Pilot with TransFair
TransFair is the US-based Fair Trade organization which follows the fair trade requirements of ensuring a living wage to workers. SAAS has recently begun a pilot program with TransFair to develop a program to incorporate SA8000 audit procedures into the FairTrade process.
Stakeholder Consultation Pilot
SAAS is looking at ways to advance best practices in SA8000 auditing methodology and has identified several areas of the audit process that could improve SA8000 audit quality and effectiveness. SAAS is working with the CBs to improve SA8000 transparency, credibility, and multi-stakeholder participation in the audit process. As a result, SAAS has begun developing programs to achieve consistency and systemic improvements in SA8000 using stakeholder engagement – methods may include participation of multi-disciplinary audit teams, development of multi-stakeholder advisory committees and use of certification review panels.
SA8000 in Maritime
Historically, SA8000 has not included the maritime industry due to the complex nature of working issues at sea. On February 23, 2006, the ILO adopted the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (ILO-186). This Convention establishes a “Seafarers’ Bill of Rights” consolidating more than 65 international maritime labor instruments that had been adopted by the ILO over the past 80 years. Convention 186 lays down stringent rules regarding working conditions and requests proof of compliance from ships. Given the adoption by the ILO of a convention covering working hours and laws governing working conditions in the maritime industry, SAAS is working with SAI at looking at ways to move forward in determining how this convention can be used to possibly apply SA8000 in maritime.
SA8000 Applicant Status
In 1999, an SA8000 policy allowed facilities to apply for applicant status prior to undergoing SA8000 certification. The applicant program was designed to specifically draw companies into the certification process and recognize organizations volunteering to adopt SA8000 specifications in their policies and take the first steps toward certification. SAI and SAAS have begun conferring with stakeholders to determine quality changes to the system for improvement.
Frequency of required SA8000 certification surveillance audits
SAAS has begun the development of detailed risk and performance based criteria for consideration in the frequency of SA8000 surveillance audits and will issue additional guidance and policy requirements to the CBs for implementation.