In a world increasingly conscious of environmental issues, SIZA and the agricultural industry are stepping up to the challenge of implementing sustainable practices through a capacity-building initiative like SIZA CARES (Creating Awareness and Resilience in Environmental Sustainability). This environmental sustainability programme is designed to create awareness and build resilience among farms, paving the way for a greener future and a third-party audit when requested.

Second-Party Visits for Comprehensive Evaluation

Unlike traditional third-party audits, SIZA CARES employs second-party visits conducted by SIZA’s sustainability specialists. This approach ensures a comprehensive evaluation of current environmental practices while emphasising the importance of maintaining and enhancing the environment. The programme covers critical aspects highlighted in the SIZA Environmental standard such as soil; water; energy, materials, and waste; and biodiversity, and ecosystems, providing a holistic approach to sustainability.

Tailored Sustainability for Every Operation

At the heart of SIZA CARES lies a commitment to understanding the unique environmental challenges of each farm. This tailored approach empowers businesses to identify and manage their specific environmental risks, fostering a proactive stance towards sustainability. By providing insights into the environmental aspects relevant to each context, SIZA CARES enables farms to implement sustainable practices effectively.

Joining the Initiative

Participation in SIZA CARES is voluntary to assist with the preparation for a third-party environmental audit or can be a used as a between audit monitoring tool when producers will be visited between third-party audits to ensure practices remain in place during their three- or two-year audit period. Farms interested in joining the programme can take the first step by ensuring that their latest Environmental Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) is completed and approved by the SIZA reviewers. Once approved, farms are encouraged to reach out to SIZA and express their interest in participating in the CARES programme. This open and voluntary nature ensures that only those genuinely committed to environmental sustainability become part of this transformative initiative.

Preparing for Future Market Requirements

SIZA CARES not only focuses on current sustainability needs but also helps farms prepare for potential market requirements and third-party environmental audits. This forward-thinking approach ensures that participants are well-equipped to meet upcoming mandates, positioning them as leaders in environmental stewardship.

Inclusive Engagement for Sustainable Impact at no extra cost

SIZA Environmental membership comes with the added benefit of being able to participate in the SIZA CARES programme at no extra cost. This inclusivity promotes engagement among stakeholders and encourages more farms to join the sustainability programme.

Data-Driven Sustainability Management

The SIZA CARES programme supports participants in capturing key performance indicators (KPIs) through the SIZA Digital Recordkeeping Programme. This enables efficient and data-driven sustainability management, allowing farms to track their progress and make informed decisions for a more sustainable future.

Impressive Achievements and Positive Impact

Since its launch, SIZA CARES has conducted 280 site visits, with 54 of these sites undergoing third-party audits. An impressive 51 sites have achieved the coveted Platinum status, reflecting their unwavering commitment and success in implementing sustainable practices. These achievements underscore the positive impact of the SIZA CARES programme in promoting environmental awareness and resilience within the agricultural industry.

SIZA CARES stands as a beacon of sustainable practices, guiding farms towards a future where environmental consciousness and agricultural prosperity go hand in hand. Through tailored approaches and data-driven management, the programme sets the stage for a greener, more resilient industry that meets and exceeds the demands of a changing world.

For more information or to register for the SIZA CARES programme, please contact Reginald Scholtz at 021 852 8184 / reginald@siza.co.za.