Modern slavery – Slavery and human trafficking statement

Updated 30th August 2019

Slavery and human trafficking statement

The Forestry Commission is a non-ministerial department, supported by Forestry England and Forest Research. The Forestry Commission increases the value of woodlands to society and the environment. We are responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of all woodlands.

Forestry England is England’s largest land manager and custodian of the nation’s public forests. We have around 1,000 committed staff and volunteers looking after more land and more trees than any other organisation. We generate revenue by sustainably harvesting and selling timber, and by working with commercial partners to offer new ways to experience and enjoy our woodlands and develop business activities.

Forest Research is Great Britain’s principal organisation for forestry and tree related research and is internationally renowned for the provision of evidence and scientific services in support of sustainable forestry.

Our supply chains are made up of a large number of third party providers, many of which are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). We procure a varied range of goods, works and services from corporate clothing and tree shelters, through to services such as harvesting, planting, forest road maintenance and plant health surveillance. We also award grants to others to protect, improve and expand England’s woodlands.

We have a zero tolerance approach 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:

  • Policies: We pay all our employees above the National Living Wage. Our Grievance, Bullying and Harassment, and Whistleblowing policies give a platform for our employees to raise concerns and ‘blow the whistle’ on any wrong-doing and to raise concerns about poor working practices.

  • Due diligence process for selection of suppliers and contractors: Our due diligence processes follow the Public Contract Regulations and Concession Regulations. This includes excluding suppliers and contractors that have been found in breach of social and labour laws and building in further selection criteria for higher risk contracts. We also check contractors’ slavery and human trafficking statements.

  • Contract terms: Our standard conditions of contract have been updated to reflect our approach to Modern Slavery including reserving our rights to terminate contracts with suppliers in the event that there is evidence of non-compliance with the act.

  • Training: Our Procurement team undertake regular Continuing Professional Development which includes ethical issues such as Modern Slavery.

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 2019.