We are committed to conduct all of our work in an honest and ethical manner. We take a zero to corruption, bribery and fraud, and are committed to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships.
Any employee who breaches this policy shall face disciplinary action, which could result in dismissal for gross misconduct. Any non-employee who breaches this policy (or we have reasonable suspicion to believe this is the case) may have their contract terminated with immediate effect.
This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.
Corruption is offering, promising, granting, receiving, soliciting, or accepting an unjustified benefit, for him or herself, in order to unduly favor a party in the provision of services, in the acquisition or sales of goods, or in business relationships.
For the purpose of this document, fraud is “a knowing misrepresentation of the truth or concealment of a material fact to induce another to act to his or her detriment”. It may involve but it is not limited to:
- bribery and corruption;
- manipulation, falsification or alteration of audit records or documents;
- deliberate omission of audit evidence witnessed through documentation, interviews or observation;
- assigning conformity or closing nonconformities by misrepresenting the evidence;
- usurpation of Rainforest Alliance’s or VCC&C’s interests for personal gain;
- payment or receipts of bribes or other inappropriate payments and/or gifts/favors.
We prohibit all forms of corruption and shall apply a zero-tolerance approach in respect to any breach of this policy.
We shall perform all of our operations in accordance with applicable laws and standards. Accordingly, we shall:
- Not exert any influence on the will or objectiveness of persons in order to obtain a benefit through practices that are unethical or contrary to applicable laws and standards.
- Not accept or seek, directly or indirectly, anything of value, including cash or cash equivalents, gifts, loans, fees, hospitality, discounts, advantages or benefits of any kinds, to any person or entity in order to give, promise or offer undue benefits.
- Accurately record all financial transactions in books and records.
- Promote internal training on preventing and combating corruption.
In terms of certification service, once certified, the certificate holder must account for all sales of certified product. The certificate holder must register each transaction of certified product in scheme owner’s systems to allow for the issuance of transaction certificates pursuant to applicable requirements of the certification scheme.
- A person responsible for sales offers a discount which was not stated in the service proposal to gain a contract;
- A person responsible for audit schedule receives anything of value to favor scheduling a client before others for a same time proposal;
- An auditor receives anything of value from a client to intentionally not report non-conformities found in the audit process;
- An auditor receives anything of value from a client to give specific instructions for closing non-conformities;
- An auditor accepts a hospitality from a client during audit process while the payment by the client as contracted is inclusive of these costs.
Employees that have evidence, questions or suspicions regarding any form of corruption must report immediately to their manager, email to firstname.lastname@example.org or, which can send anonymously online, to Complaint and Appeal Resolution Procedure.
We shall not tolerate any retaliation against anyone who ask questions, raising concerns or makes a report of actions related to corruption.
Upon receiving any case concerning corruption, we shall take an investigation to clarify and make appropriate actions, including:
- Deciding whether it is a case of corruption and related persons;
- Interviewing related persons;
- Confirming evidences;
- Determining reasons;
- Reporting the case to the Chairman of Complaint and Appeal Committee;
- Taking disciplinary actions and legal actions depending the severity of the case;
- Taking remediation actions depending on the nature of the case, including but not limited to: repeating an audit service at our own cost, returning any good that was received or reimbursing the client’s money;
- Implementing corrective action procedure and reporting the case and results of corrective actions taken to the management; it shall be an input for management review as well.
Employees who act contrary to this policy are subject to discipline, which could include termination as well as legal proceedings and penalties imposed under the Anti-corruption law.
VCC&C reserves the right to adopt measures it considers appropriate against any client who has action opposed to this policy.
Any case of corruption or fraud detected during the certification process of a scheme shall be informed immediately to the scheme owner.
All employees of VCC&C are responsible for complying with this policy.