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Volume 2 Issue 1 | May 2020
In this issue:
Social (Ethical) Audits during COVID-19 (phase 4) Lockdown | Social (Ethical) Audit Statistics Sedex Visibility Environmental Membership and Environmental Second-Party Verification | Environmental Thrid-Party Audits 
Environmental Audits during Covid-19 (phase 4) Lockdown

SIZA is continuing its support

African philosopher, Marcus Garvey stated that: “The prosperity of a society lies in the rules it creates for its members and their adherence to them”. As we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is incumbent upon all of us to ask ourselves a pertinent question: “How do we move forward and ensure continuous growth and improvement takes place?” SIZA has taken this philosophy in its stride in its efforts during this pandemic. Despite the limitations set to all businesses globally, SIZA is continuing its support efforts to all members, providing the required visibility to markets, and ensuring third-party audits can assist suppliers to perform essential services and continue to showcase compliance and credibility throughout agriculture in South Africa.

Social (Ethical) Audits during COVID-19 (phase 4) Lockdown

Amidst the Coronavirus, South Africa promulgated strict lockdown regulations since 27 March 2020. This resulted in limited access to facilities, and audits were not able to continue as usual. SIZA, along with the approved third-party audit companies, effectively designed and implemented a modified audit procedure for the COVID-19 lockdown period by allowing auditors to do 50% of the audit remotely. This must be followed up by an onsite visit once the lockdown period is shifted to a level where auditors can access farms. This process will relate into the issuing of a Provisional Extension Letter, once all corrective actions have been implemented and signed off by the auditor, and until the on-site visit can occur. This will allow producers to continue supplying food and to export, and markets to receive the required visibility and risk management assurance. Read more >
Social (Ethical) Audit Statistics
During 2019, 627 SIZA Ethical audits were conducted. Out of this total, 94% have been completed in full, and a further 6% are in the process of completing the required corrective actions.

Critical Findings:

Three (3) critical findings were noted since January 2020 up to date. All findings were resolved, and members implemented the appropriate corrective actions.

SIZA Membership:

SIZA membership currently stands at 2 093 members with 95 new members who registered with the SIZA programme since January 2020.

Audit Disputes:

SIZA received five (5) audit disputes thus far in 2020. All disputes were managed in accordance with the SIZA Audit Dispute procedure and adequately resolved by the members. Read more >
Sedex Visibility

The new Sedex SAQ was released late in February this year. The previous SAQ which is now renamed “Legacy SAQ” is available and visible to markets. The Legacy SAQ will remain visible to growers’ markets for a period of 12 months, from February 2020 to February 2021. SIZA is currently capturing data on the new SAQs of which 797 out of 1 554 SAQs have already been captured.

Audit Transfers 

SIZA manually transferred 167 SIZA ethical audits to the Sedex platform since January 2020. All audits that are completed in full (namely that all corrective actions have been approved) are uploaded and published on Sedex to ensure markets gain adequate access.

Links & relationships

SIZA is continuing with its efforts to service markets across the UK, Europe and America to ensure all buyers have sufficient visibility to their supply chain. So far, about 2 755 links were created from January 2020 to date. SIZA furthermore gained 5 new relationships from markets. Read more > 
Environmental Membership and Self-Assessment Questionnaires
To date, 62% of SIZA’s total members are registered for the Environmental module. From 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020, 1 188 SIZA members have completed their Environmental Self-Assessment Questionnaires (SAQs) on the SIZA platform, of which 1 127 were approved and 61 were reviewed and sent back for the necessary corrections to be made. Currently, the SIZA Environmental team is following up with members on a regular basis to complete their Environmental
SAQs for their current membership period. SIZA would like to urge buyers and retailers to assist the Environmental team with this process by regularly following up with members as well. Over the course of the last three months (1 January 2020 to 31 March 2020), SIZA received 287 new Environmental SAQs. This growth in SAQs can be attributed to the exposure of the platform to more suppliers, as well as markets requesting visibility on producers’ environmental performance. Read more > 
SIZA Environmental Second-Party Verification
For the 2019/2020 sample group, a total of 72 farms were verified of which the majority were located in the Western Cape. The outcomes and feedback from second-party verifications so far have been overwhelmingly positive. With second-party verification forming part of SIZA’s internal monitoring procedures, the sample size for 2020/2021 was selected in December 2019. A total of 78 farms have been selected to be verified as part of the 2020/2021 sample size. Read more > 
SIZA Environmental Third-Party Audits

On the 19th of November 2019, SIZA publicly opened the applications for all independent third-party audit companies to apply to become recognised to conduct SIZA Environmental audits. To date, SIZA has received applications from five audit companies to conduct SIZA Environmental third-party audits. Upon review, SIZA provisionally approved three companies to conduct SIZA Environmental audits based on the competency criteria set out by SIZA’s audit and auditor competency requirements. See the approved audit companies here >
Environmental Audits during Covid-19  (phase 4) Lockdown
Audits can continue in accordance with the SIZA APM by having a full on-site SIZA Environmental audit conducted by the auditor visiting the facility. This will be subject to all regulated Occupational Health and Safety regulations, as set out by the South African Government. Read more >
Contact details:
Retha Louw
Tel: +27(0)21 852 8184
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