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WIETA has undertaken to conditionally recognise mixed farms that undergo audits by audit bodies such as

  1. Fair Trade,
  2. BSCI,
  3. ETI,
  4. Intertek,
  5. SAI Global,
  6. Partner Africa and
  7. SGS.

The latter four audit bodies are recognised under the Fruit Industry’s SIZA programme.

Cellars and estates with combined vineyard/cellar operations will still be required to go through the WIETA audit.

It should also be understood that mixed farms, who are not SIZA members, but have had an ethical audit in the last two years undertaken by an audit body can also apply to WIETA for certification under these provisions.

These audit bodies mentioned above and SIZA are not certification bodies. This means that correcting your non compliances may not be a mandatory process. WIETA reserves the right when issuing its accreditation, to ensure that all corrective actions have been completed and signed off. WIETA undertakes this through a site verification process (half day mini inspection). Should any non-compliance recorded in the audit report remain unaddressed, WIETA reserves the right to ask the producer to submit a corrective action plan (improvement plan) with documented evidence before WIETA certification is approved. WIETA certification is not issued based on the completion of an audit alone.

In order to undertake full ethical traceability on all wine submitted to WIETA for the Fair Labour Certification approval, producers and cellars are required to register with WIETA so that traceability with the SAWIS system can be established.

For those that are SIZA members or who have opted to “go the SIZA route” registration with WIETA will still be required. SIZA is a fruit industry system and is not linked to the SAWIS system.

Should your buyer require such a WIETA certification for the international markets, you will be required as a producer to comply with the requirements of the WIETA certification process.

The current cost of registration with WIETA is R500 and the cost of the mini inspection is R 2 500 exclusive of VAT and travel costs.

WIETA is committed to benchmarking its Code and audit methodology with the Global Social Compliance Programme’s equivalence process, an internationally recognised reference tool. We envisage that the process will be complete by the end of our financial year in February 2014.

We anticipate that the completion of the international GSCO benchmarking exercise will put the WIETA audit in a position to be recognised by European buyers who currently subscribe to other Codes such as BSCI and the local SIZA Fruit SA initiative.

Linda Lipparoni  - November 2013