Skip to content

New scheme addresses key social issues in consumer goods sector

Aimed at helping businesses and organizations develop a social management system, the Foundation FSSC has devised the FSSC 24000 Scheme for Social Management Systems which is now open for interested companies to consider adopting and to seek certification.

Although the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted over 75 years ago, globally, problems related to human rights are increasing rather than decreasing. The FSSC 24000 Scheme aims to address this by setting a framework that will encourage organizations to improve labour relations, health and safety at work, and work and business ethics with a management system approach.

Welcoming the new scheme, Global Food and Beverage Business Development Manager in DNV Francesco di Sarno said, “Schemes that address the working conditions of workers around the globe who supply us with the consumer goods we all desire really help companies with a structured approach to manage their supply chain, meet social demands and deliver on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ambitions.”

Organizations generally are keen to improve their overall labour-related social performance and to meet customer expectations around fair treatment of workers throughout the supply chain. Most nations have laws aimed at protecting workers’ rights but in an increasingly connected world, organizations may need to rely on suppliers that are not subject to similar standards.

The FSSC 24000 certification scheme for social management systems targets an organization’s internal systems and assists them in applying due diligence in their supply chain management. It provides for a certifiable social management system framework that will enable organizations to gain maximum benefits from improving treatment of employees along the length of their supply chain and simultaneously reassure stakeholders that systems have been developed responsibly.

FSSC 24000 is based on the internationally recognized, independent management system standard PAS 24000 developed by BSI. It is aligned with the ISO Management System and ISO Harmonized Structure and will therefore mesh with other management systems already in use by an organization. Certification to FSSC 24000 is applicable to organizations in the manufacturing and processing sector (food and non-food) including their related service provision.

The objectives of FSSC 24000 can be summarized as:

  • Promoting improvement of overall social performance within organizations.
  • Assisting organizations to meet UN SDGs especially SDG 8 "Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all".
  • Helping organizations identify and mitigate risks related to social management which in turn improves efficiency and reduces cost.
  • Maintaining regulatory social compliance with employment and human rights regulations.
  • Building greater consumer confidence by encouraging organizations to prioritise human well-being, safety and user experience.

As a global certification body, DNV will be able to help companies build trust in their social management from assessing gaps against the scheme’s requirements to training and third-party certification.