21 October 2008 | Andy Allen
Companies in the food industry have been able to keep a closer eye on labour suppliers after the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) began to publish new details of inspections on its website.
In the past two months more than 2,500 food producers have accessed the GLA's new web page, which provides details of how recently labour providers have been inspected.
With this information firms can obtain up-to-date reports on whether they are using gangmasters who comply with the rules governing agricultural labour.
A GLA spokesperson explained the regulator is not able to place details of inspections directly on its website as this would infringe privacy regulations. "We can't post details of inspections until the appeals process has been exhausted," he said.
However under the new process buyers can approach gangmasters directly and request copies of correspondence with the GLA. In this way they can be made aware of problem areas and may get early warning of a supplier who is about to be ordered to cease trading.
Meanwhile, a gangmaster supplying turkey catchers to farms in Norfolk has had his "wings clipped" according to the GLA. Darius Binderis, of Kings Lynn, had his gangmaster's licence revoked after failing to make himself available for GLA inspections. Binderis had been supplying firms including Great Grove Poultry in Stow Bedon.