As part of the drive for continuous improvement, SIZA recently launched the first of two verification methods for its environmental module, namely second-party verification. The aims of the second-party verification process are to verify the environmental self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ), and to assist suppliers with technical support and advice to improve environmental practices. Second-party verification is based on an annual sample size of 25% of approved environmental SAQs.
SIZA’s in-house environmental specialists will visit each farm to review SAQ data and give technical support and advice to improve on environmentally sustainable practices. The aim is to reach each supplier at least once in a three to four year verification cycle. This process (first visit) will have no additional costs to the supplier, as it is built into the annual environmental membership fee. During the second-party verification visit, a site tour of the production areas/ facilities, chemical and fuel storage areas, waste management facilities, as well as natural areas will take place to obtain visual evidence of compliance towards the Environmental Standard.
This will be followed by a thorough review of applicable environmental documentation such as environmental management policies, authorisation permits for the cultivation of virgin soils, registration papers for water abstraction and invasive alien plant clearing plans. The outputs of the site visit will be a long-term improvement plan with site-specific recommendations and timeframes in which corrective actions should be implemented, as well as a SAQ confirmation letter as proof that the data provided on the environmental SAQ reflects the practices that are implemented on-site. The second-party verification process will also be a preparatory measure for suppliers to ready themselves for the implementation of SIZA’s second verification method for the environmental module, namely third-party audits.
For detailed information on the SIZA Second-Party Verification Process and Methodology, please follow the link: SIZA Enviro Second-Party VPM.