SMETA Social Audit

Social Compliance Program

What is SMETA Social Audit?

Choose SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audits) – one of the world’s most widely used social compliance audits – for your farm, factory, processing plant or manufacturing facility. Developed by Sedex, SMETA audits are recognized by Wal-Mart, Costco, Amazon, Whole Foods, Target and other leading retailers. Based on the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) base code, International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions and local country laws, SMETA audits include assessment of labor standards, human rights, worker health and safety, environmental compliance, and business ethics performance.

See Sedex guidance for members on COVID-19


Why Choose SCS?

We are a proud Affiliate Audit Company (AAC) of Sedex, authorized to audit farms, processing plants, and manufacturing facilities in the US, Mexico, Latin America, and Canada. Sedex houses one of the world’s leading collaborative platforms for buyers and suppliers to store, share and report on ethical and social compliance audit information quickly and easily. Benefit from SCS’ decades of experience as a sustainability certification body with cross-trained auditors and a reputation for thorough, timely and cost-effective services. Bundle your SMETA audit with EFI, Fair Trade USA, Sustainably Grown, FSC and other certification services for greater efficiency.

  • Program Details
  • Process
  • FAQs
  • APSCA Member
  • Program Documents

SMETA incorporates three broadly applicable “Best Practice” elements:

  • Guidance on conducting social compliance audits
  • A consistent audit report format shareable among multiple stakeholders
  • A unified corrective action plan format for non-compliances

SMETA Audit Methodology
SCS offers two levels of SMETA audits:

SMETA 2-Pillar Audit

  • Labor Standards
  • Health & Safety
  • Additional Elements:
    • Management Systems
    • Entitlement to Work
    • Subcontracting and Homeworking
    • Environment

SMETA 4-Pillar Audit

  • All elements of the SMETA 2-Pillar Audit, plus
  • Environmental Assessment (more robust than the 2 pillar)
  • Business Ethics

To get started, please contact SCS to apply, or simply choose SCS as your Audit Company on the Sedex online platform.

  1. Company submits completed application to SCS
  2. SCS conducts audit and prepares SMETA Audit Report
  3. Company undertakes corrective actions on non-compliances as needed
  4. SMETA audit results are shared on Sedex online platform

SCS can also provide client marketing support.

What is Sedex?

Sedex is one of the world’s leading ethical trade service providers, working to improve working conditions in global supply chains. Sedex provides practical tools, services and a community network to help companies improve their responsible and sustainable business practices and source responsibly. Sedex has over 55,000 members in 180 countries, across 35 industry sectors, including food, agriculture, financial services, clothing and apparel, packaging and chemicals.


What are the benefits of a SMETA Audit?

SMETA audits are widely recognized by major food retailers. The audit reduces duplication of effort in social auditing, and supports retailers, consumer brands and suppliers by:

  • Providing greater transparency into your supply chain
  • Communicating your achievements in addressing labor, human rights, worker health and safety, environmental, business ethics performance and social responsibility practices
  • Reducing costs and audit fatigue by sharing audit reports with multiple customers
  • Providing independent recognition on your social compliance efforts

Who is eligible to be audited?

SMETA Audits are broadly applicable to farms, food processers, and manufacturers. SCS is currently conducting audits for companies located in the US, Mexico, Latin America, and Canada.

What is the scope of a SMETA Audit?

SMETA audits encompass major aspects of responsible business practices, including labor, human rights, worker health and safety, environmental compliance, and business ethics performance.

How are SMETA audit reports shared?

SMETA uses the Sedex database, a globally renowned collaborative online platform that allows members to share supply chain data, methodologies, standards and certifications with their customers. Upon completing a SMETA audit, suppliers can share one audit report with multiple customers via the Sedex online platform, reducing audit redundancy and duplication, as well as demonstrating responsible business practices.

Do you need Sedex membership to get a SMETA audit?

No, companies who are not Sedex members can get SMETA audits. Please reach out to SCS with questions or support.

Can you only share SMETA audit reports on the Sedex Platform?

No, Sedex Members can ask SCS to share any SCS audit report on the Sedex platform with an audience defined by the Member.

Does the SMETA audit lead to certification?

SMETA is not a certification audit. The cadence of audit repetition for SMETA is generally established by the customer requesting the audit. The audit will result in a finalized report.

SCS is proud to be a member of APSCA, a professional association promoting the use of reputable independent social compliance audits as a tool to advance workplace conditions globally.


File Name Document
SMETA Application English   |   Spanish

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Ready to start the process? Complete an Application.

Bernadette Goldstein