and paid regularly as agreed. No worker should be indebted to work as a result of excessive recruitment fees, unauthorized deductions from wages, disciplinary measures, fines or inflated prices for company goods, tools or uniforms.
With due regard for applicable law, the supplier refuses to engage in any discriminatory practices. Discrimination means any distinction, exclusion or preference limiting equality of opportunity or treatment. It may be based on race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, religion, political opinion, age, nationality, family obligations or other considerations.
Freedom of association and right to collective bargaining
The supplier recognizes and respects employees’ freedom of association and their right to freely choose their representatives. The supplier also recognizes employees’ right to collective bargaining. The supplier ensures that employee representatives do not suffer any discrimination.
Health care and safety at work
The supplier ensures that the workplace and its environment do not endanger the physical integrity or health of employees. Action to reduce the causes of accidents and improve working conditions is the object of ongoing programs. Sanitary equipment, canteens and housing provided to employees are built and maintained in accordance with applicable legal requirements. As a minimum, the supplier must provide employees with drinking water, clean toilets in adequate numbers, adequate ventilation, emergency exits, proper lighting and access to medical treatment.
The supplier must ensure that national applicable legal restrictions on working hours, including overtime, are complied with. Employees have at least one day off each week, apart from exceptional circumstances and for a limited period.
The supplier ensures that:
- No wage is lower than the applicable legal minimum
- All employees receive a pay slip
- Employees receive a decent wage as compared to standard pay practices in their country
- Wage rates for overtime are in all cases higher than for normal hour
Danone’s Code of Conduct for Business Partners
All business partners, including suppliers, distributors and other third parties must accept and adhere to this code in order to undertake business with Alpro. This policy i.a. provides that:
Business partners are expected to protect and promote the human rights or their employees. We expect them to be fair employers and to respect international labour standards, including the core conventions of the International Labour Organization and legislation prohibiting slavery and human trafficking.
Health, safety and the environment
Business partners are required to abide by all applicable laws relating to health, safety and the environment in their work for Alpro. We expect them to ensure that adequate measures are put in place to protect the health and safety of their employees […].
(b) Internal policies
Danone’s Code of Business conduct
The Alpro’s Code of Business conduct has been replaced by Danone’s Code of Business conduct which provides very similar commitments towards our stakeholders, setting standards of behaviour to which all Alpro employees must adhere. Relevant provisions in this context are:
Compliance with the law
Alpro and its employees must comply with all applicable laws and regulations of the countries in which they operate. Where there is a difference between a legal requirement than the Code of Business Conduct or compliance Policies, the higher standard will always be applied.
At Alpro we are committed to providing a safe working environment where there is respect and equal opportunity for all, including our recruitment, training and career development processes. We respect the human rights of our employees as set out in fundamental convention of the International Labour Organization, including the right to freedom of association. We are committed to providing fair remuneration and working hours, with a healthy work-life balance.
We do not tolerate violence, bullying, harassment, discrimination or any form of forced, bonded or child labour. We welcome diversity and encourage open communication and dialogue between employees and managers, a key part of our entrepreneurial spirit.
We aim to establish fair and ethical relationship with our customers based on clear and respected terms of business. Where not already in place, we encourage our customers to adopt equivalent business principles to those set out in this Code of Business Conduct.
Business partners are our suppliers, service providers, agents, distributors and labour providers. We are committed to fair and ethical relationships with our business partners, based on clear and respected terms of business, adherence to the principles set out in our Code of Conduct for Business Partners and a fair selection process.
Our mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible. As part of this, respect for and dialogue with the communities we work in is key. We endeavour to participate responsibly in our communities and to have a positive impact, not only through our products but also through our business and social activities.
(c) Monitoring and training
Any concern or breach against these policies can be reported anonymously by employees or external stakeholders through the DANONE ETHICS LINE (www.danoneeticsline.com). There will be no retaliation against anyone who reports a genuine concern. All cases will be appropriately investigated and, where breaches are found, appropriate actions will be taken.
Furthermore, audits take place in order to confirm that the abovementioned stakeholders respect the outlined principles.
Alpro employees are extensively trained on the Code of Business Conduct. Non-compliance with the Code of Business Conduct may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
(d) Certification as B Corp TM
Early 2018, as 9th subsidiary of Danone, Alpro’s obtained the B Corp TM certificate for meeting the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.Alpro scored 87 points which is well above the 80 points needed for certification (https://bcorporation.net/directory/alpro-alpro-sca).
Given that Alpro needs to retake the verification process every three years in order to maintain the certification, there is a continuous attention to these social interests, which includes measures to prevent slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour.
Steps to be taken in the financial year 2019
In order to verify the compliance with the principles of the act and applicable policies, the following steps are in the process of being taken:
- Ad hoc internal and external audits and/or questionnaires
- Continuous audit of signature Danone Sustainability & Ethical Principles
- Ad hoc random onsite visits at factories
- Ad hoc worker interviews
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the U.K. Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes the slavery and human trafficking statement for Alpro UK Ltd. for the financial year ending on 31 December 2018.