Deliver trust and impact in global social responsibility with FSSC 24000

FSSC 24000 is the audit and certification Scheme for Social Management Systems that aligns with the ISO Management System approach and the ISO Harmonized Structure.

The FSSC 24000 Scheme

Developed through extensive and open consultation with global stakeholders, the FSSC 24000 Scheme incorporates the internationally recognized, independent standard PAS 24000: Specification for Social Management Systems that includes requirements for social performance. The PAS 24000 standard and the FSSC 24000 Scheme documents are available to download free of charge.

The Scheme can be applied in the manufacturing and processing sector (food and non-food), including their related service provision across the consumer goods industry and their associated supply base.

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Latest version

In October 2022, FSSC published version 1.0 of its Scheme.

What is FSSC 24000?

FSSC 24000 is a social management system scheme developed to assist organizations in the consumer goods industry to meet social sustainability and performance requirements.

ISO aligned scheme for social management systems

FSSC 24000 is an audit and certification scheme for social management systems that aligns with the ISO MS approach. It helps organizations improve their management system and thus protect their brands, drive business impact, contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as determined by the United Nations and help create a better world.

Why is being aligned with ISO so important?

ISO Management System standards help structure, focus, and drive continuous improvement in an organization – resulting in high-impact business systems.

FSSC 24000 is aligned to the ISO Harmonized Structure, that facilitates the integration with other ISO management systems (modular IMS framework). Now organizations with existing management systems, such as the food safety certification scheme FSSC 22000, can integrate the same approach towards meeting their social objectives and performance.

Main benefit of FSSC 24000

The Foundation FSSC, alongside our stakeholders, wants to make a social impact and contribute to the SDGs.

Globally, problems related to human rights seem to be increasing rather than decreasing. Through the FSSC 24000 Scheme, we strive to improve labor relationships, health & safety at work, and work & business ethics with a management system approach that drives continuous improvement on key social issues.

The FSSC 24000 certification scheme for Social Management Systems targets an organization’s internal systems. It enables organizations to adopt a Social Management System that assists them in improving their overall labor-related social performance and apply due diligence in their supply chain management.

Continuous improvement for social performance

The FSSC 24000 Scheme provides a strategic approach incorporating the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle and risk-based thinking, which ensures the identification and control of social risk and continuous improvement. This process demonstrates corporate responsibility and facilitates improving the social management systems and performance, thus driving impact.

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SSCI benchmarking

The Foundation will apply for benchmarking by the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) in 2023. The Consumer Goods Forum and external stakeholders, such as supply chain and sustainability experts, intergovernmental organizations, and NGOs, set the Social and Scheme Management Criteria for benchmarking third-party social compliance auditing and monitoring certification schemes.

The SSCI recognition of FSSC 24000 will build client confidence and lead to global acceptance among those that adopt the SSCI principles, in the same way as the GFSI recognition of FSSC 22000 scheme protects food safety.

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Trusted and robust audits

Built on the success of the Integrity Program of FSSC 22000, the trustworthiness of the Integrity Program for FSSC 24000 is assured. The scheme encapsulates continuous monitoring and covers all activities of the licensed CBs to oversee their compliance with scheme requirements. The overarching principles of the FSSC 24000 Integrity Program will again ensure trusted brand assurance to the consumer goods industry.

Only FSSC 24000 licensed certification bodies (CBs) are allowed to deliver certification to the Scheme. The Scheme sets out the requirements for Certification Bodies, including the requirement for accreditation to ISO/IEC 17021-1 (management system certification). Accredited certification ensures a rigorous and consistent approach in audit delivery, resulting in trusted third party certification.

Improving social performance within the supply chain

The Foundation FSSC will develop a support program in 2023, to assist organizations in the implementation of a social management system.

Additional support with (free) e-learning on relevant social topics and management systems as well as data sharing (through the assurance portal) will further develop the social performance in the supply chain.

This kind of support will help those manufacturers and suppliers who are not yet at the required level to adopt FSSC 24000 for social management systems.