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 line with Home Office guidance, we aim to make progress over a period of time across a broad range of potential exposures.   During the financial year ended 31 March 2022 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.
  • Enhanced the ‘Responsible Procurement’ award criteria in our tender documents which includes identifying, preventing and mitigating the risks of human rights abuse in the supply chain.
  • 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.
  • Introduced new key performance indicators covering the amount of spend with suppliers that have supplied Modern Slavery Statements/Supply Chain Code of Conducts or are part of purchasing consortium frameworks to enable the monitoring and improvement of the amount of procurement covered.

During the financial year ending 31 March 2023 we will:

  • Take a united approach across Purchasing and Facilities by requiring agreement to the NBI Supply Chain Code of Conduct where a Modern Slavery Statement is not available for new suppliers.
  • Continue to improve the amount of procurement that is covered by a Modern Slavery Statement, Supply Chain Code of Conduct or Purchasing Consortium framework by approaching more existing suppliers and requesting a Modern Slavery Statement or Code of Conduct if they have not done so already.
  • Use the key performance indicators to monitor and increase the amount of procurement activity covered by Modern Slavery Statements, Supply Chain Code of Conduct or by assured purchasing consortium frameworks.
  • Continue to roll out Modern Slavery awareness training, via the Purchasing and Stores Intranet pages, to budget holders and authorisers to improve awareness of the risk of Modern Slavery and key actions to ensure compliance.

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

Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett, Trustee Director