FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


SOCIAL FAQs

SAQs

A: Each annual SAQ is related to the membership cycle. Therefore, if you renew your membership on, for example, 1 March every year, your new SAQ will be available from that date onwards, and you will have 90 days (e.g. until 30 May) in which to complete the SAQ and send it in for review. You will furthermore be able to see the deadline for completing and submitting the SAQ, next to the SAQ details when you log in to your profile under the "SAQ" tab.

Please see below:

 

A: Yes, the idea of an annual SAQ is to ensure you update any possible changes that might occur to ensure accurate information is visible to your relevant markets. Products grown at the facility might change and the seasonality might be expected to be different, therefore we request members to still review and update the SAQ annually.

A: It is important that members know where to locate these documents under the Audit section of their profiles. It may also be that sometimes members would like to add different certifications or reports (other than SIZA), therefore that option needs to be available on the SAQ for completion.

A: There is an understanding that due to some closures in certain Governmental Departments, some delays are to be expected. SIZA auditors will be conscious of this fact. It is important that management can show their willingness to comply and provide some proof that they have attempted to rectify the situation. In cases where a finding is raised, members can upload the Corrective Action as a Long-term Improvement Plan.

Note, when uploading a Long-term Improvement Plan, the member must submit: 

  1. A management commitment to rectify the issue, and
  2. A detailed plan with timelines indicating the action that will be taken.

A: When a SIZA member's profile is linked to a buyer, the buyer will have visibility on the status as well as the content of the Audit- and CAP reports, SAQ and Best Practices of a member. Please note that the member profile must be active. If the profile has expired, or payment is outstanding, visibility will not be available for linked stakeholders. Please also note that the SAQ status of a member will be available at all times and if it is expired or not completed in time, it will show as a high risk to the buyer.

A: Some buyers choose to use Sedex and others use only SIZA. UK markets usually prefer to use Sedex.

It is best to confirm with your buyer which platform they prefer to use for visibility, but in all cases, you will need SIZA visibility. It is not possible to have Sedex visibility without active SIZA visibility.

A: Visibility on GlobalG.A.P. and Sedex will be restored, however the turnaround time for visibility will take longer as all the information will need to be uploaded from scratch.

HEALTH & SAFETY

A: Members should be guided by SANS 10400 – Part P; Section 4.11 – Table 5. As there is no specific legislation for washing facilities and toilets specifically for agriculture, the National Building Regulations must be used to appropriately guide members. For current regulations, see table "Provision of Sanitary Fixtures" extracted from SANS 10400.

 

 

 

A: Legislation requires toilets to be available and in a good state but does not specify that they must be flush toilets. While these might be preferable, they are, in many cases not practical and so it is important to make sure that whatever alternative is provided is suitable and practical. If non-water borne toilets are provided, then these should meet the standard as set out on Part Q of the National Building regulations SANS10400.

A: Every employer must appoint a Covid-19 compliance officer. The officer’s additional obligations are to:

  1. Oversee the implementation of the plan; and
  2. Oversee the adherence to the health and safety measures established in the workplace to give effect to requirements of the Direction including appointing employees to perform this function if the employer has more than one workplace.
The officer remains obliged to address employee or workplace representative concerns and to keep them informed and, in any workplace in which a health and safety committee has been elected, consult with that committee on the nature of the hazard in that workplace and the measures that need to be taken.

The requirements placed on the compliance officer are consistent with the provisions of the Regulations to the Disaster Management Act (“Regulations“) which require, among others, that a compliance officer must be appointed to “develop measures to ensure that the workplace meets the standards of health protocols, adequate space for employees and social distancing measures for the public and service providers, as required."

The Citrus Training Academy has an online course for Covid-19 Compliance Officers which are very informative. Please contact Jacomien de Klerk at jacomien@citrusacademy.org.za to register for the online course.  All commodities are welcome.

A: Most nurses who are qualified to conduct occupational medical assessments are mobile and can travel to the farm within a region. It is, however, a legal requirement that these medical screenings be conducted by an Occupation Health Practitioner (OHP), who can be a nurse or GP that has an additional qualification for Occupational Health. If unsure, please request more information from SIZA.

A: If your training included first aid, and your registration with the relevant regulating body is valid, it is acceptable. Remember, the minimum level of requirement for an adequate First Aider is a Level 1 qualification. In any scenario, the relevant training institution must provide a validity date of such qualification, unless it is deemed a life-long skill, such as the case with a formal degree that enables the practitioner to practice First Aid as part of their profession.

BEST PRACTICE

A: The Best Practices Programme, or sometimes known as Beyond Audits, allows for a balanced view of ethical and environmental practices on site. Members can list all practices that showcase "what is good" on site. This allows markets to gain an overall view of the farm, rather than just audit results. Each member can submit these practices to SIZA under the "Best Practice" tab on MySIZA.

SIZA will, however, require some form of evidence to support the practice before approval is given. Once the Best Practice is approved, it will be visible to your buyers and linked members.

CONTRACTS

A: Once the contracts have been explained to workers, they must be asked to sign the contract. Contracts need to be signed by both contracting parties. In cases where seasonal workers are employed for the same length of time and under the same conditions of employment, 'group contracts' are sometimes entered into. In such cases, there needs to be documented proof that the contracts have been explained to all relevant workers and a signed attendance register of acknowledgement to be kept on file.

A generic version of the employment contract can be displayed in a prominent area of the workplace where workers are able to refer to it, but each worker should have access to a copy.

OVERTIME

A: The contract of employment must include ordinary hours of work (i.e. what the hours are that will be (or can be) worked during specific days). For example, the employee will be expected to work from Monday to Friday, 08:00 AM to 17:00 PM. If the employer decides that some days might be worked more or less, that is the employers prerogative. If the hours on any particular day are more than the agreed-upon daily hours, that will constitute as overtime.

Compressed working hours are somewhat different and work along with seasonality. For example, longer hours during summer and shorter hours during winter. See Sectoral Determination 13, Section 15 for more details. Note that when contracted as such, payment remains the same, despite hours being different for a period of time.

ENVIRONMENTAL FAQs

AUDITS

A: SIZA Environmental third-party audits already started and can be booked on MySIZA. Once a member has an approved Environmental SAQ, they can follow the necessary steps to book an audit and to select the audit body of their choice.

A: SIZA does not prescribe on how management should present their documents or policies. However, it is recommended that where the SIZA Standards require that documented proof is available, that these documents are available in hard copies. It is also important to note that policy documents should be on the company letterhead in which the management systems are operated. Certificates must be presented according to accredited standards and should not be older than 3 years.

ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARD REQUIREMENTS

A: The minimum requirement of the SIZA Environmental Standard is that SANS 10206:2010 is adhered to. This means that the surface of the filling point should be constructed of a non-permeable material, it should be bunded to prohibit the spreading of run-off water or spillage, and the contaminated water should not come into contact with any of the surrounding soil or water bodies — including groundwater.

It is therefore an option to have an evaporation pit for your filling point, but it is not required to build an evaporation pit. If the contaminated water can be managed in a different way to avoid contact with the natural environment, this can be acceptable as well. Unfortunately, french drains do not adhere to SANS 10206 as the contaminated water can still come into contact with soil and water bodies.

A: The SIZA Environmental Standard does not make any preference on the depth of soil sampling. It will depend on your specific crops. Vegetables and cash crops usually do not require samples deeper than 30 or 60 cm. Perennial crops like fruit trees may require deeper soil samples. It might not be necessary to take samples at each depth every year. It is best to confirm the best practice with your fertilizer advisor.

A: In order to understand the implications of the carbon tax, it is recommended that management start to calculate their annual carbon footprint (tCO2e) by making use of a carbon calculator such as Confronting Climate Change or any other recognised carbon calculator. Completing such an assessment will help management to quantify their GHG emissions which will form the basis for efficient management strategies.