We expect our suppliers, contractors and agents to adhere to our Code of Conduct and to adopt similar standards.
Working with reputable suppliers gives our stakeholders confidence in the integrity of our supply chain and reduces the risk of business interruption or reputational harm.
There is increasing focus on supply chain transparency including labour standards, modern slavery, conflict minerals and avoiding bribery and corruption.
Achievements in 2015/16
We work with our suppliers to ensure that they are reliable and ethical and that their products are fully compliant with the laws and regulations of the countries they, and we, operate in. On the rare occasion that a product is faulty, customers have the confidence of knowing that we will support them. We conduct background checks on our suppliers for unethical or illegal behaviour.
Modern Slavery Act
The UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 (“the Act”) requires Ferguson plc (“the Group”) to make an annual statement outlining the steps the business is taking to identify and prevent modern slavery within our organisation and its supply chain.
Through its various business divisions, the Group sources, distributes and sells products in mature markets in North America and Western Europe. A small percentage of the Group’s own label products are sourced from other regions, principally in Asia.
It is recognised that there could be a small risk of human trafficking or slavery in the manufacturing, distribution and logistics activities that are connected with our business. Ferguson has zero tolerance for such activities. The Group is undertaking a number of steps to minimise the risks of slavery occurring in our business or our supply chain.
- Training on combating modern slavery has been delivered in local language to colleagues in the Group’s sourcing operations in Asia.
- Background screening of all suppliers of products and services is underway using a third party database. Screening has been completed for all organisations that we have identified as higher risk (e.g. due to geography, activity or contract value).
- Audits and site visits of suppliers in low cost countries are undertaken on their appointment and periodically thereafter. Procedures for on-boarding and evaluating such suppliers have been reviewed this year.
- The Group has maintained a Code of Conduct and a confidential whistleblowing line, applicable to all Ferguson businesses, which allow people to “speak up” in confidence and without the fear of any negative consequences.
This statement is made on behalf of all subsidiaries of Ferguson plc and is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Act and constitutes our Group’s slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31 July 2016.