As we report on our progress for 2020 we are increasingly mindful of the escalating global challenge presented by COVID-19 and the expected longer-term challenges this unprecedented event will bring to our own business, colleagues, suppliers, and ultimately workers all over the world. Now, more than ever, we remain committed to doing the right thing as a business.
Within our supply chain, there is no place for Modern Slavery, plain and simple. Unfortunately, to address this criminal activity in an effective way across industries and governments is anything but simple.
Throughout 2020 we continued to improve our ways of working to ensure that we can make a real difference by enabling us to prevent, identify and take appropriate action to protect the people who are contributing to our business every day.
We are proud to share our fifth modern slavery statement which details the progress we have made to the way we assess, engage and prioritise our work to combat modern slavery throughout 2020. Asda’s supply chain is, like all others, not immune to occurrences of modern slavery, and we have unfortunately encountered further instances this year. We have, however, again taken the opportunity to learn more and remediate any process gaps these cases have identified and have included further case studies in our 2021 statement. Given the hidden nature of these abhorrent crimes, we are pleased to see the effect of our efforts in preventing or managing these occurrences and note the correlation between our training and awareness activities and increasing incident reporting.
We are reassured by the ongoing Government commitment to the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and welcome the new measures that are to be implemented to bolster the legislation further, including mandating the areas statements must cover, publishing new guidance and requiring statement publication on a Government-run reporting service.
Looking ahead to our next report, we will cover a period in which Asda has changed ownership for the first time in 20 years, with the acquisition from Walmart by the Issa Brothers and TDR Capital. While we will continue to enjoy many aspects of our previous relationship with Walmart, we also now have a unique opportunity to chart our own course. In terms of our supply chain and our approach to modern slavery, this enables movement from a Walmart global approach to an Asda specific Responsible Sourcing programme, honing in and focusing our efforts to mitigate the risks of trafficking and modern slavery within our own supply chain.