As per SIZA’s audit process and methodology, the SIZA Social and Environmental Standard are reviewed every 3-year cycle. This regular review-cycle is also required by global markets and during this process it provides an opportunity for SIZA and the South African industry to ensure that the standards are aligned with the market requirements producers are expected to supply to. This process also allows for producers to provide their inputs on the effectiveness and practicalities of the requirements in their agricultural business to ensure the best solution towards driving continuous improvement.
Main Changes: Social Standard Changes:
As no changes impacted the current audit checklist, the proposed changes and expansions included the following:
- Management Systems:
- Code Requirement 2.8. under management systems, changed wording from ‘Labour Service Provider’ to ‘Temporary Employment Services’ for legal purposes were made.
- Code Requirement 2.13. under management systems, inclusion of packing and processing facilities that should ensure compliance within their supply-chain (already approved in 2020, and formed part of Audit methodology, however, took effect on 1 April 2023 and added as Code Requirement.
- Code Requirement 2.4. under management systems, were amended to include detail on effective communication mechanisms, detailing that management should not retaliate against workers who utilise communication mechanisms.
- Discrimination, Harassment and Abuse:
- Code Requirement 6.4.3. at discrimination, harassment and abuse were expanded to state that grievance mechanisms should be informed by employees and allow for gender-sensitive complaints to be launched.
- Health and Safety:
- Code Requirement 7.3.4. at health and safety were expanded to include guidance on when medical assessments become applicable to employees added.
- Working Hours:
- Code Requirement 9.1.2. at working hours were changed to include a description of what compressed work week means in practice as further guidance.
The full detailed list of proposed changes for each code requirements, including changes in wording and expansions on the SIZA Social Standard can be viewed here: https://siza.co.za/wp-content/uploads/Environmental-Standard-2023-Review-Proposed-Amendments.xlsx
Main Changes: Environmental Standard Changes:
- No significant changes impacted the current audit checklist, and most of the changes follow from recent benchmark outcomes and suggestions by the technical panel:
- Minimizing Negative Impacts:
- Code Requirement 2.1. at minimizing negative impacts, guidance on buffer zones were added, with an inclusion of production and packing facilities that do not have an impact on the adjacent communities or land.
- Measured and Efficient Use:
- Code Requirement 3.3. at measured and efficient use, guidance was added to ensure producers utilise competent advisors for their fertilizer programmes. Further to this, the requirement to have an annual cropping plan was added.
- Code Requirement 3.4. at measured and efficient use, the addition for a map of drainage on farms was added as part of the overall management system requirements.
- Shifting to Alternatives:
- Code Requirement 4.3. at shifting to alternatives, the requirement remains unchanged, however the legislation that came into effect in May 2021 regarding the Extended Producer Responsibility Regulations, were added for guidance.
- Restore and Conserve Ecosystems:
- Code Requirement 5.3., at restored ecosystems, the legal requirement on illegal hunting of fauna and flora was added, along with the requirement for producers to map their biodiversity areas and ensure that it covers at least 3% of the total area.
- Code Requirements 5.4 and 5.5., at restored ecosystems, will evaluate whether the business ensures an ecosystem whereby the environment is not negatively impacted by the production or use of animals/livestock.
What will be different on the audit checklists?
The majority of the changes does not affect the immediate audit checklist, however the guidance for producers on implementing more effective systems will be measured when it’s clear that there is a risk in the business.
The main changes to the checklist are:
- Auditors will evaluate whether packhouses are ensuring compliance within their suppliers.
- Auditors will evaluate whether the business utilises animal production as part of their business, and if they monitor the impact of the animal production on the environment.
The full detailed list of proposed changes for each code requirements, including changes in wording and expansions on the SIZA Environmental Standard can be viewed here: https://siza.co.za/wp-content/uploads/Social-Standard-2023-Review-Proposed-Amendments.xlsx
For more information on the SIZA Standard Review process, feel free to contact Werner van Dyk at 021 852 8184 / firstname.lastname@example.org