Engaging with and supporting one’s local surrounding community forms an integral part of a business’s commitment to social responsibility. Community involvement can take many forms, and SIZA members have shown significant advancement within this requirement. Some of the examples of community benefits and best practice engagements that South African agricultural growers have implemented are:
- Community and health clinics/facilities on farms and surrounding communities.
- Schools, crèche and day-care facilities on farms and in local communities.
- Substance abuse awareness programmes are offered to employees and/or the community.
- Recreational activities (including all social development activities such as mental health, psycho-social development, practices such as painting community halls, offering group training for knitting, old-age home involvement, computer programme development etc.).
- The sponsorship of school fees and/or school clothing for employees’ children or community.
- The offering of pension or retirement funds.
- Providing financial aid to families in need.
- Relocation of accommodation or sponsorships for building accommodation for employees’ families in nearby communities.
- Supporting sports facilities and sports events.
- And many more.
It is truly positive to see the amount and number of engagements between farms and packhouses throughout South Africa and their local communities. Producers can submit their best practices that strive beyond the minimum compliance criteria on their profile on SIZA as a “Best Practice”, and we urge auditors to showcase community engagement in their audit reports. Uploads to the MySIZA Platform will need to be accompanied by proof of the practice, after which SIZA will approve these activities. This will be visible on the producer’s profile offering a unique and balanced view of the practices within that business. For more information, please feel free to contact the SIZA office at 021 852 8184 / email@example.com.