SAAS and TransFair USA Pilot Joint-Audits in India to Raise the Bar for Apparel Factories

Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS)- the accreditation agency that manages and oversees SA8000 certification, and TransFair USA- the third-party certifier of Fair Trade Certified™ products in the United States are pleased to announce a joint collaborative effort combining the rigorous SA8000 audit with a Fair Trade audit in TransFair USA's upcoming pilot of Fair Trade Certified™ Apparel and Linens.

April 2010 
 
 
 

The first of several joint-audits took place in March in a garment factory in India where a SAAS-accredited certification body, RINA, worked with TransFair USA to identify ways to integrate the audit process. The joint-audits utilize SA8000's multi-industry applicability to build on the strength of the Fair Trade Certified process for apparel. TransFair USA expects the first Fair Trade Certified™ Apparel and Linens knitwear products to hit US retail shelves in Fall 2010.

“This partnership will leverage SAAS and TransFair USA’s combined certification expertise to continually strengthen the audit process,” remarked Heather Franzese, Senior Category Manager of Garments & Textiles at TransFair USA, “Fair Trade Certified™ apparel is needed in the market place to give consumers a way to vote with their dollars for an alternative to sweatshops.”

The collaboration will help avoid redundant auditing for those SA8000-certified apparel facilities that are seeking to produce Fair Trade Certified™ apparel. As a result, factories can focus attention and resources on worker empowerment and sustainable livelihoods. 

The findings from the joint-audits with SAAS and TransFair USA will maximize the impact of voluntary certification standards inside the factory and beyond.  Additional SAAS-accredited certification bodies will participate in upcoming joint audits to maximize learning.

For more information, please contact Rochelle Zaid, RZaid@saasaccreditation.org, or Heather Franzese, hfranzese@transfairusa.org.

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