Modern slavery – Slavery and human trafficking statement

The Forestry Commission plants millions of trees every year to create new woodland and to replace the trees we harvest. Almost four million tonnes of wood every year is sustainably harvested from England’s and Scotland's public forests. Forest Research, Forestry Commission’s research agency, is internationally renowned for the provision of evidence and scientific services in support of this sustainable forestry. The Forestry Commission also regulates the felling and planting of trees, providing grants, licences and advice to woodland owners and managers to encourage new tree planting and to help keep private forests and woodland under active and sustainable management. Additionally, the Forestry Commission protects ecologically significant species, improves habitats and protects historical sites; while providing visitors with thousands of trails, cycle routes and bridle paths.

Our supply chain is made up of a large number of third party providers, many of which are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). We procure a large and varied range of goods, works and services from corporate clothing and tree shelters, through to operation services such as harvesting, planting and forest road building.

We have zero tolerance to slavery and human trafficking and are committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business.

The steps that we have taken to reduce the risk of modern slavery in our business are:

  1. We pay all our employees above the National Living Wage.
  2. The FC’s Grievance, Bullying and Harassment, and Whistleblowing policies give a platform for our employees to raise concerns and ‘blow the whistle’ on any wrong-doing within the Organisation and to raise concerns about poor working practices. Our Whistleblowing policy specifically recognises Modern Slavery.
  3. We follow the European Public Contracts Directive which governs good practice in procurement. This legislation provides a variety of exclusion grounds which are applied during tendering to exclude bidders with particular criminal convictions including human trafficking and exploitation crimes amongst others.
  4. All procurement staff undertake regular CPD training which includes ethical issues such as Modern Slavery.
  5. We consider modern slavery risks and mitigations in the context of each procurement process we run. For relevant procurements this is incorporated into the selection checks we conduct on potential suppliers and contractors.

We intend to continue to take further steps and develop policies and processes to identify, assess and monitor potential risk areas in our supply chains.

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 31st March 2018.

Signed

Jean Lindsay
Director Central Services

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