SIZA adopted a third-party audit approach to allow for a credible and objective process which can be a true reflection of the audit outcome and ethical labour practices in a business. A SIZA social (ethical) audit is not a pass or fail exercise, but rather aimed at assisting people living and working in agriculture to drive ongoing improvement in terms of socially responsible business practices. The purpose of the third-party audit is to evaluate the implementation of labour legislation through the SIZA Social Standard by evaluating and identifying areas within the business that are non-compliant and require corrective- and remedial actions, so that ongoing continuous improvement can happen.
SIZA is an improvement programme which aims to create a foundation for its members to establish compliance with the necessary code requirements and legislation that will benefit people working and living within the agri-industry. The programme stretches so much further than just a commitment to adhere to labour legislation and meeting minimum compliance. To be successful in implementing the SIZA programme, you need to implement a sustainable way of life. SIZA is a long-standing commitment to implement a compliant management system, along with ensuring the adoption of a risk management approach to a business. In the end, SIZA members are expected to drive a best-practice approach in their business, rather than solely focussing on getting an audit done.
SIZA 3rd-party social (ethical) audits are conducted by accredited and globally recognised audit firms. Auditors regularly visit farms and businesses within the value chain, addressing agri-workers independently of farm-owners, so that they can speak freely about labour practices on the farm. This process enables a trustworthy environment where a true reflection of practices within the business can be documented and reported. The basis of this process is to allow accurate and trustworthy reporting on practices whilst at the same time enabling a drive within the business toward effecting change and continuously improving responsible business practices.
The SIZA social (ethical) audit subscribes to being improvement‐led rather than audit‐led and uses the SIZA Audit Frequency Matrix to support this position. It creates four categories of risk; Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze, where the Platinum category has the most stringent qualifying criteria. It also builds into the system a range of tools beyond the audit that, if used in combination rather than isolation, mitigate and manage risk between audits, ensuring a more robust programme. For example, the programme will involve various verification activities, such as site visits and desktop assessments, which will take place between audits.
SIZA is furthermore committed to establishing adequate audit oversight processes to ensure that the SIZA code monitoring and measurement can be carried out in a manner that is consistent with the SIZA methodology. The dedicated hands-on approach from the SIZA office ensures excellent client services and support to members and buyers.