Produce World Group maintains that a sustainable, responsible business is a good business. Our Corporate Social Responsibility strategy is built on four ‘pillars’; Responsible Sourcing, Environmental Stewardship, Community Impact and Workplace Culture.
‘We will always treat our growers and suppliers fairly and ask the same from our customers.’
A core element of Produce World’s business is supply chain management – ensuring an unbroken supply of high quality fresh vegetables to its customers. Holding a pivotal role between growers and retailers means that Group responsibilities extend beyond the direct operations of washing, grading and packing – there is the additional indirect responsibility of ensuring that suppliers and growers conduct themselves in a way that is consistent with Group values and commitments and customer requirements.
Supply chain transparency is achieved through our membership of Sedex, an innovative data sharing web site which allows businesses to share information about themselves and their growers with their customers. All of our own sites and the vast majority of our growers are registered on Sedex and have completed a self assessment of their ethical performance. In addition, all Produce World production sites submit themselves to an independent ethical audit by Bureau Veritas every two years, the results of which are uploaded onto Sedex.
To ensure that our growers continue to focus on and improve their performance, we have put in place an internal auditing system to monitor the social and environmental performance of our most important growers. Following the audits, we work together to address any areas of non compliance with our Code of Practice.
‘We understand the environmental impact of our operations and constantly seek opportunities to improve it.’
With growing concerns over the sustainability of food production, we understand that we have a role to play in protecting our environment. We are determined to effectively manage our business activities to ensure we have a positive environmental impact and are currently in the early stages of establishing an environmental management programme for our operational sites.
Produce World work closely with non governmental organisations such as LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) and FWAG (Farming Wildlife Advisory Group) to carefully balance environmental concerns with the economic production of high quality vegetable crops. Assured Produce, LEAF marque and Soil Association audits are conducted annually to ensure our commitment and compliance to sustainable production. The Group established firm foundations for its Environmental Stewardship agenda by putting in place an Environmental Management System against the ISO 14001 Standard. Within our operations we focus on improving operational efficiency while striving to eliminate or reduce any negative environmental impacts. Our environmental activities focus on the management of energy, waste, water and carbon.
The Group has been working at building sustainable relationships with our key customers and stakeholders as we move closer to realising our vision of a sustainable supply chain. It is vitally important to ensure we align our environmental strategy to that of our customers – the involvement of a number of Group colleagues in retailers’ supplier forums and working groups has led to strengthened relationships and shared learning.
‘We will make a positive, measurable contribution to the communities in which we operate.’
We believe that our businesses have an important part to play in maintaining the vitality of our communities. This goes beyond our obvious role as a major employer and the contribution that our business makes to the local economy – it includes the support we give to local groups and charities, our engagement with local government and our involvement with community driven initiatives. Our responsibility also extends to the communities where the produce we sell is grown – from over 20 countries around the world.
‘We value the contribution of all our employees and are committed to providing a safe, stimulating, rewarding and collaborative working environment.’
Our Vision, Our Values and our Partnership Charter are the essential principles to how Produce World do business.