SA 8000 is a global certification system that monitors, evaluates and influences the social accountability of companies, as well as their suppliers, seeking certification. This standard was established in 1997 by the New York-based non-profit organization, Social Accountability International (SAI), and derives from the International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions, United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. SA 8000 focuses on nine essential areas:
- Child Labor
- Forced Labor
- Health and Safety
- Freedom of Association
- Disciplinary Practices
- Working Hours
- Effective management implementation and review of continued SA 8000 compliance
Initially, SA 8000 was limited to the toy, clothing and footwear industries, but in 1998, Dole began working closely with SAI to apply this standard to agriculture through various pilot audits in Dole operations. Just two years later, a then Dole-owned division in Spain made history as the first agricultural company in the world to receive SA 8000 certification. In 2001, Stanfilco, a then Dole-owned division in the Philippines, became the first banana company in the world to receive SA 8000 certification.
During 13 years, Dole has been an active member of SAI’s Advisory Board in order to encourage responsible social behaviors throughout the corporate world.