International food and drink group Princes has sourced 100% of the tomatoes in its Italian supply chain from farms with independent ethical accreditation, according to a new report.
By the end of the 2018 tomato season, all the tomatoes Princes processed came from a source farm in Puglia that holds either Global GAP (Good Agricultural Practice) GRASP or SA3000 accreditation,
GRASP is a voluntary, ready-to-use system that was developed to assess social practices on farms, including workers' health, safety and welfare, contracts, wages and freedom of representation
Princes' ethical accreditation work extends to its migrant worker employment scheme, offering out-of-work migrants positions in its Foggia facility. The scheme, 'Lavoro Senza Frontiere' or 'Work Without Borders', was established in partnership with the charity group Caritas.
Princes' corporate relations director David McDiarmid said: “We have worked hard with our direct suppliers and their growers to reach this 100% ethical accreditation goal and improve the lives of workers in our supply chain. […] We hold regular conferences to encourage the tomato supply chain to redefine its ethical standards, and continue to use our voice to urge all European supply chain stakeholders to deepen their understanding of the causes of labour issues in Italian agriculture, as well as collaborating on solutions."
News of Princes' commitment to an ethical supply chain followed plans to sacrifice its Chichester factory. The plant makes ambient branded and own-label pastes and spreads, canned ready meals, canned pies, stocks and gravies, cooking sauces, and sandwich fillings. The manufacturer said the move was part of a wider drive to modernise production: as part of planned restructuring of its UK-wide manufacturing operations, following a comprehensive, in-depth review, it would be investing in a new production line for canned ready meals at its Long Sutton site in Lincolnshire. The announcement of the planned closure of the Chichester factory comes after Princes confirmed its intention to shut its Newton Heath factory juice.
Princes, which processes fruit juice in addition to canned food, currently runs 11 UK factories, producing brands included Princes, Crosse & Blackwell, Aqua Pura, Jucee and Napolina.