Introduction from Tim Warrillow, CEO
This statement sets out the steps Fevertree Drinks plc and Fevertree Limited (“Fever-Tree”) have taken to mitigate the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking occurring within any part of our business or supply chain during the financial year ended 31 December 2020.
We are committed to improving our practices to combat slavery and human trafficking and continue to assess our business and supply chain to identify risks and then to target those areas with policies, procedures and training to ensure we maintain appropriate safeguards against any mistreatment of persons within our own business and our supply chain. We have the highest respect for human rights and do not tolerate any form of slavery or servitude in our own operations or supply chains and have the processes in place to act accordingly if this is discovered.
Fever-Tree is the world's leading supplier of premium carbonated mixers for alcoholic spirits by retail sales value, with distribution to over 80 countries worldwide. Based in the UK, the brand was launched in 2005 to provide high quality mixers which could cater to the growing demand for premium spirits, in particular gin, but also for vodka, rum and whisky. Fever-Tree sells a range of carbonated mixers to hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes as well as retail outlets.
The Group’s largely outsourced business model, underpinned by a handful of strong, well-established relationships with suppliers, bottlers and distributors, allows for scalability and operational flexibility whilst maintaining high levels of quality control. This year we have also integrated our German distributor into the Fever-Tree Group, bringing us to over 250 employees globally.
We work with bottlers and canners in the UK, Europe and USA to produce and distribute our product to the same high standard globally. We work to source ingredients both directly from suppliers and through best-in-class ingredients flavour houses. The long-standing nature of our supplier relationships means we can work collaboratively on continual improvements.
Our policies and due diligence processes
We are committed to working to ensure that there is no slavery or human trafficking in our supply chain or in any part of our business. Our policies reflect our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships and to the implementation and enforcement of effective systems and controls to prevent and mitigate slavery and human trafficking from taking place anywhere in our supply chains.
Our Social, Ethical and Environmental Business Policy sets out the standards of employment that we expect our product and other major suppliers to conduct their business in line with. These standards include the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code and are in accordance with International Labour Organisation fundamental conventions. We require all product and major suppliers to sign up to this policy and to periodically confirm that they are acting in accordance with it. We verify our supply chain working conditions via a combination of visits and self-assessment, using a risk-based approach.
In addition, contractual commitments requiring compliance with the Modern Slavery Act are included in all new supplier contracts as they are signed. This includes obligations on suppliers to: comply with the Modern Slavery Act, conduct regular Modern Slavery risk assessments within their own supply chains, implement appropriate controls to prevent Modern Slavery, and notify Fever-Tree immediately if they become aware of any Modern Slavery within their supply chains. Suppliers that breach these obligations will face appropriate actions which could include termination.
Risk assessment, audit and monitoring
Our preliminary assessment is based upon geography, the type of goods or services purchased, volume purchased, supplier quality performance and the nature of the business transaction. We understand that one risk area is in our product supply chains and that inherent risks lie in sourcing raw materials globally. Other risks identified include suppliers’ potential use of contractors and seasonal workers and as part of the supplier approval process it is required that suppliers have systems to manage and monitor providers of agency workers including procedures to ensure forced labour does not take place.
Fever-Tree is a member of Sedex, which promotes improvements in ethical and responsible business practices. We are able to disseminate information about our businesses and facilities to customers through this widely used and recognised system. We also use this to link with our suppliers and understand the information shared by them through the system.
This year we have further developed our supplier approval process by upgrading to a new quality management system, QADEX. In this we are integrating a number of modules, which include tools to improve our supplier risk assessment and audit processes, and also to refine our monitoring of supplier non-conformance through functions including pertinent ethical and worker management based questions.
All our employees have a contract which sets out their working conditions, expected hours of work and salary. There is a staff handbook detailing policies, procedures, rights and benefits and all HR processes and policies are in line with UK employment laws. There are clearly set out disciplinary and grievance procedures, a Whistleblowing procedure and an Anti-Corruption and Bribery Policy.
If we learn of any allegations of slavery or trafficking through our whistleblowing system or any other means we will act promptly and effectively in the best interest of the workers affected to collaboratively understand and remedy the problem, which could ultimately mean the termination of the business relationship with the supplier concerned if appropriate.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes Fever-Tree’s slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending December 31, 2020.
Tim Warrillow, CEO
Fevertree Drinks plc