Modern Slavery Statement
Modern Slavery Statement
This statement has been published in accordance with Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. It sets out the steps taken by Hotel Chocolat Group PLC for the period 2nd July 2023 – 29th June 2024 to prevent modern slavery and human trafficking in its own business operations and supply chains.
Introduction - Business and Operational Structure
Hotel Chocolat is a UK based cocoa grower, chocolate manufacturer and omni-channel retailer with outlets in the UK and Ireland, a joint venture in Japan, an Online presence in the US and a hotel/restaurant/experiential programme in St Lucia.
Working with >200 suppliers, employing 2,000+ colleagues and serving an estimated 5 million customers.
Key Focus Areas
The Exec have responsibility and accountability for adherence to the Modern Slavery act. Specific activity is delegated to the Directors and Heads of Department with assurance provided in the form of reports to the Board and regular assessment of risks.
Each Executive Director has responsibility for ensuring compliance with the act within their business area.
Supplier selection assessment considers strategic future “fit” with our scale, culture and capability requirements followed by a formal supplier-approval process including risk assessment, technical specification and quality auditing criteria, code of conduct assessment and a check of commercial feasibility for both parties.
All new suppliers are subject to an onboarding programme that formally covers all considerations above with Director level governance to support and approve in advance of supply partnering commencing.
We undertake right to work (“RTW”) checks for all new Hotel Chocolat employees on their first day, along with regular RTW audits. We routinely check bank account details; telephone numbers and addresses for duplication/anomalies.
We have a comprehensive approach to ensuring our temporary labour providers are also following best practice and minimising the risk of modern slavery and we have a third-party audit programme to a) measure performance to agreed standards as well as applying best practice & lessons learned consistently with all partners.
Training and Awareness
We recognise the importance of leadership in tackling modern slavery and will embed this into our SLT (Senior Leadership Team) development framework that commences in September 2023 ongoing.
As the business grows, we will review when to extend the training further based on a priority/risk across the business.
Collaboration and partnership working
We have worked with Unseen UK to ensure we apply best practice in this space along with the GLAA to ensure we adhere to their standards and protocols.
Safecall have been our ongoing partner since 2016 providing our whistleblowing hotline and internal media which is communicated and visible at all physical locations.
Finally, we are working with CLMRS to tackle child and forced labour in the cocoa industry with farm level audits ongoing and annual review of progress and target setting to achieve our aim of zero child and forced labour incidents across our entire farming community.
Key performance indicators
This statement was approved by the Board of Hotel Chocolat Group PLC on 28 September 2023.
Signed by: Matt Margereson
Dated: 28th September 2023