Modern Slavery Statement
Gong cha was established in Taiwan in 2006. Since then we have grown into a highly recognized global brand, using the best quality ingredients and providing the highest level of customer service. Today, Gong cha is one of the best-known tea providers in the world, delighting an ever-growing loyal fan-base in over 20 regions around the world.
However, this success has only been possible through the dedicated support and commitment of our colleagues, suppliers, franchise partners, and ultimately our valuable customers. People are at the heart of Gong cha and where we set and maintain the highest standards when it comes to doing what’s right for our people.
This is the first Modern Slavery Statement we have published in accordance with Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, since Gong cha Global Head Office was set up in London following the acquisition of the company by TA Associates in 2019. However, despite this document being the first publication by Gong cha Global Ltd, it is important to note that our previous and past owners in South Korea and Taiwan have also always upheld the highest level of operating standards in the business.
At Gong cha, we have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to any form of slavery, forced labour or human trafficking. That rule applies to our own business, but also to the operations and activities of our global franchisees, suppliers and other third-party vendors. Gong cha operates its business and relationships according to our core values of integrity, innovative, pragmatic and inspiring, which is why the protection of our human rights across our end-to-end supply chain is integral to our business.
Through this statement the new Gong cha Global Ltd leadership team will develop and build on the work already done to date by our previous parent companies. In 2021, we will aim to evolve our responsible sourcing and human rights programme, work collaboratively with all our stakeholder network and continue to improve our methods of tackling the issue of modern slavery.
This statement covers the period from 1st January 2021 through to 31st December 2021, as approved by the Gong cha Global Ltd Board of Directors.
Our Business and Supply Chain Structure
Gong cha is one of the most recognized milk tea brands in the world. We have over 1400 stores across the globe. Most of our global retail footprint is in the APAC region, but we also have a significant presence in the Americas. 56% of our stores are directly operated and the remainder are franchised through a Master/Sub Franchisee system. Regarding our workforce, we have 1478 team members directly employed by Gong cha Global or its subsidiary companies. 705 Gong cha employees are from our Support Centres, located in Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, USA and UK. 773 Gong cha employees are from our directly operated stores. Additionally, we have a vast and ever-growing network of Master and Sub-Franchise partners, who employ their own local support centre and store staff respectively and as necessary for the smooth and efficient running of their franchise businesses.
The Gong cha supply chain is a profit centre, within which the procurement function is split into ingredients for drinks, consumables and bar/kitchen equipment. We also procure fixtures, fittings and furniture, as well as IT and office supplies for our Support Centres and directly operated stores. Other services are procured as required.
Our franchise partners also, to a certain extent, carry out local purchasing activity for items which can’t be supplied by Gong cha Global, such as fresh milk. Any items sourced locally by our subsidiary or franchise partners are subject to an approval and sign off process by Gong cha Global Ltd.
We have over 150 vendors within our Gong cha Global Ltd and subsidiary companies, covering products ranging across tea, pearls, toppings equipment and other services. Approx. 95% of all our supply base are located in the APAC region.
Managing Our Risk
We’re committed to preventing human rights violations, modern slavery and human trafficking within our business and end-to-end supply chains. We will continuously track our supply chain, review the risks and ensure to engage and inform all relevant stakeholders, with our responsible sourcing and human rights programmes.
There are three areas of risk for our company, covering;
- - Our customers
- - Our supply chains
- - Our team members
It is sad that the QSR and F&B industries can be used by traffickers as a location to either groom or exploit victims. Gong cha is committed to preventing modern slavery and protecting customers where and whenever possible.
Although our team members are only likely to have a brief interaction with current or potential victims, we have a Human Trafficking Policy that informs our team members about the issue, how to spot the signs, and how to report concerns.
We recognized that, like any business with global suppliers, our supply chain is at risk of being exposed to modern slavery. Since moving our Corporate Head Office to London, UK, we will be committed to running a risk assessment of our supply chain to better understand how we are exposed to human rights violations, including modern slavery, and to ensure our due diligence is best practice. We will plan to work with all local and international organizations to produce a risk map of our global supply chain, as well as conduct a policy review of our procurement due diligence procedures.
The risk mapping is a theoretical human rights ranking which identifies where risks are most likely to be without our supply chain, but it does not confirm their existence.
Examples from reports compiled for other similar companies within the QSR and F&B sector have shown a high number of suppliers who operate either in a sector or country that is deemed to have a high risk for human rights violations, making up £millions of spend. These high-risk suppliers are primarily manufacturers of food and beverages, but also of consumables and furniture. They can also include those that provide corporate services, such as store fit-outs, warehousing and other facilities services.
Through industry benchmarks, we will be able to conduct an actual risk ranking of our own supply base. Using both available public information and data which suppliers disclose to our team, we will review what each supplier takes to manage their own human rights risks. Responding to the findings, we will identify which of our suppliers are deemed as significant risk and conduct social audits of these businesses to check that they meet our standards.
We are aware that maintain a fair and safe environment, which empowers team members to develop their skills and fulfil their potential, allows us to deliver high standards for our customers every day. Although there is a risk of team members working within the Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) and Food & Beverage (F&B) sectors experiencing human trafficking, we know that team members within our business are at a lower than typical risk of exploitation.
Since our, and our franchisees’, team members in store must speak the local languages fluently and are always working front-of-house serving our customers, they are less likely to be successfully isolated by a potential trafficker.
We prefer not to use labour agencies for temporary team members in our, or our franchisees’, stores or in any of our support centres. If we do decide to hire temporary staff from an external employment agency, then we will only source through verified agencies, which are vetted by our HR and Procurement Teams, including reviewing their recruitment procedures, grievance policies and payroll practices.
All team members and managers are made aware of the signs of modern slavery though our Human Trafficking Policy. All team members are encouraged to report any suspicions to the human resources responsible, who will investigate further and, if appropriate, refer potential incidents to law enforcement. Regardless of the lower risk, there is always a risk of team members being victims of modern slavery, which we take very seriously. Building on the work from our previous and past owners, we will continue to implement a range of best practice policies and procedures to protect them.
These policies apply to people directly employed by Gong cha or its subsidiaries, including all staff working in directly operated stores and support centres. These policies can be obtained by writing to the company at the address noted on the contacts page of our website.
In 2021, we will map out our supply chain operations to ensure that our human rights due diligence meets best practice. We will create on-boarding processes for our suppliers and new franchise partners. Part of the on-onboarding process will involve human rights self-assessment that suppliers are required to complete and automating the risk ranking process so that we have real-time insight into both our inherent and actual human rights risk.
We will design and implement an ethical auditing programme for suppliers who we deem a priority depending on whether they operate in a sector or country known to be high-risk for human rights. Our due diligence process will create clarity around roles and responsibilities for human rights throughout a supplier’s entire life cycle, from tendering for contracts through to contract expiration.
We will develop modern slavery policy training for key teams within our business. This training will ensure our teams understand both modern slavery and human rights and are aware of the high-risk goods and services we procure and understand why it is crucial to follow the human rights due diligence process that we are currently implementing.
Measuring Our Effectiveness and Progress to Date
In 2021 we will develop a set of KPIs which will enable us to measure how effective our actions have been at preventing modern slavery from occurring across our business and supply chains. We will begin reporting against these indicators in our subsequent statements.
|Supply Chain||Conduct supply chain risk mapping||Red|
|Create supply chain manual for global franchise partners||Red|
|Create end-to-end supply chain KPI Dashboard||Red|
|Team||Finalize employer policy manual||Red|
2021 will be the first complete year of Gong cha Global Ltd under the new leadership based in London. It is a complex business, with subsidiary companies in Taiwan, Korea, Japan and United States. Our focus will be to establish our human rights due diligence processes in our supply chain, establish the high-risk suppliers and create training programmes for our teams. We will also look to establish relevant key performance indicators in areas which we need to track progress against supply chain and teams. We look forward to reporting on our progress in our next Modern Slavery Statement.