In support of the longer term SIZA vision to include environmental stewardship as an integral offering within sustainability, SIZA has partnered with WWF-SA (the World Wide Fund for Nature, South Africa) and Blue North Sustainability on the technical side to develop an Environmental Standard and appropriate tools to support improvement in environmental indicator measures and management.
The Blue North team developed the content based on leading international and local standards, national legislation and sound ecological principles and the tool was piloted with a number of producers across the different growing regions. This EPA tool was later developed further in to the SIZA Enviro Self-assessment questionnaire and associated Standard document with guidance material, which has recently been benchmarked against the SAI FSA and received Gold Equivalence rating.
What does it include?
The SIZA Environmental Assurance model has been designed to assist growers in evaluating their current compliance and environmental risks, both at a farm and regional/catchment level. This process is accomplished through the completion of a Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ), the results of which feed into a risk profile report, which can be used to address market requirements, whilst also informing the drafting of site-specific improvement plans and farm environmental management plan and monitoring system. The questions included in the self-assessment questionnaire runs from minimum legal requirements to leading practice across four main topics such as:
The SIZA Environmental Assurance Model is built on the following eight principles: