What is Sedex’s SMETA certification? And how can your suppliers implement it to ensure that production processes within their factories are upholding workers rights? We have explored SA8000 and WRAP certifications in previous posts, today let’s take a look at SMETA.
What is SMETA?
Unlike WRAP and SA8000, SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit) is not a 'certification' but rather an ethical audit tool. SMETA was developed by Sedex (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange) a not-for-profit member based organization established in 2001. Sedex's online platform enables factories to share their SMETA results with other member brands thus eliminating the need for multiple audits. This cuts out repetition, cost and administration for both brands and factories. Sedex is currently used by over 65,000 businesses across 150 countries.
SMETA offers two different audit tools:
How do factories get certified?
Consequences of non-compliance
Unlike WRAP and SA8000, SMETA has no certification to strip factories of if they are non-compliant. Instead, it uses disclosure as a way to motivate suppliers by recording non-compliances in the CAPR along with recommended corrective actions with a timeframe for completion. Factories must provide the auditor with sufficient evidence and be subject to follow-up audits to clear the non-compliance from their CAPR. If the auditor is not satisfied with the factories progress it will reject the appeal and the non-compliance will remain ‘open’ on the CAPR for all member brands to view.
How often do factories get audited?
Sedex recommends that factories at ‘high risk’ be audited annually, ‘medium risk’ once every two years, and ‘low risk’ at the brands discretion.
If you need help finding a credible ethical factory consider joining our global platform of factories vetted for their ethical and sustainable standards (our team cross-checks each factory to ensure certifications are valid). And if you are keen to continue learning about the latest in ethical and sustainable manufacturing subscribe to our newsletter today!