Section 172 Statement
The directors of the company have a duty to act in good faith in a way that is most likely to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members as a whole and in doing so have regard to the matters below as detailed in section 172 of the Companies Act 2006:
The following paragraphs summarise how the directors fulfil their duties.
Consequences of any decisions in the long term
The board meets regularly throughout the year and considers the consequences of its decisions in the long term during those meetings. The board includes representation from Fuchs Gruppe and all material strategic decisions are considered for approval by the Fuchs Gruppe Advisory Board following recommendation by the board.
Following significant investment in 2020 into a new site and machinery, during 2021 the board approved further investment into new machinery. This is anticipated to improve the efficiency of the Company’s operations and make the business more sustainable in the long term.
During the year, the board developed ‘The Bart Way’, a restatement of the company’s core business values, which focusses on the company’s core stakeholders and sustainability. This will be rolled out to employees during 2022.
Interest of the company’s employees
The Directors regularly engage informally with employees and believe that the decision taken in 2020 to move to a larger site was in the best interests of both the Company and its employees in that it provided the company with the production capacity for further growth to secure its future.
The company set up an Employee Council in 2021 which meets quarterly. Minutes of the meetings are distributed to the company’s senior managers and action is taken where necessary. The company invests in its employees, supporting them to develop and retain the skills required for their roles and continually set higher standards for quality. In 2021 a new Long Service Award scheme was launched to recognise those employees with more than 10 years’ experience at Bart.
In 2021 Bart became an accredited Living Wage employer, committing the company to paying a wage rate independently calculated to ensure employees receive a wage which meets everyday needs.
Following consultation with staff during the year, the company formalised flexible working arrangements for staff in roles which can be performed remotely.
Over the past two years, the company has invested in training a number of Mental Health First Aiders to support employees’ wellbeing on site, while also providing an Employee Assistance Plan through which employees can obtain confidential telephone support and counselling. We are active in raising awareness of mental health issues via regular communications and displays on-site.
The company has a number of key customers, to whom it provides additional services including category management support and new product development. The long-term nature of these contractual relationships ensures that the business is sustainable, and the board can plan for the future with more certainty.
As Bart is a premium brand that supplies high-quality, authentic ingredients, our foodie consumers have high expectations. They rely on us to help them understand where the ingredients come from, why they taste better and how to use them in their cooking. We do this through multiple channels including events, sponsorship, advertising, PR, social media and our website. We also engage on a direct level through customer service via phone and email. We promote healthy eating and support dietary needs within our recipes to encourage our consumers to look after themselves. We also promote the togetherness of cooking, sharing with your family, cooking with friends and the beneficial impact of that on wellbeing.
Bart has also developed strategic partnerships with its suppliers, enabling the company to maintain and improve its high standards for quality, and reduce the risks inherent in a supply chain stretching around the world.
Community and environment
The company takes an active approach to community relationships both in the local area and in the countries where our spices are grown.
Since 2013, Bart has supported the charity Frank Water which works to provide safe water, toilets and good hygiene to marginalised communities in India and Nepal. Over the years, our employees have raised funds by trekking mountains, running marathons, hiking coastal paths and rowing dragon boats across the UK. In 2020, we launched a range of Frank Water roasted curry masalas, from which we donate 10p from the sale of every tin to Frank Water.
In the local area, Bart donates herbs and spices to the Square Food Foundation. These are used in cookery lessons for disadvantaged youths in the Bristol area, providing them with skills so they can gain sustainable employment.
Bart is also supporting St Pauls Carnival in Bristol and its wider community outreach programme. The Carnival event has not happened for the last 2 years due to the pandemic, but they are planning this year’s event and wider outreach programme for July 2022.
With the launch of ‘The Bart Way’ in 2022 the directors plan to make sustainability a key focus area for the future. This is the first year in which the company has been required to report on its annual energy consumption and associated relevant greenhouse gas emissions and the company will also be undertaking the ESOS energy assessment scheme in 2022.
Reputation for high standards of business conduct
Bart Ingredients sets high standards and enjoys a reputation for high quality products and processes.
Following the move to the new site at Severn Beach, Bart maintained BRCGS certification at AA and all customer approvals for the production of private label products.
The Bart Ingredients Food Defence Team (FDT) is part of the technical management which ensures the integrity of goods traded by Bart Ingredients. In 2015 a review of the management resource identified the need for focussed attention on supplier and product understanding and from such developed the Plan-Do-Review strategy. The Food Defence Team has been developed to manage the ‘Plan’ elements of technical controls whilst the Technical Team manage the factory operational ‘Do’ elements. FDT, site technical and procurement meet every quarter at each respective Bart Ingredients site to review, refine and relentlessly improve the controls which help to provide the necessary due diligence defence for our customers and consumers. These controls include a rigorous supplier and product approval process, positive release testing of raw materials and monitoring of emerging hazards and risk factors.
The company undergoes SMETA (Sedex Member Ethical Trade Audits) assessments bi-annually which provides assurance to customers of the high standards of working conditions at our sites.
The company is committed to ensuring that employees are trained in all areas necessary to enable them to maintain the high standards and quality we expect. All Production Operatives are trained to Level 2 Food Hygiene and Safety for Manufacturing within 3 months of joining the company, while those employees responsible for quality assurance are trained to level 3. Managers are trained in areas such as Modern Slavery, GDPR, Diversity and Inclusion and management of HR processes.
Acting fairly as between members of the company
The company has one shareholder and therefore the risk of acting unfairly between shareholders does not arise.
This report was approved by the board and signed on its behalf.
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