We are launching the findings of our review of progress made by the meat and poultry processing sector since we launched our inquiry report in 2010. The inquiry found mistreatment and discrimination against migrant and pregnant workers in particular. Our review highlights clear signs of progress, which we are pleased with, particularly in light of the difficult economic environment. It also reveals that significant problems still exist within some firms. We have also launched the guidance below to help firms tackle some of the remaining challenges, and to support the meat and poultry processing sector to understand their obligations under the Equality Act.
"The food and drink manufacturing industry is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK. The meat and poultry sector is a significant part of this, employing 67,500 people; 30 per cent located in the East of England and East Midlands. The meat processing sector is of particular importance to the Welsh economy, employing 5,700 people and contributing a turnover of £600 million a year".
Improve, Food and Drink Manufacturing and Processing. Labour Market Information 2011-12 and Improve Wales Sector Skills Assessment 2010-2011.
Recruitment and employment in the meat and poultry processing industry | PDF
Recruitment and employment in the meat and poultry processing industry | WORD
Recruitment and employment in the meat and poultry processing industry | Welsh WORD
Meat and Poultry processing review | PDF
Meat and Poultry processing review | WORD
Meat and poultry processing review | Welsh WORD
Inquiry timeline 2008-2012
A brief historical overview of our Inquiry from the it's launch in October 2008 to our review in November 2011 through to our findings in November 2012. Read more
Management practices: supplier standards
The guidance contained here is that which the sector (retailers, meat processing companies, poultry processing companies, and labour provider representatives)considers to represent good practice in meeting and exceeding the recommendations contained in the inquiry report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Read more
The inquiry gave us the opportunity to examine how people working in this industry are recruited, and how they are treated once they are at work. Through questionnaires, interviews and consultation with individuals and organisations we were able to gather broad and authoritative evidence that has formed the base of our findings report.
The report reveals evidence of the widespread mistreatment and exploitation of migrant and agency workers in the sector, and makes recommendations to the key bodies - supermarkets, agencies, processing firms, government, regulators and unions – which we believe will encourage a systemic change in behaviour.
In addition to the report, we have created a supplementary set of in-depth findings about each of the main problem issues for agency workers in the sector, and our recommendations how to address them.
Meat and poultry processing sectors Inquiry report
Inquiry into recruitment and employment in the meat and poultry processing processing sector report | PDF
Inquiry into recruitment and employment in the meat and poultry processing processing sector report | Word