Modern slavery and human trafficking statement

The John Innes Centre is an independent, world leading international centre of excellence in plant science and microbiology.  Our mission is to generate knowledge of plants and microbes through innovative research, to apply knowledge to benefit agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, to train scientists for the future and engage with policy makers and the public.

We are a truly international organisation, employing staff from more than 40 countries. Our culture is inclusive and equitable. We were the first institution to hold an Athena Swan Gold award.

In the pursuit of excellence, it is our responsibility to ensure that our research is conducted according to appropriate ethical, legal and professional frameworks, obligations and standards.

We provide a research environment that is underpinned by a culture of integrity and based on good governance, best practice and support for the development of researchers.

John Innes staff recruitment policies ensure that employees are legally entitled to work in UK with the necessary and appropriate checks undertaken. Staff undertake mandatory training in equality and diversity to safeguard employees from abuse. John Innes also maintains a whistleblowing policy which is clear and easily accessible to staff.

As a registered charity, John Innes Centre has a responsibility to ensure that the funds it disperses are properly spent, in accordance with the law, funder requirements and in the public interest.

We support the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and we are committed to carrying out procurement activities in an environmentally, socially, ethically and economically responsible manner.

Our supply chains fall mainly under five ‘super-categories’, which are:

  • Laboratory Consumables and Equipment
  • Library Resources
  • Professional Services
  • ICT Equipment and Services
  • Estates Goods and Services

The principal categories deemed as carrying material risks with respect to Modern Slavery are laboratory consumables, ICT equipment and some estates services, such as cleaning and security services.

A significant amount of our procurement is undertaken through our membership of the London Universities Purchasing Consortium (LUPC), a non-profit professional buying organisation which is part of the UK University Purchasing Consortia.  LUPC is a leader in promoting respect for human rights in public supply chains and is committed to supporting the UK Government’s National Action Plan, to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.  LUPC has focused on these highest risk categories by running pilot due diligence projects in laboratory gloves, cleaning services and security services, and by maintaining its affiliation to monitoring organisation Electronics Watch.

In 2022 LUPC developed a new tool called the Supplier Due Diligence Tool (SDDT) to assess the social and environmental performance of suppliers. All LUPC suppliers are now required to complete this to provide more information about their organisation and practices, this will highlight areas that need to be explored further and help identify areas that they may require extra support or encouragement in moving forwards with.

During the financial year ended 31 March 2023 we have:

  • Continued to improve awareness of staff of the Modern Slavery Act and its impact on businesses, supported by an eLearning suite from LUPC, available on our Intranet’s purchasing pages.
  • Ensured that any new suppliers are compliant with the Modern Slavery Act and where applicable collate this information for reference.
  • Promote purchasing through suppliers that are LUPC registered or have completed the Supply Chain Code of Conduct.
  • Ensured that all staff involved in procurement have completed mandatory training.
  • Continued to review our agreements to ensure that obligations to comply with the Modern Slavery Act are included where appropriate and to ensure that due diligence is in place to mitigate any risk.

During financial year ending 31st March 2024 we will:

  • Strengthen our approach across Purchasing and Facilities by reviewing our NBI Supply Chain Code of Conduct, ensuring all new suppliers are compliant and also include this is in all our tendering activities.
  • Review our current supplier base to ensure NBI suppliers are continuing to be compliant to our already established code of conduct and challenging those who cannot provide a suitable statement and, if necessary, removing them from our supplier base if deemed non-compliant in favour of more ethical suppliers.
  • Review our key performance indicators to monitor and understand any changes in the supplier behaviour that could possibly undermine our established code of conduct in regard to our Modern Slavery statement.
  • Review and, if deemed necessary, refresh our Modern Slavery training with the latest information and guidance.
  • Provide improved training packages to budget holders and authorisers to continue our understanding and awareness of the risk of Modern Slavery in our supplier base.
  • Ensuring any new staff in our business are fully aware of our Modern Slavery statement and fully trained.

This statement has been approved the Governing Council, and signed on its behalf by the Chair:

Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett

Trustee Director. 20th July 2023