CODE OF BUSINESS AND CONDUCT ETHIC

AALST CHOCOLATE CODE OF CONDUCT 


Aalst Chocolate Pte Ltd ("the Company”) fully recognise that adherence to the highest standards of business conduct is vital to its growth and success as a prominent and reputable supplier in the industry. This Code of Ethics (the “Code”) establishes the fundamental standards of conduct and values consistent with the principles of good governance and business ethics for observance by all staff, business partners, and stakeholders. 


The standards of conduct and values in this Code shall guide and define the actions and decisions of the Company. We expect all Staff to observe with such values in the performance of their duties, in their relationships with fellow Staff and in all their dealings with shareholders, customers, suppliers, government and the general public. 


We expect all Business Partners / Suppliers to exhibit these values as a condition to their engagement, and for those existing at the time of effectivity hereof, and thereafter, to align and demonstrate compliance with the principles and standards stated in this Code at all times as a condition to their continued business relationship with the Company, as well as apply the Code to the parties with whom they work in providing goods and services to the Company. 

Mission and Vision 


Our Mission 
Aalst Chocolate takes pride in bringing functionality, value, and delight to all stakeholders to whom we offer our chocolate products and services. 


Our Vision 
We seek to become the leading producer of chocolate in Asia and a trusted partner to the global food industry.

Our Core Values 


Reliable  
Consistency underpins all our dealings with all our stakeholders so you know what to expect from our brand. We procure the finest ingredients from well-managed sources across the globe to ensure a resilient supply chain that always delivers on time. We are a business that never takes your trust for granted. 


Responsible 
We are dedicated to growing with the people in our supply chain and the one planet we all share. Although the journey promises to be challenging, we pledge to trade only with ethical partners to truly impart goodness to all our products and services. 


Sincere 
We procure the finest cocoa beans at the best prices from well-managed resources around the world to ensure a flexible and robust supply chain that always delivers. We are dedicated to going the extra mile through support for sustainable solutions that benefit both local communities and our customers. 

 

Professional 
We are passionate masters of chocolate, committed to continuous innovation in our processes and methods. Our goal – goodness in every sense of the word. The result is an exceptional range of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products to empower culinary creativity. 

Introduction and Application 


Aalst Chocolate Pte Ltd ("the Company”) fully recognise that adherence to the highest standards of business conduct is vital to its growth and success as a prominent and reputable supplier in the industry. 


This Code of Ethics (the “Code”) establishes the fundamental standards of conduct and values consistent with the principles of good governance and business ethics for observance by all staff, business partners, and suppliers. It does not intend to replace or supersede any applicable legal or regulatory requirement and reads into it existing Company policies, procedures and the corresponding sanctions for non - compliance therewith, as well as those that may subsequently be adopted by the Company in response to prevailing business conditions. 


Policies and/or procedures may further be promulgated or revised as the need arises, to give effect to this Code. Thus, this Code shall henceforth be the foundation for all existing and future policies and procedures of the Company that these shall find a basis in and supplement the provisions of this Code. 


This Code shall be reviewed from time to time as may be deemed necessary by Aalst Chocolate Pte Ltd. 

Message from the Head – Human Resources

 

Dear Colleagues, 


This manual that you have in your hand contains our Company’s Code of Ethics. It illustrates how every member of staff at Aalst Chocolate Pte Ltd is expected to act, think and respond to work, circumstances and to society. It provides guiding principles that will help establish and sustain the integrity and image that Aalst Chocolate Pte Ltd upholds as a Company. 


As a member of staff and a business partner, we are expected to abide by this Code as we clock in every working day and go about our business. 


The Code of Ethics helps maintain the integrity of our name. Maintaining our good name guarantees sustainability of our business because it wins the trust of our business partners – the families worldwide whom we have promised to nourish and nurture through our products and services. 


Where the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining is restricted under the law, our company facilitates, and does not hinder, the development of parallel means for independent and free association and bargaining.  
We uphold a no-discrimination policy. There is no discrimination in hiring, compensation, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, union membership or political affiliation. 


Discuss our Code freely with colleagues, be accountable to each other and most importantly, learn to live by it every day. This is what we are expected to be as part of the Aalst family. 


We look forward to your support and to your commitment to the Code of Ethics. 

Sherin Tan

Head, Human Resources, 

Aalst Chocolate Pte Ltd

 

Expectations

  • We believe that what is expected in this Code is universal but cognisant of differences in culture and challenges in interpreting and applying the principles globally. 

  • We recognise that the methods for meeting these expectations may vary in order to be consistent with the laws, values and cultural expectations of the countries where we operate. 

  • The standards of conduct and values in this Code shall guide and define the actions and decisions of the Company 

  • We expect all Staff to observe with such values in the performance of their duties, in their relationships with fellow Staff and in all their dealings with shareholders, customers, suppliers, government and the general public. 

  • We expect all Business Partners / Suppliers to exhibit these values as a condition to their engagement, and for those existing at the time of effectivity hereof, and thereafter, to align and demonstrate compliance with the principles and standards stated in this Code at all times as a condition to their continued business relationship with the Company, as well as apply the Code to the parties with whom they work in providing goods and services to the Company. 

 

 

Our Guiding Principles

Customer Focus

Aalst Chocolate PTE LTD is committed to achieve total customer satisfaction, ensure food defence is in place and prevent food fraud occurrence.

 

  • We are also committed to ensure that the food safety and quality of all our chocolate and compound products meet standards.  

  • We are committed to comply with all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. We shall strive to protect the environment including prevention of pollution, prevent all occupational injuries and ill-health and provide all our employees, subcontractors and visitors with a safe and healthy workplace.  

  • Management is committed to provide the necessary resources for the implementation and continuous improvement of our Integrated Management System.  

  • This commitment is supported by measurable Food Safety, Quality and Environmental Objectives and communicated both internally and externally. 

  • This applies to all processes from purchase and receipt of ingredients, raw and packaging materials to product development, production, maintenance, quality control, storage, sales and shipping of our products. 

 

Innovativeness and Continuous Learning

“Doing it right the first time, all the time.”

  • We encourage creativity and ingenuity in our processes and systems, products and services, continuously looking for better ways to do things, always striving to be the first to deliver something better.

  • We create an environment that encourages learning, not only to deliver expectations but also to grow in knowledge and abilities.

 

Meritocracy and Passion for Success

  • We constantly strive for excellence. We aspire to be the best we can be and create value in everything we do. We are proactive and entrepreneurial, propelled by a sense of urgency and competitiveness, with speed and precision in execution, and total dedication to results.

  • We recognize and reward individuals and organizations on the basis of performance and results.

 

Accountability for Actions

  • We take full responsibility for all our actions and decisions, and discharge our duties conscientiously, honestly and efficiently.

  • We uphold and regard as paramount the Company’s interest in the undertaking of business strategies, opportunities and endeavors, with deliberate and full evaluation and management of attendant risks and the end view of enhancing and maximizing shareholder value.

  • We comply with and respect all applicable laws, rules and regulations governing the Company’s businesses, in all jurisdictions where such is conducted.

Integrity and Mental Honesty and Fair Play

  • We conduct business in a manner which is ethical, fair and right.

  • We compete fairly and honestly. Each one of us believes in profit in a fair and level playing field, and is committed to good governance and the highest moral standards in the performance of duties and responsibilities.

  • We ensure the integrity of our records, books and accounting, and endeavor fully, fairly, timely and accurately report and disclose material information in accordance with law and regulations.

  • We build and strengthen business relationships on the basis of merit, mutual interest, candor and fair competition, and avoid profit or gain of competitive advantage through manipulation, abuse of privileged or non - public information, concealment, misrepresentation and other illegal or unethical practices.

  • We exercise utmost discretion in accepting personal favors or gifts from persons seeking or doing business with the Company, and refuse to grant personal favors, or decline any gift or benefit that may compromise the independence of the Company, create a sense of obligation on its part or potentially influence its business judgment.

  • We avoid circumstances and positions that actually or potentially conflict with the interest of the Company or compromise our positions and objectivity in business dealings and relationships.

Transparency

  • We shall strive for transparency, openness and communication and accountability pertaining to operations, policies, processes and records keeping, in our dealing with our customers, suppliers and third parties.

Teamwork and Open Communication

  • We work toward shared aspirations, transcending boundaries along functional and organizational lines with trust and respect for each other and with unity in purpose.

  • We enable Staff to feel free to express opinions, voice concerns, and offer suggestions to their superiors and peers.

 

Respect for People, Authority and Property

  • We recognize each other as individuals and commit to nurturing each other's individual capabilities.

  • We respect and shall preserve the Company’s assets and resources by ensuring that they are used efficiently and solely for legitimate business purposes, and accord the same to the assets and properties of others.

  • We safeguard and maintain the confidentiality of knowledge or proprietary information on the Company’s products, formulations, trade secrets, business strategies, technologies, processes and system.

Labour and Human Right

The Company must comply with Singapore Employment Act.

 

Employment is Freely Choosen

  • There is no forced, bonded or involuntary prison labour.

  • Workers are not required to lodge “deposits” or their identity papers with their employer and are free to leave their employer after reasonable notice.

 

Working Conditions Are Safe and Hygienic

  • A safe and hygienic working environment shall be provided with an eye to the prevailing best practices in the industry and to any specific hazards. 

  • Adequate steps shall be taken to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, associated with, or occurring in the course of work, by minimising, as far as is reasonably practicable, the presence of hazards inherent to the working environment. 

  • Workers shall receive regular and documented health and safety training, and such training shall be repeated for new and reassigned workers. 

  • Access to clean toilet facilities and to potable water, and, if appropriate, sanitary facilities for food storage shall be provided. 

  • Accommodation, where provided, shall be clean, safe and meet the basic needs of the workers. 

  • The company observing the Code shall assign responsibilities for health and safety to a senior management representative. 

 

Child Labour Shall Not Be Used

  • There shall be no recruitment of child labour.

  • Companies shall develop or participate in and contribute to policies and programmes which provide for the transition of any child found to be performing child labour to enable her or him to attend and remain in quality education until no longer a child; “child” and “child labour” being defined in the appendices.

  • Children and young persons under 18 shall not be employed as accordance to Ministry of Manpower regulations.

 

Living Wages Are Paid

  • Wages and benefits paid for a standard working week meet, at a minimum, national legal standards or industry benchmark standards, whichever is higher. In any event wages should always be enough to meet basic needs and to provide some discretionary income.

  • All workers shall be provided with written and understandable information about their employment conditions in respect to wages before they enter employment and about the particulars of their wages for the pay period concerned each time that they are paid.

  • Deductions from wages as a disciplinary measure shall not be permitted nor shall any deductions from wages not provided for by national law be permitted without the expressed permission of the worker concerned. All disciplinary measures should be recorded.

 

Working Hours Are Not Excessive

  • Working hours comply with national laws and benchmark industry standards, whichever affords greater protection. 

  • Regardless of circumstances, workers shall not on a regular basis be required to work in excess of 44 hours per week and shall be provided with at least one day off for every seven-day period on average. Overtime shall be voluntary and in accordance with the national laws which provide for compensation at a premium rate. 

 

Regular Employment Is Provided

  • To every extent possible work performed must be on the basis of recognised employment relationship established through national law and practice.

  • Obligations to employees under labour or social security laws and regulations arising from the regular employment relationship shall not be avoided through the use of labour - only contracting, sub - contracting or home working arrangements, or through apprenticeship schemes where there is no real intent to impart skills or provide regular employment, nor shall any such obligations be avoided through the excessive use of fixed - terms contracts of employment.

No Harsh or Inhuman Treatment Is Allowed

  • Physical abuse or discipline, the threat of physical abuse, sexual or other harassment and verbal abuse or other forms of intimidation shall be prohibited.

 

Corporate Citizenship 

  • We strive towards good corporate citizenship. 

  • In line with our Environmental and Sustainability Policy, we shall contribute to building an ethical supply chain and lead our daily lives with the relevant issues in mind by initiating and supporting activities and programmes – including the implementation and refinement of new policies relevant to our work – geared towards community welfare and environmental protection. 
     

Health, Safety and Environment 

  • Aalst Chocolate and its Business Partners value the health and safety of human beings and the protection of the environment. 

 

Worker Protection 

  • We shall have programmes in place to ensure the safety of our workers. Programmes shall include the elimination of occupational hazards in the workplace, provision of protective wear and / or equipment, proper training in the handling and use of machinery and materials, safety reminders and other measures that may be necessary to maintain safety. 

  • We shall protect workers from undue exposure to chemical, biological and physical hazards. In case it is necessary to deal with any hazardous material, safety information relating to these must be provided to educate, train and safeguard workers. 

  • The company is committed to an injury-free and illness-free workplace that is operated in an environmentally sound manner in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations that protect worker safety and the environment. 

Emergency Preparedness / Life Safety

  • We shall identify, assess and prepare for potential emergency situations in the workplace and minimize their impact through prevention and readiness to implement emergency plans and response procedures. In case such an emergency occurs, we must immediately inform the proper authorities of the Company. 

  • Emergency exits shall be sufficiently remote from each other, and exit routes shall be marked with photoluminescent tape, panels or paints and clearly display the directions of evacuation with arrows. 

  • Our facilities shall be equipped with working audible fire/evacuation alarms, which may be activated from various locations across the premises, and which are accompanied by audible/visible signals (e.g. flashing red lights) if required, in place in all areas of the premises. 

  • Exit Signs shall be brightly colored, or visible from a distance of 30 meters when illuminated, and the letters for Exit shall be at least 6 inches in height. 

Environmental Authorizations

  • We shall comply with all applicable environmental regulations. All required environmental permits, licences, authorisations, registrations and clearances must be obtained and their operational and reporting requirements followed. 

 

Waste and Emissions

  • We shall have systems in place to ensure the safe handling, movement, storage, recycling, reuse and/or management of waste, air emissions and waste water discharge. Any waste, waste water or emissions with the potential to adversely impact human or environmental health must be appropriately managed, controlled and treated prior to release into the environment. 

Hazardous Materials

  • We shall have systems in place that will ensure safety in handling, storage and releasing of hazardous materials, as well as procedures to manage and contain accidental spills and releases.

 

Management Systems

  • Aalst Chocolate and its Business Partners adhere to effective and efficient management systems to meet contractual obligations, facilitate continual improvement, and uphold the image and brands of the Company at all times.

Commitment and Accountability

  • We shall demonstrate commitment to the concepts described in this Code by allocating appropriate resources to fulfill the requirements. We express accountability by taking immediate corrective action in accordance with our contractual obligations.

 

Business Continuity

  • We shall have training programs that would enable the appropriate level of knowledge and skills among the management team and workers necessary to meet our commitments.

Risk Assessment and Management

  • We shall have mechanisms to identify and mitigate risks in all areas of our operation that may affect our products and services.

Legal and Customer Requirements

  • We shall identify and comply with applicable laws, rules and regulations, and relevant customer requirements and standards in a responsible and timely fashion.

Documentation

  • We shall maintain documentation necessary to demonstrate conformance with the expectations set out in this Code, as well as compliance with applicable regulations.

 

Ethical Business Practices

  • Aalst Chocolate and its Business Partners conduct business with integrity and always in an ethical manner.

Business Integrity / Bribery

  • Any form of corruption, extortion and embezzlement shall be prohibited. We shall not offer, pay nor accept bribes or participate in other illegal inducements in business or government relationships. We shall work against corruption in all its forms.

 

Fair Competition

  • We shall conduct our business consistent with fair and vigorous competition and in compliance with applicable laws. We shall employ fair business practices including accurate and truthful advertising.

 

Trade Compliance

  • We shall comply with all applicable import and export controls, sanctions and other trade compliance laws of the Singapore and applicable laws of country (ies) where transaction(s) occur.

  •  

Product Quality and Food Safety

  • We, and any party involved in the supply, manufacturing, packaging, testing, storage and distribution of materials/products on behalf of the Aalst Chocolate, shall uphold compliance with the  Company quality and food safety standards, as well as applicable recognized quality regulations, standards and practices (e.g., Quality and Food Safety Regulations, Good Manufacturing Practices, Good Laboratory Practices, etc.) that are required in the markets where our products are registered and distributed.

 

Accuracy of Business Records / Financial Reporting

  • All our financial books and records shall conform to generally accepted accounting principles, and shall be accurate, legible, transparent, and reflect actual accounts of events, transactions, payments and other relevant facts about the business.

Protecting Information

  • We shall protect confidential and proprietary information, including personal information collected for or from the Company.

  • We shall prevent information loss, misuse, theft, fraud, improper access, wrongful disclosure or alteration, including unauthorized communication and/or publication of information acquired from or on behalf of the Company.

  • We shall make sure that any unauthorized use, disclosure or loss of the Food Group confidential or proprietary information is reported immediately to concerned Food Group authorities.

 

Intellectual Property

  • We shall respect intellectual property rights. The use of Company trademarks, copyrights, industrial designs, patents and other intellectual property rights, and the transfer of technology and know-how shall be done in a manner that strengthens the equity and protects intellectual property rights of the registered owners thereof, to maximize value and drive growth and innovation of our products and services.

Conflict of Interest

Staff and Business Partners have a duty to act in the best interests of the Company and shall avoid any action which may involve, or may appear to involve a conflict of interest with the Company.

Staff, while employed by the Company, shall:

  • Not seek employment or be engaged in outside business activities when such employment or activities prevent employees from fully performing work, including overtime assignments for which they are employed, unless otherwise agreed by prior consent.

  • Not act as members of boards of directors of companies with conflicts of interest or participate in competitive business activities.

  • Not have any financial or other business relationships with suppliers, customers or competitors that might impair, or even appear to impair the independence of any judgment they may need to make in the best interests of the Company.

Business Partners shall:

  • Avoid any interaction with any Company or competitor that might conflict, or appear to conflict with that Staff or Business Partner acting in the best interests of the Company.

In the event that the personal interests of a Staff or a Business Partner appear to conflict with the interests of the Company, proper disclosure by such Staff and/or Business Partner shall be made in order for the appropriate authorities to resolve the conflict.

Gifts, Meals, Entertainment

  • We shall not solicit nor accept gifts in any situation that may influence, or appear to influence decision in relation to Business Partners.

  • Modest gifts, meals or entertainment may be accepted provided they are consistent with the Company policy on Solicitation and Acceptance of Gifts.

 

Raising Concerns / Harassment / Abuse / Denied Access / Reporting

  • We encourage everyone to report concerns or questionable activities of Staff and Business Partners without fear of reprisal, intimidation or harassment. 

  • Suggestion boxes shall be placed at appropriate locations for staff to submit their feedback and suggestions and to report or raise their concerns. 

  • Aalst Chocolate will not tolerate any retaliation in any form against anyone who, in good faith, raises a concern or reports a possible legal or ethical violation of this Code. We will investigate and take corrective action if needed. 

  • Employees and Business Partners (including their employees and stakeholders) who believe that the Company Staff or anyone acting on behalf of the Company, has engaged in improper conduct must report the matter promptly to Aalst Chocolate through its “Compliance Committee”, using the following resources:  
    Go online: http://www.aalstchocolate.com/code-of-conduct-ethics and fill up the below box.

  • Call: ACPL Customer Care (Compliance Officer) – 9720 2288 (Mobile) [Mondays to Fridays (10am – 4pm)] 

Violation Details

Thank you for your comments. Our Compliance Officer will be in touch with you soon.

  • The above link sets out the procedure in reporting concerns, consistent with the other policies and procedures implemented by the Company, as applicable.

  • The Compliance Officer will sort and direct the concerns it receives to the proper channels for necessary action, and shall oversee their resolution.

Compliance with the Code / Sanctions

The Compliance Officer of the Company, shall ensure at all times the observance of the Code and implementation of all relevant policies, including the imposition of all appropriate penalties under such policies, if any, in case of violation.

The Code nor the Committee, however, shall not be used for taking up personal grievances.