Pets at Home is the UK’s leading specialist retailer of pets, pet related products and services. We run the UK’s largest small animal veterinary and grooming businesses through our vets and services brands.
Our mission is to be the best pet shop in the world. We therefore take great care in operating our business and in selecting our business partners and suppliers. The products we sell are sourced from a broad range of suppliers – both national and international. We are the only UK pet retailer to have a dedicated sourcing office in the Far East. From our regional base in Hong Kong, which opened in 2012, we have a team of product technologists who support our buyers, oversee our suppliers and monitor production.
Our suppliers are required to comply with our Ethical Trading Policy and we undertake ethical audits which cover: hours of work, labour practices, working conditions, onsite accommodation, health & safety, environment, supply chain management and wages. We also require compliance with the Pets at Home Group’s Code of Business Ethics and Conduct.
In our modern slavery statement published in April 2016, we highlighted a number of areas where we wished to strengthen our processes to protect against the risk of modern slavery, following a group wide risk assessment. These areas included: reviewing supplier due diligence and audit processes to ensure compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (“Act”), updating supplier trading terms and the Code of Business Ethics and Conduct in relation to the Act.
During last financial year, we reviewed our procurement processes in respect of modern slavery and have included appropriate questions in our tender documentation in relation to supplier compliance with the Act. In addition, we reviewed our audit processes and looked in detail at the questions asked during audits and the checks carried out. On review, our audits already include checks on working conditions, pay and other appropriate areas in sufficient detail to highlight any instances of modern slavery.
We have updated our supplier general terms and conditions to further drive compliance with the Act. We have included a warranty from suppliers requiring compliance with the Act, the right to audit in respect of the Act and also the right for Pets at Home to terminate in the event of supplier non-compliance with the Act.
In addition, we updated our Code of Business Ethics and Conduct to specifically cover the Act.
We consider that training is also key to raising awareness on modern slavery and will assist our colleagues and suppliers gain a better understanding on the issue of modern slavery and requirements set out in the Act. In November 2016, we delivered a workshop on this subject to all 45 suppliers attending our Asia supplier conference (being an area where we considered a greater potential risk of modern slavery being prevalent).
We have also delivered training to colleagues in our UK support office where relevant.
To ensure we continue to drive compliance with the Act, during this financial year we intend to review the previously undertaken risk assessment to ensure it remains up to date and will assess any new risk areas or actions. We will continue to train colleagues and suppliers as appropriate.
As set out in last year’s modern slavery statement, should any instances of non-compliance with the Act arise in relation to any of our suppliers then this will be reviewed and appropriate action taken.
The Pets at Home Group Plc board of directors approved this statement at a meeting of the Board on 11th July 2017.
Group Chief Executive Officer