Is it possible to guarantee respect for employees in the workplace and across the supply chain?

We have always striven to meet the needs of our employees by guaranteeing safety in the workplace, offering stable contracts and a work environment designed to attract new talent.

Our employees

Since the beginning, our employees have been a recognized commitment.  Over the past years, this has strengthened our appeal in all the countries in which we operate.

Breakdown of the workforce by gender (2019)

Breakdown of workers by gender

Breakdown of the workforce by category (2019)

Breakdown of workers by category

Breakdown of the workforce by age bracket (2017)

To improve the quality of the work environment, respond to our employees’ needs and develop a strong sense of belonging, we provide a program of corporate welfare activities every year. This program enables us to work within the framework of the broader strategy of the Bolton Group which launched Bolton4You, a corporate welfare program featuring initiatives focusing on four areas: health, family, saving and free time.

Since 2019, we have implemented social projects in Ecuador and Morocco in the sectors of Education and Health. In addition to offering study grants and camps to the children of our employees, we also offer free physiotherapy, orthodontic and gynecological consultations. Furthermore, we have contributed to the building of three school libraries in the city of Manta.

In order to foster employee participation in corporate life, we intensified internal communications, for example, by improving our corporate newsletter to inform our employees about innovations and daily  progress, in terms of sustainability and business.

In 2019,  in addition to a ‘Great Place to Work’, we also launched a questionnaire about our in-house working environment. These questionnaires provided important results in terms of employee participation (approximately 90% response rate). We are now working in-house to develop projects and initiatives that will  allow us to improve and strengthen the critical points that emerged from discussions with our employees, and improve our trust index.

Safety in the workplace

Safety in the workplace is one of our key priorities, which we have addressed by focusing on different projects and initiatives. In 2013, this was codified thanks to the achievement of OHSAS 18001 certification for the Cermenate plant, and was followed in 2015, by the implementation of same at the Quimper plant.

We are aware that work on occupational safety requires commitment and ongoing attention.  For this reason, we continue  to work on reducing the number of accidents that occur in our plants to a minimum.

The index of seriousness at our plants in Italy and France accounted for 0.35 in 2019 and 0.38 at our plants in Spain, Morocco and Ecuador.

Total number of accidents, per country (no.)

As regards the frequency index , we have noticed a reduction in France from 42.47 in 2014 to 30.50 in 2017 while, in Italy, following a negative peak of 23.20 in 2015, due to an increase in production and the number of new hires at the Cermenate plant, starting in 2016, this index dropped to 14.13 in 2017, thanks to our training initiatives.

In 2016, to improve vehicle control skills, we organized a safety driving course for 60 of our sales personnel at the Monza racetrack.


The responsible supply chain

We are aware that our supply chain has a strong potential to create value for the communities in emerging countries where tuna fishing is important, and we are committed to making it safe and modern.

We are convinced that it is our responsibility to contribute to the growth of local economies in the developing countries in which we operate, by validating the enormous natural resource represented by tuna, often one of the most significant sources of income in these countries.

Production at our plants is based on the use of rounds and pre-cooked tuna loins which are processed by hand in the fishing areas. Processing of the loins has two positive impacts on local economy: direct, creating jobs at production plants, and indirect, thanks to the services required by factories.

Additionally, the  decision to increase the percentage of tuna caught using both Pole & Line and artisanal fishing methods, is encouraging the emergence of small local fleets, creating prospects for economic, social and cultural development.

Safeguarding human rights across the supply chain

Respect for human rights is at the heart of our corporate culture and a cornerstone of our sustainability strategy. This explains why we are committed to ensuring that they are respected both within the company and across the entire supply chain, by collaborating with our suppliers who are required to endorse and respect the principles of the Ethics Code and the Bolton Group’s Policy of Human Rights.

Human Rights Policy published in December 2016:

  • Defines the guidelines and commitments to protect the fundamental rights of workers;
  • Governs compliance with health and safety regulations for all employees of the Group’s companies;
  • Certifies that salaries and working conditions comply with local laws and standards;
  • Refutes forced child labor;
  • Guarantees compliance with the Conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Bolton Food has shared the contents of its Policy with all employees, clients and suppliers. Additionally, an assessment questionnaire aimed at verifying compliance with the principles of the Policy is sent periodically to strategic suppliers and suppliers operating in countries at risk of human rights violations.

Since March 2017, our Tuna Policy has required our suppliers to comply with the regulations stipulated by the ILO C188 convention to protect and promote human rights for workers in the fishing industry.

In May 2020, we signed a new partnership with Oxfam with the aim of working towards improving the rights of all those operating across our supply chain.

Bolton thus became the first Italian company in the world to sign a partnership agreement with Oxfam  based on a multi-country approach to these  issues, with the aim of promoting a vision of  ‘healthier, more sustainable food’, not only  for the environment  and those consuming the food, but also for those producing it.

This partnership envisages a four-year roadmap until 2024 and includes a robust analysis of the global tuna supply chain. The aim of this analysis conducted by Oxfam is to protect and further validate the people and communities involved. This task is perfectly aligned with the international standards outlined in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business.