The SIZA programme aims to build into the scheme robust assurances of the management of risk in respect of the supply base in the South African agricultural industry. The programme subscribes to the following which can be used to mitigate and manage risk:
The SIZA programme is improvement-led not 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. This will allow a SIZA member to be rated according to these risk categories and earn the right to move to a higher category where the reward for this is a less frequent audit. However, it also builds into the system a range of tools beyond the audit that if used in combination rather than isolation, will provide more extensive cover and management of risk between audits making the programme more robust. For example, the programme will involve various verification activities such as site visits and desk-top assessments that will take place between audits.
Growers can apply to SIZA to issue a bridging letter in between audit periods, to allow them to complete their current season with a valid Audit Completion Letter while doing corrective actions after a new audit was conducted. The need for such a bridging letter is due to operational difficulties linked to the requirement to schedule an audit during peak season given that 66% of the total number of workers (calculated during the busiest time period) are present on the premises.
The sole purpose of this bridging period will therefore be to allow the grower to bridge the time between an audit and the completion of his corrective actions until a new Audit completion Letter will be issued in order to complete harvesting activities. For more information on the conditions to apply for a bridging period, please follow the link provided:
A percentage of these verification activities will focus specifically on sites that fall into the Platinum category providing an additional safety net. In addition, all sites will be required to up-date their Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) on an annual basis, part of which will include up-dating the improvement plan. This will be monitored on the SIZA data platform. Therefore, while the auditing may not be happening annually or every two years for Platinum and Gold category members, the measurement of compliance between the audits remains robust and in place.
The SIZA programme has identified various activities and actions that will be in place in order to mitigate and manage risk. While the third party audit is an important component of this, it is the activities between audits that will support sustainable improvement.