Certification, a must or a trend?16 January 2019
Certification was one of the subjects tackled during the member sessions last November. You may be wondering what you should do about this issue. What does it mean for you? In this triptych, a grower, a trader and the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative will each offer their perspective on certification.
Consumer demand for honest, reliable and sustainably produced flowers and plants is growing. Traders, including retailers, are becoming increasingly demanding on the subject of sustainability. 'Sustainable cultivation' means compliance with a sustainability certificate.
Certification increases your market potential!
Arjan Dukker (Dukker Chrysanten) states: "I advise growers who also want to obtain the MPS-GAP certificate to register as much as possible, for example, the use of crop protection products. Then you have something worth showing - to your customers as well. It is relatively cost-effective and time-effective but it can bring many benefits as it enhances your market opportunities. Customers increasingly want to know how flowers are cultivated and which crop protection products are used. Government regulations are also becoming increasingly stringent. I believe that the Dutch floriculture industry must remain a market leader, also where sustainable flowers and plants are concerned. You have little to lose, so why not opt for certification?"
A certificate truly is a 'license to sell'
Elise Wieringa, Manager Quality Assurance & Sustainability at Royal Lemkes is one of the FSI accelerators. "Retailers, including large international supermarkets, garden centers, DIY centers and e-commerce companies, are imposing increasingly tough demands on growers in terms of sustainability. The Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI) is the leading initiative for advancing sustainability in the international floriculture chain. Its concrete objective is to ensure that 90% of all plants and flowers traded or produced by its members must be sustainable by 2020. Elise explains: "As an accelerator, you put a flywheel into motion and crank it up in order to speed up the process whereby increasing numbers of growers switch to certification. For the near future a certificate is definitely a 'license to sell'."
Certification is a means, but not an end goal
In the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI), market parties and social organizations work together to make the floriculture sector more sustainable. The aim of the FSI is to ensure that the international sector produces and markets 90% of all flowers and plants sustainably by 2020. Program manager FSI Jeroen Oudheusden shares his vision: "Sustainability is a precondition for existence. It must be anchored in every organization's strategy. My advice to growers who do not yet do this is to start today. Try to embrace good growers' practice and respond to market demand. Set achievable goals and show the market which initiatives you are undertaking to increase sustainability. Certification is a means, certainly not an end goal. It does not solve all sustainability issues, but it is a good first step."
What is Royal FloraHolland doing with respect to sustainability?
Would you like to know more?
Are you interested in certification? Please contact the Sustainability department.
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