After the restrictions of the nationwide lockdown under Alert Level 5 were lifted, Environmental Second-Party Verifications continued in full-swing from the 1st of May 2020. Thus far, 22 farms that form part of the 2020/2021 sample group have been verified, with the remaining 56 farms scheduled to be verified by the end of the year.
The most common non-compliances found during second-party verifications of the 2019/2020 sample group, which consisted of 72 farms, are as follows:
- Filling points used for mixing chemicals are not constructed according to South African National Standards (SANS).
- Energy records are not compared on an annual basis to interpret the effectiveness of management practices and to implement a formal energy reduction plan.
- Producers are unaware of the regulations regarding the clearing and demarcating of invasive alien plants (IAPs).
- The business’ environmental management policy is not communicated to relevant staff.
- Only minimal recycling is implemented.
- Lack of assessment regarding the biodiversity and conservation value of natural and production areas.
- Water abstraction and use is not measured or monitored.
A similar trend has been seen for the 2020/2021 sample group. The construction of chemical filling points remains the greatest concern thus far. Producers are often unaware of the regulations stipulated by SANS 10206:2010. As the main aim of the second-party verification process is to drive continuous improvement, site-specific improvements were recommended for sites where these non-compliances were identified. To ensure that a greater audience is reached and that SIZA Environmental members are aware of the specific requirements, solutions and regulations regarding these concerns are addressed during capacity building workshops, as well as through our regular social media feeds and producer newsletters.