Modern Slavery

This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) modern slavery and human trafficking statement (including our trading subsidiaries, RHS Enterprises Ltd and RHS Special Events Ltd) in relation to the financial year that ended 31 January 2022.

The Society is a registered charity incorporated and governed by a Royal Charter and by Bye-laws approved by our members. The Society has two active trading companies that donate their available profits under Gift Aid to the Society, thereby assisting the funding of our non-commercial, charitable activities:

  • RHS Enterprises Ltd – a retailer and commercial event organiser operating at RHS Gardens, RHS Shows and online
  • RHS Special Events Ltd – organises events for fundraising purposes at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival and other gardens and shows as appropriate

We are committed to ensuring modern slavery is not present in our supply chains and have introduced, and will continue to develop, policy and procedures to manage the way we obtain goods and services to keep our supply chains robust and free from modern slavery.

During the 2021/22 financial year, a new Procurement Policy and Procedure was rolled out. This includes a due diligence checklist that suppliers are required to answer prior to contracting and commencing the supply of goods and/or services to ensure that suppliers have appropriate procedures and policies in place to identify, prevent and address any risks of modern slavery in their operations and their supply chains.
The Society has also implemented an RHS Supplier Code of Conduct, which includes ethical and environmental requirements. Suppliers must be able to demonstrate compliance with the Code of Conduct and this includes specific prohibitions against the use of underage, forced, compulsory or trafficked labour, or anyone held in slavery or servitude (whether adults or children). If a supplier is found to be in breach of the Code, the RHS may immediately terminate the contract or arrangement with the supplier.

In addition to the above, a Society-wide Modern Slavery Policy has now been implemented and Senior Managers have received modern slavery training, including the related requirements in the Procurement Policy and Procedure and Supplier Code of Conduct.

We continue to operate within the UK only and we ensure that all of our workers are eligible to work in the UK. The majority of our workers are employed directly; where on occasion we utilise agency workers, we ensure the same checks are undertaken by the agency. We ensure we pay all workers at or above the National Minimum Wage. We have clear policies on ‘grievance’ and ‘whistleblowing’ together with an employee consultation group called RHS Voices, through which employees can openly raise matters of concern. Our Employee Assistance Programme also provides staff with a secure way of seeking advice about any modern slavery or human trafficking issues personally affecting them or their families.

Approved by RHS Council on 13 June 2022 and the Boards of RHS Enterprises Ltd and RHS Special Events Ltd on 13 June 2022. Signed by Sue Biggs, Former Director General.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.