PARIS, 30th November, 2022 — The Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) has received a benchmarking application from the Wine and Agricultural Ethical Trade Association (WIETA), marking their first step in earning SSCI recognition as meeting industry expectations for third-party social compliance programmes under the SSCI’s Primary Production and Manufacturing and Processing scopes. The SSCI is committed to building trust in sustainability standards by recognising programmes that respect key sustainability criteria, as defined by leading industry stakeholders, in their evaluation methods.
The Wine and Agricultural Ethical Trade Association T/A WIETA was the first South African social standard, established in 2002, to establish an appropriate social auditing methodology for fruit and wine suppliers in South Africa. WIETA proudly demonstrates how a multi-stakeholder model can successfully promote a world class ethical trade and human rights programme within the wine value chain. Innovative social dialogue engagements, a rigorous capacity building and training programme for both workers and producers, coupled with a participative multi-pronged approach to auditing and remedial approach to ensure sustained corrective actions.
The organisation’s Ethical Code of conduct serves as a rigorous framework through which its members and their supply chain are monitored. Social audits serve as a primary monitoring tool to measure not only legal compliance with South Africa’s labour and occupational health and safety legislation but also goes beyond compliance requirements to ensure that the company’s management systems reflect sustainable ethical principles and human rights due diligence and practices.
WIETA has an active remedial and incidents reporting framework supported by a Labour Desk where stakeholders can lodge complaints and violations and seek advice on rights based issues and labour enquiries. Workplace grievances and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms seek to address more serious cases providing legal and social restorative remedies at workplace level for both workers and producers.
Linda Lipparoni, CEO, WIETA said, “WIETA, was one of the first multi stakeholder led social standards in South Africa, to drive social compliance and best practice down the wine and agricultural supply chain. The WIETA standard is designed to transform business’ behaviour and workplace relationships to ensure fair, just and respectful treatment of all workers in wine and agriculture, demonstrating that companies can actively contribute to the creation of more sustainable and dignified environments for farming communities.
The WIETA Standards guides the implementation of human rights due diligence and ethical best practices through participative inspections methodologies and rigorous multi stakeholder social dialogue, ensuring the amplification of worker voices and business commitment to actioning remedy whilst reducing wine business’ risks in the wine and agricultural supply chain.
WIETA’s participation in the SSCI Benchmarking for both Manufacturing and Processing and Primary Production provides an exciting opportunity to showcase our innovative standard and methodologies, building a more relevant and responsive framework for change.”
The SSCI Benchmark is a comprehensive process that recognises which schemes cover key sustainability criteria and apply relevant verification practices. The process revolves around a first self-assessment undertaken by the scheme, followed by a review by an independent expert, office visits, and a public consultation. The methodology also includes opportunities for the applicant to take corrective actions if and when needed.
The SSCI Benchmark is based on the SSCI Social and Scheme Management Criteria, which cover the industry’s expectations for sustainability and were defined by the SSCI Coalition member companies, industry experts, and other stakeholders. Following the launch of the SSCI’s Manufacturing and Processing scope in 2020, the SSCI opened the SSCI Benchmark to the agriculture, aquaculture, and seafood sectors with the publication of Social and Scheme Management Criteria adapted for its new Primary Production and At-Sea Operations scopes. This work was developed in collaboration with the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI).
At the SSCI, we welcome this positive step from Wieta and look forward to reviewing its alignment towards industry values on transparency, social responsibility and sustainability. To monitor the process of its evaluation, and other schemes undergoing the benchmarking, visit recognition.tcgfssci.com.
Learn More and Apply
Third-party auditing and monitoring schemes and programmes are invited to apply for SSCI recognition and demonstrate their commitment to industry-defined expectations for social responsibility. Learn more about the SSCI Benchmark and download the application kits at benchmark.tcgfssci.com.
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About the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative
The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) builds trust in sustainability standards worldwide by benchmarking third-party auditing and certification programmes and recognising schemes that meet industry expectations. By providing an open-source list of recognised programmes, the SSCI delivers clear guidance on which schemes cover key sustainability criteria and apply relevant verification practices. The SSCI improves transparency in the market, facilitates decision-making on schemes at both buyer and supplier level and sets the responsible sourcing expectations for the industry. The Initiative initially focuses on social compliance with the potential to expand the scope to environmental compliance. For more information, visit www.tcgfssci.com.
About The Consumer Goods Forum
The Consumer Goods Forum (“CGF”) is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 3.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises more than 55 manufacturer and retailer CEOs. For more information, please visit: www.theconsumergoodsforum.com.
The Consumer Goods Forum
Communications Manager, Sustainability
The Consumer Goods Forum