Social Practice add-on                

Enabling growers to demonstrate they meet both locally and globally recognised social practice standards for markets and regulators.


New Zealand is not immune to cases of worker exploitation. Consumers (therefore retailers), are now requiring assurance for social responsibility in a similar way that food safety (GAP) certification has been required by most retailers over the past 20 years.

The NZGAP Social Practice add-on module is an optional add on for businesses that are NZGAP, NZGAP GLOBALG.A.P. Equivalent or GLOBALG.A.P. certified. The NZGAP Social Practice add-on module is set to complement the core NZGAP food safety programme. Any businesses that are certified with NZGAP, NZGAP GLOBALG.A.P. Equivalent or GLOBALG.A.P. may register for the Social Practice add-on module, be audited and become ‘Fully Approved’ given they meet the requirements.

Regulatory and Market acceptance

The NZGAP Social Practice add-on has been developed to include all relevant New Zealand regulatory requirements with support from the Ministry of Business and Innovation (MBIE) who have assisted in interpretation of legislation. The NZGAP Social Practice Standard also includes globally recognised social practice requirements that are included in other social practice standards such as GRASP (GLOBLG.A.P. Risk Assessment on Social Practice).  NZGAP has internally reviewed the NZGAP Social Practice add-on against GRASP to ensure that the standards are aligned. NZGAP plans to attain formal benchmarking and recognition of the Social Practice add-on as equivalent to other global social practice standards when those recognition pathways become available (e.g. GRASP). Certification enables employers to demonstrate that they have good social practices in place for their workers, and enables them to supply product to multiple wholesalers, retailers and markets.


Who it is for:

NZGAP certified businesses are provided with the option to include the Social Practice Add-on as part of their NZGAP certification. The Social Practice add-on module has been developed alongside the new Contractor Standard. Those certified to GLOBALG.A.P., or Smeta (Sedex) already meet many market and regulatory requirements, but may decide to register for the NZGAP Social Practice add-on to demonstrate local market or regulatory compliance. 

Businesses can register for the Social Practice add-on module at anytime, or as part of their NZGAP annual renewal process (preferred). Those who are already registered will be able to renew at the same time as their usual NZGAP renewal. Audits will be carried out alongside your next scheduled NZGAP audit, however you may request a standalone audit if required to meet a regulatory or market requirements. A standalone surcharge will apply to cover additional auditor travel and administration costs. 

The online self-assessment must be completed and shared with NZGAP (automatic with online tool) before the on-site audit can take place, and going forward must be completed prior to the annual renewal date. 

If using the downloaded pdf, this must be emailed to NZGAP ( prior to audit and your annual renewal date. 


(click image to download)

Online Tools

 Tool Link  Source 
Employment Learning Modules MBIE/ Employment NZ 
Employment Agreement Builder  MBIE
Visa View   Immigration NZ
New Zealand Business Register  NZBN
NZGAP Public Register  NZGAP


Other Resources

 Link  Source
Fact Sheet: Worker Accommodation  Worksafe NZ
Requirements for Employment Agreements  Employment NZ
Requirements for new Employees  Employment NZ
Record Keeping  Employment NZ
Breaks  Employment NZ
Leave and Holidays  Employment NZ
Pay Deductions  MBIE
Young Employees  Employment NZ
Employee Representation  Employment NZ
Seasonal Worker Accommodation  HortNZ
Camping Camping Grounds Regs
Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination  Employment NZ
Deductions  Employment NZ

Frequently Asked Questions

How much will it cost?

For pricing please refer to the NZGAP Fee chart . If you require a standalone audit (not alongside a GAP audit), then an additional fee will apply for audit travel and administration. 

Can a contractor impact on my audit outcome? 

Yes. NZGAP strongly recommends contractors are certified to the NZGAP Social Practice add on module separately, to demonstrate compliance with their legal and social responsibilities. Alternatively, businesses will be required to follow more comprehensive due dilligence processes (Template H) plus the contractor business will be required to provide the necessary records, evidence and documentation to the grower to demonstrate that they meet the requirements.

Are there any exemptions for who requires NZGAP Social Practice certification?

If you are already assessed against either Sedex Members Ethcial Trade Audit (SMETA) or GLOBALG.A.P. GRASP, you are exempt from requiring the NZGAP Social Practice add-on audit, but may still need to register to demonstrate local market and regulatory compliance.

Does the NZGAP Social Practice audit result impact the outcome of the food safety NZGAP audit?

No. However, it may impact access to certain markets which require compliance to the NZGAP Social Practice add-on, regardless of whether or not you passed the food safety NZGAP audit.

How much time will the Social Practice add-on audit take? 

It is estimated that social practice will add 1.5 to 3 hours in the first year, this is expected to decrease from year 2 onwards. The audit time is subject to a number of factors including business operations, whether all checklist questions are applicable, availability of records and relevant representatives at the time of the audit. 

When will I be audited?

If you have registered for Social Practice you will be audited alongside your next NZGAP audit. Audits can also be completed as a stand-alone to meet a market deadline, however additional fees apply for travel and administration.

Do I need to complete the self-assessment before my audit?

Yes, the self-assessment (version 2.0)  must be completed and submitted to NZGAP before an audit can be scheduled. The self-assessment is also required to be completed annually. 

Do I need to register for the Social Practice add-on if I have no staff? 

Some buyers are requesting confirmation of when Social Practice Certification is not applicable i.e. you do not employ workers or use contractors. If this is required and you don’t employ workers at any time of the year (either directly or via contractors), you can apply for Social Practice confirming you have no workers during the application process. Once your application is processed and approved your Social Practice status will be updated to “Not Applicable” on your certificate. This demonstrates to buyers, that you have confirmed you do not have workers and therefore do not need to be audited against the Social Practice standard. This information is shared back to markets on a regular basis.

What will my registration pack (manual) contain?

Once registered you will receive electronic copies and links to all relevant documents and tools via email. If requested a paper version will be posted to you and will contain the checklist, implementation guidelines and all supporting templates (see above).

How will my buyers  and regulator know that I am certified to Social Practice?  

Your certification status will appear on the NZGAP public register ( Social Practice will also be added to your standard NZGAP certificate (pdf and paper) and shared back to markets on a regular basis.

How will I be invoiced for Social Practice ?

The Annual fee and Audit fee are invoiced upon receipt of initial registration. All future annual fees will be payable to NZGAP as part of your next renewal prior to your NZGAP certificate anniversary date (includes audit fee). 

Is there a worker voice component?

The audit focuses primarily on the business's practices, policies and procedures, however links with worker voice initiatives including:

  • Employment NZ contact centre
  • Countdown ‘Speak up’
  • Phone: 0800 393 76739