Trends in Audit Standards for the Food Industry
The community’s ever-increasing concern regarding workplace social issues seems to have prompted major retailers to begin reviewing the operational and social values of their suppliers. Additional audit criteria focusing on staff safety, appropriate pay and ethical issues amongst others will form the base of these reviews.
While some companies have implemented supply chain assessment programs for years, this shift in focus will mark a turning point for the majority.
Whilst SA8000 represents a recognised standard for Social Accountability, there is a perception that the standard delves further in depth than required within the food industry, particularly in the case of smaller producers and suppliers.
This perception has led to a number of retailers choosing to adopt their own audit criteria, guidelines and questionnaires in order to better understand and identify potential risks and issues in their supply chain.
As community awareness surrounding Occupational Health and Safety and environmental issues continues to rise, these are matters also likely to find their way into such reviews and with this in mind you can expect to see a rise in the number of programs and standards developed within this space in the near future.
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