The Vibrant Group hereinafter referred to as “the Group” is a leading manufacturer and distributor of ethnic food brands with a strong presence in both mainstream and ethnic retail channels. With a combined heritage of over 150 years, the Group is proud to share its expertise and passion for ethnic food with millions of customers across the UK and beyond.
The Group aims to celebrate the diversity and richness of ethnic food cultures, and to make them accessible and enjoyable for everyone. The Group sources, manufactures and distributes its products with care and responsibility, ensuring high standards of quality, safety, and sustainability.
This statement sets out the Group’s Tax Strategy as required by Paragraph 16 (2), Schedule 19 of the Finance Act 2016. The Tax Strategy was approved by the Board of Vibrant Foods on 20th Dec 2023 for the year ending 31 December 2023 and applies to Vibrant Topco Limited and all UK subsidiaries.
The Group’s overall tax strategy is aligned with the overall business strategy including our approach to corporate governance and risk management. Our tax strategy is to pay tax and file tax returns in a timely manner and in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations, and practices.
Management of tax risks
Our tax strategy is based on our values and it ensures that we manage our tax affairs in a transparent and responsible way. Our tax strategy and how we monitor and manage our tax risks are ultimately the responsibility and the accountability of our Board.
The finance team engages with relevant teams within the business to ensure that any implications of transactions or changes to the business on tax compliance is understood by the Board. The day-to-day tax matters of the business are the Chief Financial Officer’s responsibility, on behalf of the Board. The Chief Financial Officer’s ensures tax laws and regulations are complied with in respect of all UK tax filings.
The Chief Financial Officer is supported by a skilled and knowledgeable finance team. The finance team implements and maintains internal tax processes and procedures to ensure compliance with our tax filings and this approach enables the business to identify, assess and mitigate any tax risks in relation to specific transactions or events.
The Finance team meets regularly to discuss key tax matters which may be raised with the Board with input and oversight from the Chief Financial Officer as appropriate. The Board ensures we align our tax strategy with our business objectives and that we have the resources to fulfil our tax obligations.
We consult with external tax advisors when we face new or complex tax issues, such as changes in tax legislation or the tax implications of a new business activity or transaction. We also engage with external tax advisors to review our tax positions and to provide assurance on our tax compliance, whenever necessary.
Approach to tax planning
We are committed to ensuring that we pay the right amount of tax at the right time. We take pride in our reputation and values by complying with tax laws and regulations in accordance with our Code of Conduct. This enables us to reduce any tax risks for our stakeholders and in doing so we are able to manage our reputational, operational, and strategic tax risks.
We do not engage in any artificial or aggressive tax arrangements conceived for the purposes of avoiding, deferring, or reducing tax. Our transactions are driven by commercial objectives and not by tax incentives, which reduces our tax risk exposure. We will also engage with our external tax advisors to support our decision-making process when any significant transaction is undertaken or in areas of complexity.
The advantages of available tax reliefs, incentives and exemptions are considered, and are only taken if aligned with commercial and economic activity.
The level of risk we prepared to accept for UK taxation
We accept a low level of tax risk, requiring a strong technical basis for any tax positions we adopt.
We recognise it is not possible to eliminate all tax risk due to the complex nature of tax laws and regulations, and the differences in interpretations that may arise. We regularly assess the tax risk we face and implement actions to lower any risk that exceeds our acceptable level of risk.
We have qualified staff who actively manage how we deal with tax risks, with support from external professional advisers as required. We are comfortable that our low tax risk tolerance can be achieved.
Approach towards dealing with HM Revenue and Customs
In all our business dealings, we conduct ourselves ethically, with integrity and transparency, and it follows the same approach when dealing with HMRC. Building and maintaining a strong and proactive working relationship with HMRC is a key element of our tax strategy.
Our approach is to engage, communicate, and cooperate with HMRC in a clear and timely manner to meet our tax obligations and this includes informing HMRC of any tax matters that relate to our present, historic, or any future tax position.
We will aim to ensure that all HMRC filings are submitted on a timely basis, and that any areas of uncertainty are discussed with HMRC with the support of external professional advisers. If the Group’s opinions on the correct tax treatment in a particular matter may differ with those of HMRC, we will work with HMRC constructively and positively to try to resolve any such issue as soon as possible.