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Ethical Policy

Ethical Trading Policy

Summary Statement
At TLFC we believe strongly in ethical principles and good stewardship.  We are therefore proud to guarantee that we trade according to the following Ethical Trading Criteria:

  1. All employment is freely chosen
  2. All staff are entitled to belong to trade unions and collective bargaining is respected, to the extent permitted by local law.
  3. Working conditions are safe and hygienic.
  4. Child labour is not used.
  5. Wages are fair and comparable to other retailers and wherever possible exceed the minimum wage.
  6. Deductions from wages as a disciplinary measure shall not be permitted.
  7. Working hours are not excessive.
  8. No discrimination is practised.
  9. Regular employment is provided for those who are employed on a permanent contract.
  10. No harsh, cruel or degrading treatment or practices are allowed.
  11. No bribery, corruption, blackmailing or bullying is permitted.
  12. Good environmental stewardship is practiced.
  13. Suppliers and buyers are both free to sell and buy from any number of other businesses or outlets.  No restrictions, as a way of guaranteeing business, are allowed.

We also ask all our suppliers to affirm in writing to us that their businesses are also built on these ethical criteria.  Businesses that have signed up have a logo with an e inside next to their products.  We have developed a full policy statement outlining how we expect our practice to develop in order to be able to offer strong guarantees to our customers that the products they receive from us have been ethically produced and traded. 

Our Full Ethical Trade Policy Statement
1. Policy Statement 
The Local Food Company recognises that our commercial activities have potential to impact on our suppliers and our locality.

As a socially responsible small business our suppliers, local community and customers have a right to expect:

  • Products manufactured and sourced by TLFC are produced under working conditions that are hygienic and safe.
  • All workers involved in the production of products sold by TLCF from direct suppliers, indirect suppliers and our own service providers are treated with full consideration to their basic human rights.
  • TLFC acts in an ethical manner above and beyond basic legal requirements.
  • TLFC is therefore committed to implementing the principals of the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code (although we are not members of the ETI).
  • This policy sets out TLFC’s commitment to its suppliers and customers, setting out the measures we are taking to ensure that we are acting in an ethical manner.

2. TLFC’s Commitment to its suppliers, service providers and customers:

TLFC recognises that our ethical and social performance and reputation is a key part of our overall commercial success, and is pleased to be at the forefront of the quality, local, food online providers in the area of ethical trading and social responsibility.

  • Employees 
    TLFC is committed to ensuring that our employment practices and the enforcement of corporate regulations ensure the protection of the rights of all those who work for us. In many areas we aim to operate above the minimum standards required by law to ensure our employees are safe, rewarded and valued.  As we of course expand and become larger we will be able to offer more opportunities for our staff.
  • Consumers 
    TLFC is committed to demonstrating its ethical and social responsibility credentials to enable consumers to make informed choices about whose products they purchase. This is achieved through the publication of policies and comprehensive supplier and product information on our web site.  In the first two years of trading we plan to introduce a more comprehensive Ethical and Social Charter which we hope our suppliers will want to ascribe to again giving consumers the ability to chose ethically traded and produced goods.
  • Suppliers 
    TLFC is committed to monitoring social standards in our supply chain, and we encourage our suppliers to operate to the same ethical standards we employ ourselves.

The ethical trading practices of our direct suppliers will initially be monitored by signing in acknowledgement of key ethical trading practices given in our summary statement.  After 12 months of working with a supplier, we will introduce self assessment questionnaires which aim to develop ethical trading practices further.  After 24 months of working with a supplier (and 12 in the case of live animals or crop production), we will request to visit farms or other suppliers on a rolling programme to develop our understanding of our partners’ practices.  After 36 months of working with a supplier, we will ask suppliers to drive Ethical Trading requirements along their own supply chain.

Not signing in agreement to any of our policies will not mean that we will not trade with any business.  It will simply mean that we will not be able to ascribe our own TLFC Ethical Trader symbol (an e in a circle) which customers will be able to sort product on the basis of.  Businesses are of course free to operate their own practices according to their own beliefs.

3. TLFC Ethical Trading Code of Practice 
3.1 This Code of Practice applies to:

  • Staff directly employed by TLFC on temporary or permanent contracts.
  • Staff employed or provided by contractors or employment agencies to work on TLFC premises or to undertake work for or on behalf of TLFC.

3.2 No forced, bonded or involuntary labour shall be used.

  • All employment with TLFC is freely chosen.
  • Staff are not required to lodge deposits or identity papers with us.
  • Staff are free to leave TLFC after reasonable notice.

3.3  No child labour shall be used

  • There shall be no recruitment of child labour.
  • Children or persons under 16 are not employed at any time, day or night.
  • Children or persons under 18 are not employed full-time.

3.4   All employees have the right to join a recognised trade union. 
- Union representatives are able to carry out their duties without hindrance. 
- TLFC has an open attitude towards the activities of trade unions.

4.Working conditions are safe and hygienic. 

  • TLFC takes adequate measures to prevent accidents and minimise potential hazards.
  • Staff receive regular health & safety training.
  • Staff have unrestricted access to toilet facilities and drinking water.
  • TLFC has a published Health & Safety Policy.

5. Working hours and remuneration are reasonable and comparable to 
other companies in our retail sector and regular employment is provided.

  • Staff pay rates are above the national legal minimum standards. 
  • Staff are not forced to work in excess of 48 hours per week, a voluntary opt out agreement is available for those wishing to work in excess of 48 hours per week.
  • Staff are provided 2 days off per week
  • Staff are given written terms and conditions of employment that details the employment relationship between and the respective obligations of the employee and employer, rates of pay, working hours, grievance and disciplinary procedures, holiday entitlement, absence and sick pay rules and notice periods for termination of employment.
  • No deductions are made from wages as a disciplinary measure, and pay slips detailing lawful deductions are provided for each pay period.
  • Labour only contracting, sub contracting and fixed term contracts are not used as a means to avoid obligations under labour or social security laws.

6. No discrimination is practised:

  • There is no discrimination in pay, hiring, compensation, access to training, promotion, and termination of employment or retirement on the grounds of race, nationality, religion, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, union membership or political affiliation.
  • Opportunities for personal and career development are equally available to all employees.

7. No harassment, threats, abuse or intimidation shall be practised. 
Physical, verbal and sexual threats, abuse, harassment or intimidation is expressly prohibited and grounds for summary dismissal, if proved.

8.  Employment Agencies 
- Employment agencies contracted to supply temporary staff shall demonstrate commitment to and application of the requirements of this code. 
- Employment agencies contracted to supply temporary staff shall ensure that all staff supplied to TLFC are eligible to work in the UK by:

  • Following Immigration and Nationality Directorate Guidelines on Amendments to Section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996.
  • Ensuring that the requirements of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 Section 22 Code of Practice are met.
  • Retaining copies of identity papers, work permits or passport stamps as detailed in the Home Office List of Specified Documents and UK Passport Stamps.

- Employment agencies contracted to supply temporary staff shall ensure  that all staff supplied to TLFC have sufficient command of English to understand: 

  • The agency’s responsibilities under this code of practice.
  • TLFC Health & Safety requirements.
  • TLFC Food Safety requirements.
  • Written statements of employment particulars. 
    Or have other measures in place to ensure that all these requirements are communicated in the employee’s native language.

9.  Organisation 
TLFC Partners have overall responsibility for all aspects of ethical trading at work within the business.

10. Looking towards further improvement
TLFC are keen to learn from others and would ask if anyone has any ideas or feedback regarding our policy or practice to contact us.

D & S Rooney
April 2006

Review date April 2007


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