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SunRice Group releases inaugural Modern Slavery Statement

3 min read

Food manufacturer SunRice Group has released its inaugural Modern Slavery Statement yesterday, which sets out how the company is working to better understand the risks of modern slavery and human rights abuses in its operations and supply chain, as well as establishes relationships and systems to remedy these issues.

With operations in 9 countries, the SunRice Group has diverse global supply chains, sourcing rice and other products in Financial Year 2021 from 12 countries to supply its approximately 50 markets.

Part of the company’s Modern Slavery Statement outlines the work it has undertaken in Financial Year 2021, including revising their Group Code of Conduct according to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, developing and launching their modern slavery training, extending their whistle-blower mechanisms to include human rights issues or enquiries and developing and implementing a risk assessment process to evaluate new sourcing countries for exploitative labour practices, including forced labour.

In statement, SunRice Group CEO Rob Gordon commented on the release.

“As SunRice pursues the execution of our 2022 Growth Strategy, we are focused on playing a leading role in addressing the impacts of modern slavery in our global supply chains, which is why I am proud to release our first Modern Slavery Statement,” Gordon said.

“We know that a reliable, sustainable operation and supply chain are key to the continued success of SunRice and our communities, and that our commitment to respecting human rights and working towards eradication of modern slavery-like practices requires ongoing and increased focus and action,” he said.

Gordon continued that sustainability isn’t an add on for SunRice – it is at the core of everything they do, and the release of the Statement is just the first step on their journey to better understand the risks of modern slavery and human rights abuses in their operations and supply chain.

He said that while they have robust standards already in place across their diverse operations and supply chains, they know that they can always do better, which is why they have developed this Modern Slavery Statement and earlier in 2020 launched our first Supplier Sustainability Program.

“No individual company or sector can successfully address these issues alone, which is why we will continue to work with our suppliers and other stakeholders to create positive change,” he stressed.

SunRice Group Head of Sustainability Lynette Ryan also said SunRice has been a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact Australia since 2017, and they are committed to implementing the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

“This has guided our approach to date which is designed to be embedded within our operations, with commitment to track and report on our progress in line with global standards,” Ryan said.

Ryan continued that the release of their inaugural Modern Slavery Statement and Supplier Sustainability Program are two important milestones in the continued execution of our Sustainability Strategy.

She said they have made significant progress on the delivery of their Sustainability Strategy in 2020, including combining their reporting with sustainability performance data in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative standards.

“We have also continued our work on implementing the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, and have implemented improvements to the sustainability of our packaging with our partner RedCycle. We are proud of the fact that this work has ensured that 99% of our SunRice and CopRice packaging is recyclable in Australia,” she stated.

Ryan said that despite the challenges of 2020 on their business, they have continued their support of Foodbank Australia, while also continuing to invest in on-ground initiatives in the communities around the world in which they operate.

Source: SunRice Group


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