Our reputation is built on being honest and fair. We take a long-term view, operating in a way that safeguards society and the world in which we work now and in the future.
The overriding principle of driving sustainable business is based on the ‘3 Es’ paradigm, which places equal value on Ethics, Environment and Economics. When these are made part of any organisation, the core structure of sustainability is built in.
The ‘3 Es’ model provides a framework from which we are able to pursue our commercial interests in a manner that ensures consideration and respect for the people and partners with whom we work; the livestock and animals for which we are responsible; and the communities and environments in which we operate.
We are committed to conducting business in an ethical manner and acting with integrity.
We employ people of ability who are committed to working together and to upholding our Principles. We believe an individuals’ true potential can only be realised when they are happy and fulfilled in their work. We believe in investing in our people and build relationships based on mutual respect, trust and benefit. Benchmark recognises the individual contributions of its people and rewards them fairly.
We are committed to upholding the human rights of people and to treat them with dignity and respect. This includes:
1. Fair Working Conditions
We protect our employees from unfair or unethical working conditions, including bonded, forced or child labour, or any unsafe working conditions. The employment of young workers below the age of 18 shall only occur in non-hazardous work.
Benchmark provides a workplace free of harassment and discrimination. We aim to ensure that no job applicant or employee is discriminated against, directly or indirectly, on any unlawful grounds. All job applicants will be considered solely on their ability to do the job. All promotions will be made on merit in line with the principles of the policy. We treat all our employees fairly, equally and respectfully. We expect employees to demonstrate respect towards each other. Discrimination for reasons such as race, colour, age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, religion, political affiliation, union membership or marital status will not be tolerated.
3. Fair Treatment
Benchmark provides a workplace free of harsh and inhumane treatment, including any sexual harassment, sexual abuse, corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion or verbal abuse of workers and no threat of any such treatment.
4. Wages, Benefits and Working Hours
Benchmark pays workers according to applicable wage laws, including minimum wages, overtime hours and mandated benefits.
We communicate with our workers the basis on which they are being compensated in a timely manner, whether overtime is required and the wages to be paid for such overtime.
5. Freedom of Association
Open communication and direct engagement with workers to resolve workplace and compensation issues is encouraged by our management.
Benchmark respects the rights of workers, to associate freely, join or not join labour unions, seek representation and join workers’ councils, according to local law. Employees are able to communicate openly with management regarding working conditions without the threat of reprisal, intimidation or harassment.
Health and Safety
Benchmark provides a safe and healthy working environment, including any company provided living quarters. The Health and Safety elements include:
1. Worker Protection
Suppliers shall protect workers from over exposure to chemical, biological, physical hazards and physically demanding tasks in the work place.
2. Emergency Preparedness and Response
Benchmark shall identify and assess emergency situations in the workplace and any company provided living quarters, and to minimise their impact by implementing emergency plans and response procedures.
3. Hazard Information
Safety information relating to hazardous materials shall be made available to educate, train, and protect workers from hazards.
Animal welfare is a priority and animals shall be treated respectfully, with pain and stress minimised. We set and follow high standards of animal husbandry throughout our business and promote humane and sustainable methods of agriculture and aquaculture.
We operate in an environmentally responsible and efficient manner to minimise adverse impacts on the environment.
Benchmark strives to conserve natural resources, to avoid the use of hazardous materials and where possible engage in activities that reuse and recycle.
1. Environmental Authorisations
Benchmark shall comply with all applicable environmental regulations. All required environmental permits, licenses, information registrations and restrictions shall be obtained and their operational and reporting requirements followed.
2. Waste and Emissions
Benchmark has systems in place to ensure the safe handling, movement, storage, recycling, reuse, or management of waste, air emissions and wastewater discharges. Any waste, wastewater or emissions with the potential to adversely impact human or environmental health shall be appropriately managed, controlled and treated prior to any release into the environment.
3. Spills and Releases
Benchmark has systems in place to prevent and mitigate accidental spills and releases to the environment.
Benchmark frequently creates partnerships with others and excels in combining skills, knowledge, and operational expertise from a range of industries to build exciting and successful businesses.
With each of these partners we will be honest and open in the way we do business. We will maintain the highest standards of integrity and honour our contractual commitments.
Business Integrity and Fair Competition
All corruption, extortion and embezzlement are prohibited. We shall not pay or accept bribes or participate in other illegal inducements in business or government relationships.
We will conduct our business consistent with fair and vigorous competition and in compliance with all applicable anti-trust laws. Benchmark employs fair business practices including accurate and truthful advertising.
Identification of Concerns
All employees and partners are encouraged to report concerns or illegal activities in the workplace without threat of reprisal, intimidation or harassment. Benchmark will investigate any such reports and take corrective action if needed.
Benchmark shall safeguard and make only proper use of confidential information to ensure that company workers’ and associates’ privacy rights are protected.
Benchmark uses management systems to facilitate continual improvement and compliance with the expectations of these principles. The management system elements include:
1. Commitment and Accountability
Benchmark demonstrates commitment to the concepts described in this document by allocating appropriate resources.
2. Legal and Customer Requirements
Benchmark identifies and complies with applicable laws, regulations, standards and relevant customer requirements.
Benchmark has mechanisms to determine and manage risks in all areas across the Group.
Benchmark maintains the documentation necessary to demonstrate conformance with these expectations and compliance with applicable regulations.
2. Training and Competency
All Benchmark employees are trained appropriately in working within these codes of conduct.
3. Continual Improvement
Benchmark aims to continually improve by setting performance objectives, executing implementation plans and taking necessary corrective actions for deficiencies identified by internal or external assessments, inspections, and management reviews.