It is important that our suppliers apply the same principles of value, transparency and respect as we do, to ensure our products are sourced and manufactured in a fair, ethical and environmentally responsible manner. Our suppliers are assessed primarily through a questionnaire and confirmation at audit. Where our raw material use is too low a risk to justify an audit, we rely on certificates of analysis, sample retention and in-house confirmatory analysis as well as our supplier questionnaire. The findings influence our procurement decisions around the group.
The quality of our raw materials is critical to the quality of our product and thereby the reputation of the Devro brand. We conduct physical site audits for all our major ingredient suppliers and for new suppliers. We take into consideration any third party certification held by the supplier, and in particular where that is to Global Food Safety Initiative recognised standards. Subsequent Devro audits are conducted depending on the quantity of raw material used, its use across our product range, its inherent risk and the rating the supplier received following a previous audit. This approach is established at all our production sites (Scotland, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Australia, US and China) and is under the control of the Group Supply Chain Director. All non-conformances are required to be corrected. In addition, Devro Scotland sources and uses sustainable palm oil certified by the RSPO and is in compliance with the RSPO Supply Chain Certification Standard.
For all our raw materials we complete a quality and food safety vulnerability risk assessment based on the inherent risk posed by the raw material, the quality controls of the manufacturer and our usage of the raw material across our product range.
We request all our raw materials suppliers provide information on their environmental policies, including whether they have a formal recognised Environmental Management System, such as ISO 14000, whether they are audited to that standard by a third party and, if so, they provide a copy of the said certificate. We also request specific information on environmental impacts in our questionnaires (GHG, CO2, water use, resource utilisation, waste and pollution targets and performance) and follow up in our physical audits of suppliers, where we discuss any non-conformance and agreed actions. We request information from all our suppliers on social issues, including child or forced labour, equal opportunities, non-discrimination, freedom of association, labour practices (such as avoidance of excessive hours, minimum wage) and health & safety standards. We assess for the potential for poor labour conditions during the physical audits of all our major raw material suppliers, although the risk of this is low given our suppliers are large production processes or large reputable organisations.
During 2020, we assessed social and environmental requirements at 100% of our supply chain audits and conducted nearly double our number of audits despite COVID-19.
|Number of supplier audits (percentage)|
|2018||42||41 (98%)||36 (86%)|
|2019||54||52 (96%)||52 (96%)|
|2020||95||95 (100%)||95 (100%)|