Since 1997 when we opened our first store in Chelsea, Itsu has always strived to provide beautiful food to its customers that is delicious, healthy and most importantly, ethically sourced.
We work with a diverse and far reaching supply chain, and this gives us the flexibility to react to the ever-changing demands of our customers, the market we operate in and allows us to provide our customers with the most beautiful Asian-inspired eating experience possible.
People are fundamental to the way we operate as a business and our success couldn’t be achieved without the teams working in our shops through to the suppliers producing our raw materials. Upholding their human rights is an essential part of our operation. We know that as a growing business the challenges of modern slavery are complex and can affect all businesses big and small. We are committed and passionate about the eradication of unacceptable and unethical practices and we are working tirelessly to ensure that this is a cornerstone of our business and underpins the way we do business.
This statement has been published in accordance with Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
Our Business and Supply Chain
We work with suppliers of all sizes to source over 180 ingredients, from small farms in the UK to multinational operators. We also strive to ensure that our fresh products such as chicken, fish and fresh produce are sourced from within the UK when possible. Due to seasonality and macro-impacts on availability, this is not always possible.
Itsu has developed a strong and longstanding relationship with a number of suppliers that have been on the journey with us from our very first store in 1997, right through to the 70+ shops we now operate from. These suppliers are highly trusted and our business wouldn’t be achieving such success without them. New suppliers are also encouraged to develop a strong sense of partnership with Itsu and this is done through mutual trust and respect.
Ensuring the integrity of this supply chain is vital to our business and we are constantly working on ways to prevent, identify and react to the risks of modern slavery.
As a growing business, we are in the process of reviewing our policies in order to make sure that our suppliers understand our expectations with regards to human rights across all areas of our supply chain. Our internal Itsu operational HR policies are robust and readily available to all staff and form part of the Itsu induction conducted at our dedicated Academy based in London.
Itsu actively encourages employees to report any activity that they believe is in breach of company standards, and a 24-hour confidential helpline is available to report any issues.
Due Diligence & Identification of risk
Itsu is fortunate to work with several suppliers that are the leading manufacturers within their product categories. Many of these suppliers already have robust Due Diligence measures in place.
As part of the ongoing improvement to all Itsu’s policies and standards, we are ensuring that we have a more comprehensive approach to risk assessment and identification of risk. We visit all food suppliers within our supply chain to assess them from a food safety perspective, but also an ethical standpoint to ensure they are a suitable partner for itsu. Given our trading & supply chain geography, we are committed to understanding all aspects of these often-complex supply chains.
Any suppliers that do not meet our high standards are removed from our supplier portfolio and not revisited until we feel confident that they meet our high expectations of a supplier to Itsu.
Next Steps (to ensure we remain ahead)
Itsu is committed not only to creating beautiful food but also that we do business in a beautifully responsible way. We will ensure that we have the correct, suitable and robust policies in place to reduce the risks of modern slavery in our supply chain and operations. Our key next steps to tackle and minimise risk are as follows;
- Review our current ethical trading policies and update accordingly.
- Review and risk assess our operation and supply chains and review these on a regular basis.
- Ensure that all new suppliers into the Itsu supply chain meet our minimum ethical expectations.
- Further invest in training for our Senior Leaders and all relevant head-office and store colleagues.
- Roll out a new quality assurance framework across to ensure ethical standards are adhered to across our stores, our partner run stores and global supply chain.
- Engaging with like-minded, best-in-class operators in our sector and other industries to share and learn best practice across all ethical trading standards.
This statement was prepared by the Itsu modern slavery working group and approved by our Executive Senior Management team and Founder.
Julian Metcalfe Ganan Kanagathurai
Founder Itsu Managing Director