Modern Slavery Act

Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

This statement is made pursuant to s.54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the Act) and sets out the steps that VIDA W&S LTD (“Vida”) has taken and is continuing to take to ensure that modern slavery or human trafficking is not taking place within its business or supply chain. Modern slavery encompasses slavery, servitude, human trafficking and forced labour. Vida is committed to acting ethically and with integrity and transparency in all business dealings.

Our Business

This Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement applies to Vida.

Vida’s business comprises the areas set out below.

  • Wine and sourcing: We source wines from a mix of owned and third-party vineyards
  • Wholesale business: we sell to third party retailers in the UK
  • Marketing and distribution: We market and distribute wines to customers and businesses.

As part of Vida’s commitment to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or trafficking in its supply chains, it has the following internal policies to ensure that it is conducting business in an ethical and transparent manner:

  • Recruitment

Vida conducts robust checks on any new employee including eligibility to work in the UK to safeguard against human trafficking or individuals being forced to work against their will. Where we engage contractors, for example via an agency or a personal services company, the manager responsible for the engagement is required to confirm that the terms of the engagement are in accordance with our Modern Slavery Statement and our Ethical Policy.

  • Employee Engagement

All employees have an obligation to familiarise themselves with our Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement. This statement is included in the Employee handbook forming part of their contract of employment, and is available at all times via our internal network.

  • Whistle Blowing Policy

The business has a whistle blowing policy so that all employees can raise any concerns that they might have without fear of reprisals.

 

Due Diligence for Slavery and Human Trafficking

As part of Vida’s due diligence processes we identify and mitigate risk as follows;

  • We identify and assess potential risk areas in our business and our supply chains, as described below.
  • Where practical, we mitigate the risk of slavery and human trafficking occurring in our supply chains.
  • We monitor potential risk areas in our supply chains.
  • We protect whistle blowers.
  • We ensure a high level of understanding of the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking in our business by providing training to all relevant staff.
  • When incidents of Modern Slavery are identified in regions from which we purchase wine, we make specific enquiries of our suppliers in those regions.

Vida does not and will not knowingly support or deal with any business involved in slavery or human trafficking. Vida completes due diligence on its suppliers, where practicable, to satisfy itself that it is trading with a reputable organisation. We expect all those in our supply chain to be opposed to slavery and human trafficking.

As a minimum, Vida expects each entity in its supply chain to adopt ‘one-up’ due diligence on the next link in the chain for those organisations governed by the Act. It is not practical for Vida to have a direct relationship with all links in the supply chain.

Higher risk areas in the business and supply chain

Wine Suppliers

We source wines directly from growers and producers in more than 20 countries across the world, from the most well-known and well-established wine regions such as France and Italy to regions whose wine is less familiar in the UK market such as CEE. The relationship between Vida and its suppliers is a close one, and is based on shared values of honesty, integrity and fairness.

The suppliers are agricultural businesses who often rely on a largely temporary/short term labour force at peak activity periods such as the grape harvest. We recognise that this type of workforce may be at increased risk of exploitation. As a result, all of our wine buyers are required to perform due diligence to assess conditions for the workforce when they visit our network of producers.

 

Vida Ethical Policy

Introduction and purpose

Our Ethical Policy is a commitment to look after our customers, colleagues and partners and to buy and sell our products responsibly.

How our values affect the way we engage with our stakeholders

In setting out our ethical commitments, we consider the following groups of stakeholders:

  1. Our employees
  2. Our customers
  3. Our suppliers and their workers
  4. Industry bodies, charities and the local community
  5. The natural environment
  6. Regulators, tax authorities and similar bodies

The steps we take to ensure that we are behaving ethically with respect to these stakeholder groups are set out below.

  1. Our employees

We want our customers to be confident that the people who work with and in our business and make our products are always treated fairly, are never exploited and are never exposed to unsafe working conditions.

Human Rights

Vida respects and supports the dignity, well-being and human rights of our employees, the workers within our supply chain and the communities in which they live.

We believe there are both business and moral reasons for ensuring human rights are upheld. We are committed to respecting human rights in line with guidance from the UN principles on Business and Human Rights.

We comply with the requirements of the UK’s Modern Slavery Act.

Equal Opportunities

The Company is committed to equality of opportunity for all of its employees and our employment practices, policies and procedures reflect this commitment. We go beyond our legal obligations in the treatment of our colleagues, offering flexible working, career progression, comprehensive HR benefits, generous discounts on product and excellent working environments.

We believe it is in the Company’s interest and good business practice to strive to establish an environment that supports the diversity of the people within the organisation, recognising their talents and ensuring that all these talents and resources are utilised to the full.

The company is committed to the promotion of equal opportunities and is opposed to any form of behaviour that treats individuals less favourably, in either a direct or indirect way, on the grounds of race, religious beliefs, disability, creed, colour, ethnic origin, nationality, marital or civil partnership, parental status, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, age or trade union membership.

The company recognises its responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 and the spirit and intent of the related Codes of Practice as set out below, but which we consider to be non-exhaustive:

  • For the elimination of discrimination on grounds of sex, marital status and or civil partnership status and the promotion of equality in employment.
  • For the elimination of racial discrimination and the promotion of equal opportunity in employment.
  • For the promotion of equal employment rights for disabled people and individuals who have had a disability.
  • For the elimination of discrimination relating to sexual orientation or religious belief and the promotion of equal opportunity in employment.

This policy applies to all aspects of employment with the company, including recruitment, pay and conditions, training, appraisals, promotion, conduct at work, disciplinary and grievance procedures, and termination of employment. Where we work with agencies who provide temporary or contract staff we ensure that these agencies adhere to the same high standards and that all workers are verified as eligible to work in the UK.

Vida has a duty to act in accordance with this policy, and therefore for our people to treat colleagues with dignity at all times, and not to discriminate against or harass other members of staff, whether junior or senior to them. The Company does not tolerate any discriminatory practices or behaviour.

  1. Our customers

We focus on developing long term customer relationships and always endeavour to “go the extra mile” to ensure we deliver for our customers – our “no questions asked” Money Back Guarantee is just one example of this commitment. We measure ourselves against the strictest industry benchmarks to ensure that we continue to achieve the highest standards in customer service.

We want customers to know that when dealing with us, they can do so with confidence.

Vida is committed to compliance with data protection legislation, including but not limited to the EU General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018. We hold all personal data securely, and will only use it as set out in our Privacy Policy. Customers can control the types of communications they receive from us either through our online preference centre or through our Customer Service team. Our Privacy Policy sets out the basis upon which we process our customers’ data and how long we retain it.

  1. Our suppliers and their workers

Our suppliers include wine suppliers and suppliers of distribution and other services.

Our dealings with suppliers are conducted on a basis of openness, trust and with proportionate benefits for both parties. We publish our supplier payment statistics and review those of our competitors to ensure that our payment policies are industry-leading.

We expect all of our suppliers to have ethical processes and policies in place throughout their supply chain.

We make our suppliers and partners with whom we have direct contracts aware of our commitment to respect Human Rights and expect that they share our values and align their activities with our commitments. We are compliant with the UK’s Modern Slavery Act and all relevant international legislation in this respect. We expect that all of our suppliers, from winemakers to office supplies, are also compliant.

Vida expect that its business partners adhere to values and principles consistent with its own, including that:

  • business is conducted lawfully and with integrity.
  • work is conducted on the basis of freely agreed terms of employment.
  • all workers are treated equally and with respect and dignity.
  • all workers are of an appropriate age.
  • all workers are paid a fair wage.
  • working hours are reasonable.
  • all workers are free to exercise their right to form and/or join trade unions or to refrain from doing so and to bargain collectively.
  • workers’ health and safety are protected. Suppliers are expected to take responsibility for labour and environmental conditions under which products are made and services provided. Vida will seek alternative sources where the conduct of suppliers violates basic human rights and where there is no willingness to resolve any highlighted problems.

These requirements are in addition to all applicable legislation and industry practice, including but not limited to regulations around child labour, working hours and minimum/living wages, and are in addition to our standard requirements for products supplied to be safe, legal and of good quality.

  1. Industry bodies, charities and the local community

We understand that as an alcohol retailer we have a responsibility to make customers aware of the need to drink in a responsible fashion. We also take an active role in trade associations such as the WSTA to ensure that we play our part in the way that the drinks trade addresses such issues.

We believe that an ethical business should play a greater part in its local community than purely its role as an employer.

  1. The natural environment

Vida aims to minimise the environmental impact of its operations and within its supply chain. We endeavour to:

  • Reduce landfill waste
  • Encourage re-use, recycling and the use of recycled and recyclable materials:
    • We work with all our suppliers to encourage the supply of wine in cases that we can re-use in outbound deliveries with any additional packaging made from recycled materials.
    • We are proud of our commitment to using recycled cardboard in the boxes we use to dispatch products to our customers.
    • We are committed to further reducing our use of plastic. Our wine is predominantly sold in glass bottles, which are fully recyclable.
  • Actively avoid undue and unnecessary packaging wherever practicable.
  • Work to reduce energy consumption where practicable.
  • Monitor transport logistics to ensure efficient distribution.
  1. Regulators, tax authorities and similar bodies

Vida is committed to meeting all of its regulatory and compliance obligations, to maintaining the highest standards and to the promotion of good practice in the prevention of bribery, corruption and malpractice (including criminal Tax Evasion).

All Vida staff and all agents, contractors, joint venture and consortia/franchise partners and other third parties who perform services in association with or on Vida’s behalf (“Associated Third Parties”) are expected to conduct business lawfully, ethically and with the highest levels of integrity.

Bribery or corruption of any kind in any jurisdiction, regardless of local custom or practice, is strictly prohibited.

We are aware that HMRC has a particular focus on reducing the cost of Duty Fraud to the Exchequer, and recognise our obligation to ensure that all the alcohol we sell is fully traceable and that all relevant taxes have been paid.