BGC SOUTH LTD MODERN SLAVERY STATEMENT
ABOUT BGC SOUTH LTD
BGC South Ltd operates under the British Garden Centres brand, which is one of the country’s leading family-run garden centre groups. British Garden Centres operates 62 centres spread throughout the country, together with an online presence, of which 37 report through BGC South Ltd. This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and comprises our slavery and human trafficking statement covering the financial year ending December 2022.
BGC South Ltd takes its responsibilities seriously and is committed to acting ethically and with integrity.
SUPPLY OF PRODUCT
We offer a large product range to our customers, including plants, all gardening-related products, hard landscape, giftware, food, homewares, clothing, bird and pet care, indoor and outdoor furniture, together with restaurants in most of our centres. The centres are currently supplied by circa 750 suppliers, mainly from the UK, with a small percentage from abroad.
Many of our products are sourced via reputable industry suppliers we have long-standing relationships with. Our buying teams regularly visit the majority of these suppliers. Where possible, we source our main product from within the UK, when outside of the UK our buying teams prioritise visiting foreign suppliers. BGC South Ltd has a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery and human trafficking within its business and supply chain. We operate an open speech environment and encourage any of our team to speak out if they have any concerns whatsoever.
PROCESS & TRAINING
The buying teams are widely experienced within their fields and are led by our Buying Director. In addition to our Buying Director, this process is also supported and monitored by our Finance Systems Officer, who is continually checking on the credentials and set-up of our suppliers. All suppliers are provided with a Code of Conduct Contract and are expected to provide these documents back accurately and honestly.
BGC South Ltd is committed to ensuring that our teams are kept up to date and supplied with all the knowledge required within this area, to enhance this further we are currently researching working with an exterior body to offer training around this and other topics on an e-learning portal. We are committed to improving our practices to combat modern slavery and human trafficking.
Across the BGC South Ltd company, at any one time, we can employ circa 1,500 team members across our 37 centres, plus nursery and warehouse locations and the business hub. Strict recruitment policies are in place and in-depth checks are carried out by our Payroll and HR teams to ensure eligibility to work in the UK is provided and accurate. This is all recorded through the Fourth System. Any concerns can be reported through our Whistleblowing, Bullying and Harassment or Grievance policies, monitored by our HR Department. We are committed to ensuring all our team members are treated and treat others with respect and dignity, where rights are acknowledged and welfare is paramount.
Where a supplier is deemed not to be cooperating around these Policies, we will cease trading with them. Through this process, some suppliers may be deemed as High Risk in which case additional information and confirmation will be requested, and the relevant buyers will be required to work much closer on any High-Risk accounts.