Modern Slavery Act
ANTI-SLAVERY AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING STATEMENT, 31.03.23
Introduction from the Chief Executive Officer, Rupert Berkmann
We are committed to improving our practices to combat slavery and human trafficking. Although we believe that the wine industry is not one of the industries that traditionally uses enforced labour, and that the regions where wine is made are not typically known for abusive labour practices, we still believe it is our responsibility to do what we can. We expect the same high standards from all of our contractors, suppliers and other business partners and as part of our contracting processes, we include specific prohibitions against the use of forced, compulsory or trafficked labour, or anyone held in slavery or servitude, whether adults or children, and we expect that our suppliers will hold their own suppliers to the same high standards.
We are the largest family owned and family run wine importer in the UK. We have been selling wine to restaurants since 1964 and have over 180 employees. Our head office is based in London, with another office operating out of Leeds.
Berkmann Family Holdings was incorporated in 1964. The trading company; Berkmann Wine Cellars Ltd is currently divided into 3 separate trading divisions; On Trade, Off Trade and Spirits. The On-Trade division supplies the hospitality sector and the Off-Trade division supplies supermarkets and regional wholesalers. Spirit Cartel is our spirit division and supplies to all sectors, but primarily through regional wholesalers.
Our Supply Chains
We are committed to ensuring there is transparency in our own business and in our approach to tackling modern slavery throughout our supply chains, consistent with our disclosure obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Our supply chain primarily consists of independent wine producers and wholesalers, who are on the whole, based in the same country as that where the grapes are grown, and the wine produced.
In most cases, we source the products directly from the producers, although occasionally we go through distributors and resellers. In many cases, we have exclusive UK distribution rights and we take care to visit our growers and producers regularly to verify their continuing quality and commitment to service.
Our internal policies illustrate our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in our supply chains. Our values which were reviewed in May 2022 derive our culture, processes and activities to create an open, all-encompassing environment. All team members must familiarise themselves with our procedures to help in the identification and prevention of modern slavery. All new employees are educated via our All Inclusive Induction Programme and are encouraged to exceed expectations by living and believing in our Corporate Values.
Our Corporate Values:
Due diligence processes for slavery and human trafficking
As part of our process to identify and mitigate risk we:
• Identify and assess potential risk areas in our supply chains, building in additional enquiries into our existing visit schedule.
• As part of our new supplier due diligence, include our anti-slavery questionnaire, and our bribery and corruption questionnaire.
• Mitigate the risk of slavery and human trafficking occurring in our supply chains by completing personal visits where possible and ensuring we ask relevant questions in meetings with our producers, hauliers and wholesalers.
• Monitor potential risk areas in our supply chains.
• Protect any ‘whistleblowers’ internal or external to our company
Supplier adherence to our values
We oppose modern slavery in all its forms and suppliers will only be engaged when we are satisfied that safeguards are in place to mitigate and identify any potential weaknesses, where modern slavery or human trafficking could take place within their own operations or supply chain. We expect high standards and transparency from inside our own business as well as from all our contractors, suppliers and other business partners. We expect our suppliers to hold their own suppliers to the same high standards.
Engagement with Stakeholders
Our zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery will be communicated to all suppliers, contractors and business partners at the outset of our business relationship with them and reinforced as appropriate thereafter. We expect all our employees to have read and be aware of this statement.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending March 2023.
Berkmann Wine Cellars Limited