Public Prosecutor’s Office approves testing of Audit Protocol
With the aim of creating unified auditing parameters to ensure commitments are met, the Beef on Track Programm has been working with meatpackers, civil society and other stakeholders since January 2020 to draw up the Creation and Approval Plan of the Unified Audit Protocol that was presented in July to the Public Prosecutor's Office. After this joint effort, an approval was issued to test the Audit Protocol and it is scheduled to take place until January 2021. Five meatpackers were invited and agreed to cooperate with the implementation exercise. The meatpackers are JBS, Marfrig, Mercury, Minerva and Norte Boi.
"The audit protocol is a process we have been developing since the beginning of the year. We had discussions with stakeholders to create a document that can give comparability to the information collected. With it, independent auditors will have standardized instructions and parameters to check the conformity of the meatpackers regarding their compliance with the commitments," explained Lisandro Inakake de Souza, Beef on Track’s coordinator.
When finalised, the Unified Audit Protocol will enable an annual audit schedule to be put in place and compliance assessments to be more accurate and will also increase transparency in compliance with the Terms of Adjustment of Conduct (TACs).
What will change
All companies that have signed agreements with the Public Prosecutor's Office must now implement the guidelines of the Monitoring Protocol, however, the Terms of Reference that guide the audit protocols are different in each state.
"The rules today are different. Until now, companies have audited according to specific terms of reference for each state. “We have invited five companies to participate in the trial run precisely to see if the proposed Unified Audit Protocol is achieving its goals,” explained de Souza.
The aim of this trial run is to test the Audit Protocol to generate consistent information so that adjustments can be proposed and a definitive unified protocol for all states can be approved, he stated. Once approved, the new Audit Protocol will be valid for all the states that make up the Legal Amazon. "Our forecast is that this new cycle will begin in July 2021," said de Souza.
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