With the SIZA Social and SIZA Environmental standards enjoying areas of synergy with the Rainforest Alliance 2020 standard, the two programmes have aligned efforts in providing South African producers with a time and cost-effective approach to meet market requirements that require certification against both SIZA and Rainforest Alliance. This alignment consists of a combined audit approach, allowing SIZA members who already have a valid SIZA Social audit as per the policy requirements to combine their SIZA Environmental and Rainforest Alliance during one audit.
How will this work?
The combined audit approach allows the SIZA Environmental audit to occur in combination with the Rainforest Alliance full certification audit during the same visit. A SIZA Environmental audit will be conducted using a joint checklist that covers both the SIZA Environmental standard requirements and all Rainforest Alliance standard requirements, which will result in both standards being audited in full. The outcome of this combined audit approach will consist of two separate reports and Audit Completion Letters (certificates) once all corrective actions are closed out as per each programme’s respective process and methodology.
As the Rainforest Alliance standard will only be combined with the SIZA Environmental audit, it is required that the facility present the SIZA Social audit results (full audit reports) and Audit Completion Letter (certificate) during the combined audit as evidence of their social compliance. The auditor will still be required to collect the additional evidence for the social requirements as part of the combined checklist, as mentioned above, to complete the full Rainforest Alliance integrated audit requirements.
Audit Validation Period:
The SIZA Audit Process and Methodology allows for a one-, two- or three-year audit validity period based on risk outcome and the producer’s ability to close out all corrective actions as the programme requires. It is important to note that the SIZA Social audit results can only be used as evidence of social compliance during the combined audit approach if it fulfils the requirements as set out below:
- If a Platinum risk rating was achieved, the audit report and Audit Completion Letter must not be older than two (2) years on the first day of the combined audit.
- If a Gold or Silver risk rating was achieved, the audit report and Audit Completion Letter must not be older than one (1) year on the first day of the combined audit.
- If a Bronze risk rating was achieved, the audit report and Audit Completion Letter must not be older than three (3) months on the first day of the combined audit.
The Rainforest Alliance certification process is based on a three-year cycle. The cycle starts with a certification audit covering all applicable requirements. After being certified, in the second- and third-year verification audits are carried out. In these audits, through the provision of objective evidence, it is confirmed that specified requirements have been fulfilled. In this annual compliance assessment, SIZA audit reports can be provided, and the auditor will check the evidence.
In cases where a SIZA Environmental audit has also been conducted, the same rules as above will be relevant for the SIZA Environmental audit to be considered part of the combined audit approach.
The following rules and regulations will also apply:
- Producers opting for combined audits must be registered as active members with both SIZA (Social and Environmental) and Rainforest Alliance.
- Producers must indicate on MySIZA and communicate that a combined audit must be conducted to the audit firm.
- The combined audit can only be conducted by a third-party audit firm and audit team that is accepted by both SIZA and Rainforest Alliance, i.e. Control Union.
- The audit must be conducted in accordance with the respective process and methodology of both SIZA and Rainforest Alliance.