Modern Slavery Statement

This statement for financial year end 31 December 2023 shows what has been done by Blue Skies to minimise the risk of slavery and human trafficking in our business and our raw material supply chain, and what we have done to promote the principles of our Joint Effort Enterprise (JEE).

We are making this statement to comply with the law in the UK, however to merely publish an assurance that we are not doing anything wrong would not explain our efforts to do everything right. We have built a happy, hard-working, egalitarian company committed to building long term partnerships, and fostering sustainable development in Africa, Europe, the UK and South America. This Blue Skies website has much more information about the social difference we make in the countries where we operate, and we refer you to our four Queens Awards for Enterprise: Sustainable Development won in 2008, 2011, 2015 and 2020.

Our Blueprint report shows an array of sustainability KPIs including those for human rights, health and safety, corruption, and procurement. Our Blueprint Policy Framework shows how our internal values are related to external requirements such as GRI reporting principles, UN Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These documents are shown on the Blue Skies website.

Our Business

Blue Skies is a business based in the UK with factories located in Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, Benin, Senegal, South Africa and the UK.

We also have sales offices in The Netherlands and France, and our head office is in Pitsford, Northamptonshire, UK.

Blue Skies manufactures fresh prepared fruit products normally distributed by airfreight and sold to retailers in many Western European countries. We also manufacture some frozen fruit products and avocado chunks which are distributed by seafreight to customers worldwide.

In our 2023 financial year we employed close to 6500 people at certain times of the year. Over 99% of these people have been the subject of third party social audits to the SMETA  and/or ICS formats and this is shown in detail below. Many farms in Ghana and Egypt and our Ghana and Egypt sites are certified Fairtrade.

Location Number of employees Social audit
Benin factory 600 Third party
Brazil factory 550 Third party
Egypt factory 1100 Third party
Ghana factory 4000 Third party
Senegal packhouse 80 Third party
South Africa factory 900 Third party
UK factory 430 Third party
France office 1 None
Netherlands office 6 None
UK office 80 None

The business has provided training to key managers in social compliance requirements and has a comprehensive set of policies, union agreements and personnel handbooks which set out our personnel management practices. We do not discriminate at work, we have moved beyond the anachronistic ILO presumption of exploitation of “workers” by “managers” because we operate the seamless society described in the JEE. We employ people, not managers and workers. Even the less abusive modern interpretation of slavery is incomprehensible in our culture.

Between 1% and 2% of our people at any one time are employed by labour agencies and all of those people are resident in the UK therefore our exposure to the circumstances that give rise to modern slavery is very small. We use only two labour agencies, and we have checked how they manage the risk of modern slavery. In the UK we are members of Food Network for Ethical Trade (FNET).

Our Supply Chains

We purchase almost all of our fruit raw materials directly from the farms on which they are grown, or from our own farms. The countries from which we purchase fruit are those shown for our factory locations in the table above, additionally Burkina Faso, India, Spain, Mozambique, Ivory Coast, Peru, Argentina, Togo, Mali and Turkey. We have very close, successful and long term relationships with all our suppliers, and with very few exceptions, they have been visited and personally approved by the founder and chairman of our business. Suppliers in Egypt, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Ghana are subject to a very progressive independently verified programme of second party social audits. We have never sanctioned a supplier for failing to comply with social requirements but rather worked with them to resolve any issues identified.

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