Oak Furniture land is the UKs largest retailer of hardwood furniture with more than 75 stores across the UK. To support our UK operations we have 2 major administrative, warehousing and distributions centres located in Swindon & St Helens.
We source the majority of our furniture products directly from manufacturers based in Vietnam and China whom we regard as our Tier 1 suppliers. Our Tier 1 suppliers source the timber and raw materials from upstream suppliers based in the USA, China, India & Europe these include forest bureaus, timber processors and leather tanneries whom we consider as Tier 2 & 3 suppliers.
Oak Furniture Land recognizes the responsibility it has along with its suppliers to operate in an ethical manner. As part of this responsibility, we acknowledge the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and operate a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery. We are not willing to tolerate or condone modern day slavery in any part of our operations including our supply chain and will take all appropriate actions to assist the abolition of modern day slavery. We are working to ensure that there is sufficient transparency both within our own organisation and also within our supplier base and have we have developed a series of steps to mitigate the risks of slavery or human trafficking within the business.
In relation to our UK operations we have implemented a code of conduct policy document which applies to all persons working for us or on our behalf, including but not limited to employees at all levels, agency workers, seconded workers, volunteers, interns, agents, contractors, external consultants, third-party representatives and business partners. This includes a confidential whistleblowing service line, continued training where necessary and highlighting the need to be alert to the modern day slavery issues. The code of conduct policy document is attached.
In relation to our overseas suppliers we are in the process of updating the terms and conditions we have with our major suppliers in order to include a reference requiring compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015. This includes a request that our suppliers comply with our Code of Conduct at all times and themselves operate a workplace that respects workers’ basic human & legal rights.
Through our overseas teams we are working with all our immediate overseas suppliers to ensure they conduct their business with the same commitment to ethical business practices as we do. Our internal Heads of Department have extensive experience of working with factories to assess and improve adherence to quality and ethical standards. They regularly visit our major overseas suppliers and working to improve human rights issues forms part of the factory management role.
The Board of Directors has overall responsibility for the implementation of this policy however the Chief Financial Officer will be responsible for day to day management. Heads of Departments at all levels are also responsible for ensuring those reporting to them understand and comply with the the policy and in particular adhere to our no tolerance approach across our whole supply chain.
We recognize that some of the countries in which we either have furniture manufactured or raw materials and timber sourced have medium to high risk of exposure to modern day slavery.
To this end, in 2016 we commenced a journey to map our whole oak timber supply chain from forest to manufacture which includes Tier 2 & 3 Suppliers to enable us to understand and evaluate all aspects of our supply chain. This in addition to our regular visits to our Tier 1 suppliers, many of whom we have long and established relationships with.
We also recognise that our commitment to a no-tolerance policy to modern slavery & human rights abuse is a continual journey and therefore we will continue to assess performance and as with all other areas of our business we will also identify areas in which we need to improve.
This policy statement will be reviewed and published annually.
Chief Financial Officer
31st March 2017