Modern slavery statement

Transparency in supply chains

Nisbets plc is the UK's largest supplier of catering equipment. Nisbets was established in 1983 on the basic principle of high quality catering equipment affordably priced. Today our products cover aprons to wine coolers and everything in between. Our corporate head office is based in Bristol, with offices in Ireland, Holland, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain and Australia. We also have 24 stores across the UK and are open to both the trade and public.

We welcome the Modern Slavery Act and the requirements it places on business to publicly disclose what they are doing to tackle forced labour and human trafficking. With our head office in Bristol, a city that once relied on the slave trade and was instrumental in the abolishment of it in 1807, we strongly believe that we have a duty to continue this principle. Integrity is one of our core values and being open and honest with our suppliers and customers is a key part of this.

We value our relationships with all our suppliers along the supply chain and understand we are only as good as the workforce producing our products. We are committed to working closely with our suppliers and to working together to root out this crime.

Policy and due diligence

All our suppliers are required to meet our Ethical Trading Code of Conduct, which includes the provision that workers are free to choose their place of employment. Our Code is aligned with the Ethical Trading Initiatives base code, founded on the conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and is an internationally recognised code of labour practice.

We are transforming our supplier approval process such that all supplier sites need to register on Sedex (The Supplier Ethical Data Exchange). They must declare details of their labour practises before they can start to supply to us. Any sites assessed to have high risk are required to have an independent ethical audit.

Risk assessment

We understand that Modern Slavery is a criminal activity and the signs can be difficult to identify and that audits only reveal a limited amount of information. We are learning and improving our understanding of the risks. We have integrated the way we manage issues raised from Social and Environmental audits into our well established Corrective Action Reporting procedure to ensure that they are resolved as quickly and effectively as possible. We monitor all our suppliers through Sedex to ensure their SAQ has been completed and up to date.

By using the Risk Assessment tool developed by Maplecroft, we are now able monitor the risk score (a function of location, manufacturing type and site profile) and rating for each supplier and use this information, along with any social audits that may have been carried out, to further drill down to see where any issues may lie. If required, we highlight any issues to our team based in the Far East who can then arrange an on site visit and/or audit as required.

We will be using a new Sedex tool to enable us to map the tiers of our supply chain effectively. We need to consider not only our direct suppliers but their suppliers (and theirs etc). This does become very complex so needs careful management.

Awareness and collaboration

Our Ethical Trading Code of Conduct is prominent in our Colleague Handbook, as we want to ensure all colleagues are aware of it. We have developed our training program to include awareness of issues both in our international supply chains and closer to home in our temporary labour suppliers. This training will soon be available to all colleagues as part of our new training platform. We are supporting Unseens' CHIPS project (Children in a Place of Safety), a project providing highly specialist accommodation and care services to give trafficked children the intense support they need as they move from harm to safety (Unseen are a charity committed to working towards a world without slavery). We also support Captivating International in the Far East, this charity helps to end potential issues of human trafficking through education and providing opportunity to young women, who in turn, educate their families.

Modern Slavery is a global issue but it is also happening in our communities. To combat this crime, we really need to understand our complex supply chains and need to collaborate with NGOs, business, suppliers and worker groups and improve traceability and transparency.