The South African fresh produce industry has faced international scrutiny of farm labour practices and in packhouses. In response, the Sustainability Initiative of South Africa (SIZA) was established in 2008 to ensure ethical and environmentally sustainable trade.
SIZA provides protection for the consumer and for employees by standardising operational criteria, quality, safety and legal compliance of producers and manufacturers in South Africa. SIZA membership demonstrates ethical labour practice compliance whilst minimising costs, and the initiative is aligned to global best practices through the GSCP (Global Social Compliance Programme).
Over the past few years, SIZA has expanded its range of activities aiming to become an agri-wide, multi-sectoral organisation in South Africa. The initiative supports growth, sustainability and productivity by looking after the environment, respecting workers’ rights and requiring every member to initiate safe working and living conditions that contribute to a world-class sustainable agriculture production approach for local and global markets.
This is achieved through focus on the following key sustainability areas:
Requirements are skewed towards environmental and social sustainability:
As a member of SIZA is to commit to continuous improvement of labour and environmental conditions on all farms, in a practical and comprehensive way, with the potential to benefit businesses and impact positively on employees. Over the years this initiative has resulted in the development of several resources linked to ethical and environmental compliance, which are shared amongst its members.