Delivering trust and impact for global social responsibility with FSSC 24000

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

What is FSSC 24000?

Developed through extensive and open consultation with global stakeholders, FSSC 24000 is a Social Management System Scheme created to assist organizations in the consumer goods industry and relevant supply chains in meeting social sustainability and performance requirements. The FSSC 24000 Scheme is SSCI-recognized and endorsed as an IAF MLA sub-scope. It can be applied in the manufacturing and processing sector (food and non-food) as defined under IAF ID 1, Annex—Models for EMS and QMS Accreditation scopes.

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

Benefits of FSSC 24000

Foundation FSSC and our stakeholders want to make a social impact and contribute to the SDGs.

Globally, problems related to human rights are 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 critical social issues.

The FSSC 24000 certification Scheme for Social Management Systems targets an organization’s internal systems and incorporates the internationally recognized, independent standard PAS 24000: Specification for Social Management Systems that includes requirements for social performance. It enables organizations to adopt a Social Management System that assists them in improving their overall labor-related social performance and applying due diligence in their supply chain management.

ISO-aligned Scheme for Social Management Systems

FSSC 24000 is an audit and certification Scheme for Social Management Systems that aligns with the ISO Management System approach and the ISO Harmonized Structure. It helps organizations improve their management system and thus protect their brands, drive business impact, contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 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 aligns with the ISO Harmonized Structure, facilitating integration with other ISO Management Systems (modular IMS framework). Organizations with existing management systems, such as the Food Safety Certification Scheme FSSC 22000, can integrate the same approach toward meeting their social objectives and performance.

SSCI-Recognition

In 2024, the FSSC 24000 Scheme for Social Sustainability Management System Certification was successfully evaluated and qualified against the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) Benchmarking Requirements for Processing and Manufacturing. In achieving SSCI Recognition, FSSC 24000 demonstrates leadership in the effort to build credibility among sustainability standards worldwide.

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.

SSCI Recognition facilitates the global acceptance of FSSC 24000 among those organizations that adopt the SSCI principles in the same way that GFSI recognition of FSSC 22000 Scheme protects food safety.

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. This ensures the identification and control of social risk and continuous improvement. The PDCA process demonstrates corporate responsibility and facilitates improving Social Management Systems and performance, thus driving impact.

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 licensed Certification Body activities to ensure compliance with Scheme requirements. The overarching principles of the FSSC 24000 Integrity Program will ensure trusted brand assurance to the consumer goods industry.

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

Transparent Governance Structure

The FSSC 24000 Scheme is managed by Foundation FSSC and governed by an independent Board of Stakeholders comprising representatives from sectors across the consumer goods industry and related supply chain partners.

To ensure industry transparency and involvement, an Advisory Committee makes recommendations regarding technical aspects such as unannounced audits and food fraud, guidance documents, and Scheme revisions. The Advisory Committee reports to the Board of Stakeholders.