Joint modern slavery awareness event

Mon, 24 Jun 2019 09:40:00 BST

The University, in conjunction with colleagues from The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) hosted an event on 13 June to raise awareness of modern slavery in supply chains.

Modern slavery is an international crime affecting millions of people regardless of age, gender or ethnicity in both developed and developing, countries. In this country victims include people trafficked from overseas or vulnerable people from the UK, who are forced to work illegally or against their will. The aim of the event was to raise awareness of the issue and share experiences with the TUCO catering suppliers and their supply chains.

The session was hosted by Sheri-leigh Miles from NETPositive Futures and focussed on raising awareness of modern slavery in supply chains and the challenges faced by suppliers when trying to tackle the issue of how to respond to the challenges of ethical trade. University colleagues were joined by representatives from all sectors of the catering industry and heard speakers from the University, TUCO, NETPositive Futures, Greater Manchester Programme Challenger, legal experts and one of our major suppliers. This was followed by an opportunity to share experiences and network with other attendees.

Feedback was overwhelmingly positive:

"I found it very informative and certainly raised my awareness of the issues and challenges in this important and emotive subject." (Mark Lawton, Harlech Food)

"An eye-opening and informative event thanks to TUCO and The University of Manchester Procurement Team. We all need to work to ensure ethical practices at every stage of the supply chain." H G Stephensons

"I’ll certainly pass this on to customers and suppliers when speaking to them, hopefully using word of mouth we’ll help spread the awareness across the UK and in turn reduce modern slavery." Joshua Graves, Matthew Algie

"TUCO is committed to ethical procurement and raising awareness on relevant issues helps our members and suppliers to become more aware of the risks. Modern slavery is a real danger and this event highlighted ways in which we can address the problem." Mike Haslin, CEO, TUCO

This is one of a number of actions to support the University’s zero tolerance approach to modern slavery and human trafficking.