Audits must take place during peak production periods as this is a minimum requirement to ensure markets accept the audit report’s validity. Buyers want to see an evaluation of their supply chain during the highest risk period. It is furthermore a requirement for social audits to ensure that the full workforce can form part of the scope and any packing or processing facilities can be evaluated when it is in full working operation. For environmental audits it is also important because operational activities have certain elements involved which must be assessed, such as wastewater, general waste production, etc.

During the peak production period, various activities take place as part of the preparation phase which leads to various risks and incidents. The increased risk during this period is not just high for management and owners, but also for employees and buyers. During the audit in peak production, both permanent and seasonal employees become part of the evaluation, making it the best way for auditors to identify various risk factors. It is important that all employees’ welfare, health, and wellbeing is looked after and cared for by the business. The audit is a good representative outcome of the business practices during the highest risk period of the year. This provides confidence to the buyers that their supplier is operating according to the highest standards.