Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) regarding the use of pesticides
What is a SOP?
An SOP is an “industry accepted way of doing something that works.” Aidan Lawes, CEO itSMF.
An SOP is essentially a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organization or industry to assist in the carrying out of complex or high risk routine operations. SOPs aim to achieve efficiency, quality output and uniformity of performance, while reducing miscommunication and failure to comply with industry and legal regulations.
In our SOP’s we endeavor to use what is known as Best Practice. Best practice means finding – and using – the best ways of working to achieve your business objectives. It involves keeping up to date with the ways that successful businesses operate – in your sector and others – and measuring your ways of working against those used by the market leaders. This can be done through benchmarking and / or the use of standards:
- Benchmarking: This allows you to compare your business with other successful businesses to highlight areas where your business could improve.
- Standards: These are fixed specifications or legislation, which are established by independent bodies such as the government and ISO or Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®).
Where are SOPs applied?
SOPs are applied through the entire value-chain; from research and nurseries through to harvesting and logistics, including the support functions such as HR, OHS, finance etc.
Why is it so important to have and follow SOPs – especially for the forestry sector?
SOPs allow the forestry sector to benchmark themselves against one another and also against similar industries across the globe. SOPs ensure legal compliance is maintained, as a minimum, with room for continual improvement. In the forestry sector, SOPs are developed within the industry with experts in the various fields.
SOPs ensure a high consistent standard is maintained within the industry and that sustainable business practices are ensured.
Useful ILO links:
Photo credit: Dr. Bernard Slippers.
Please note the SOPs comply with South African legislation and, where necessary, conform to other certifications’ policies as a minimum. The SOPs serve as a guideline and do not replace in anyway company SOPs and/or South African legislation.