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Verner Wheelock expands with acquisition of Ethical Audit Company

28 April 2018

One of the UK’s leading independent food industry training consultancies has acquired a well-respected ethical auditing company. 

Verner Wheelock, based in Skipton, North Yorkshire, has seen the ethical auditing side of its business grow over the past couple of years. To build on this success it has now purchased ethical trade auditing company, Keith Stamp Social Auditing (KSSA) from owner Keith Stamp.

Established in 1998, KSSA is an ethical trading and social compliance specialist with a small team of auditors who are highly-experienced in Corporate Social Responsibility, Human Resources and Health & Safety Management.

The company has nearly 20 years’ experience conducting SMETA ethical trade audits and has worked with most major retailers throughout their supply chains. Typical businesses audited include growers and packers of produce, bakeries, meat plants, fisheries and food processors.

Verner Wheelock MD, Alison Wheelock said, “We have worked in tandem with KSSA for several years, so when Keith announced he would like to take a step back, it seemed the ideal opportunity. For the past two years we have provided an audit management service for KSSA ethical audits.

We can assure current KSSA customers that we will continue to provide the high standard of service and professionalism that they have come to expect, and look forward to continued long-term relationships with them. We are delighted that Keith Stamp will continue to work with Verner Wheelock as a consultant and ethical auditor. He has a wealth of knowledge and we value his input greatly.”

Verner Wheelock was formed in 1990 and has been a major player in food industry training ever since. As well as its ethical auditing service, which is also focused on the food industry, it provides training in HACCP, Food Safety and Auditing, together with specialist courses such as VACCP & TACCP, Legal Labelling and Root Cause Analysis. Customers read like a ‘Who’s Who’ of the food industry.

Media attention focusing on issues of child labour, human trafficking and modern slavery, health and safety breaches , low wages and long hours has led to greater public awareness and concern over ethical trade issues. In today’s global marketplace, with ever more complex supply chains, there is an increasing necessity for organisations to act in an ethical and socially responsible manner and to demonstrate that they are doing so.

Verner Wheelock will continue to conduct Sedex Member Ethical Trade Audits (SMETA).the findings of which are shared through The Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex). They work to a consistent, professional standard to ensure that all audits are in compliance with the internationally-recognised Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code. Verner Wheelock is also a member of APSCA – the Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors. APSCA is a global organisation which aims to improve the quality of social compliance audits with a view to contributing to the improvement of workplace conditions.


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