The Iceland Group is a privately owned UK food retailer, manufacturer and exporter.
Our principal operating company is Iceland Foods Limited (“Iceland Foods”), the UK’s leading specialist retailer of frozen food, which also retails grocery and chilled foods and non-food items. This operates more than 910 stores in the UK, trading as Iceland or The Food Warehouse, which are served by five regional distribution centres.
Iceland International Limited (“Iceland International”) is our global trading business exporting primarily Iceland own label products to more than 40 countries worldwide, including our network of company-owned stores in the Republic of Ireland and Czech Republic, and franchised stores in Spain, Portugal, the Channel Islands, Iceland and elsewhere.
Our Supply Chain
Since Iceland was founded in 1970 we have always sought to “do the right thing” and conduct our business according to sound ethical principles. Accordingly, we have a zero tolerance policy towards modern slavery and human trafficking.
We do our utmost to treat our own employees fairly, and are committed to paying them as well as we can. We expect our suppliers to ensure respect for the human rights and welfare of their employees, and to take all necessary measures to guard against modern slavery and human trafficking in their own supply chains. Specifically, we require all our suppliers to comply with our Iceland Worker Welfare Policy.
All Iceland own label products are sourced from suppliers at approved sites. All our suppliers must be certified to the British Retail Consortium Global Standard (BRCGS) for Food Safety; they are regularly audited by independent inspectors against this standard and required to achieve certification to Grade AA+, A+ or B+. Since January 2016 this BRC audit has been generally unannounced.
Production sites of Iceland own label products are also approved by our own team of product technologists, who routinely visit suppliers’ facilities and observe production of our food to ensure every aspect of manufacture and supply meets the high standards we specify and expect.
All overseas/Iceland own label suppliers are monitored through approval visits and monitoring of initial production runs, and we seek to ensure that they comply with internationally recognised standards to protect the health and welfare of their employees.
In the UK, Iceland is a signatory to the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) standard, and has worked closely with the GLAA since it was established in 2005 to stamp out worker exploitation and rogue gangmasters and agency providers in the agriculture and shellfish industries. Iceland has contributed to the revised GLAA Supermarket protocol and has communicated it to its suppliers.
Iceland has a specification portal, which enables improved communication with suppliers. This has helped us to improve understanding of our technical policies in relation to ethical supply and worker welfare among Iceland own label suppliers. We highlight key legislation relating to workers, to which all Iceland own label suppliers must adhere, and have made whistleblowing provisions for workers within our suppliers’ businesses. Any issues or breaches of our policy must be reported without undue delay to Iceland. We have also taken steps over the past few years to improve traceability and reporting throughout the entire supply chain of a product, including its component ingredients, which has helped us to understand the full breadth of the supply chain and enables us to make informed decisions about suppliers.
Iceland has included provisions relating to offences under the Modern Slavery Act in its standard terms and conditions of business and commercial contracts, not only for suppliers of Iceland own label food products, but all relevant suppliers of branded and other goods and services across the Iceland business.
Iceland as an employer
Iceland employs over 25,000 people. Our commitment to making Iceland “A Great Place to Work” has been independently recognised by the Sunday Times ‘Best Companies to Work For’ survey, which has ranked Iceland among the Best Big Companies To Work For in the UK for the last 12 years and twice named us Number One, in 2012 and 2014.
Best Companies has ranked Iceland Number One for employees feeling that they have a Fair Deal in each of the last five years and we also achieve high ratings for wellbeing, leadership, having a strong sense of family in our teams, and for making work fun.
These excellent results provide authoritative, external confirmation of the results of our own regular staff surveys, which show industry-leading levels of job satisfaction throughout the company. Staff are able to effectively communicate any concerns through our ‘Talking Shop’ and Head Office forums and via a confidential helpline.
Iceland in the future
Iceland Group companies will continue to work with suppliers to improve all aspects of the supply chain and we will remain resolute in our zero tolerance policy to slavery and human trafficking. We will undertake further education and training of all appropriate employees. We also remain committed to working with third parties, including the BRC and GLAA, and to developing relationships with other bodies including Stronger Together and relevant NGOs and initiatives.
This statement is made pursuant to the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement for the financial year ended April 2019. It was approved by the Board of Directors on 6 February 2020.