Battlefield farms, Inc. in Rapidan, Virginia became a participant for MPS-ABC in 2010. After 4 years where Battlefield has shown great efforts and improvements they have been awarded the MPS-A qualification.
The people from Battlefield: left to the right: Bobby van Hoven, Jerry van Hoven, Anthony van Hoven, Marc Verdel and Travis Higginbotham.
Julie Zeijlmaker, Human Resource Director, explains: “Over the past 4 years we have really focused on finding ways to strengthen our weaknesses. We have come up with more efficient strategies and accountability. It was challenging and it took time for our organization to make the changes but I’m proud of how far we have come and our “A”.
Battlefield Farms, Inc. is a state of the art, automated facility located in central Virginia that produces a diverse plant product line year-round. “Whether you are looking for hanging baskets, bedding plants, decorative planters, or holiday plants, Battlefield Farms, Inc. can supply all of these.” Allan Waller, Head of Sales, : “We are participating in the MPS program because we feel a social responsibility to provide our customers the most environmentally friendly product that can be produced by a commercial greenhouse. We began participating in MPS before chemical usage became such a hot button issue as we recognized it was the right thing to do for our customers.”
“There are other companies in the US that measure sustainability but MPS made more sense. MPS is international and we buy our parental material, (seeds, bulbs, cuttings) from international sources. We are accountable for where our products come from explains Marc Verdel, Head Grower at Battlefield Farms.”
Battlefield Farms is now 45 acres of covered production area and approximately 20 acres of outdoor production area. Utilization of an environmental computer to constantly monitor and adjust the greenhouse environment, individualized soil mixing on-site, and the ability to choose from drip line irrigation, ebb and flood flooring, or boom watering systems, all give Battlefield Farms, Inc. enough flexibility to ensure that the optimum environment is provided for each variety of plant that is being grown.
Arthij van der Veer is the General International Coordinator Latin America of MPS: “The cooperation with Battlefield Farms on the certification process for MPS-ABC shows how our system is a great tool to measure and show where a grower excels and the areas that need improvement. The ultimate goal has been reached: There is a culture shift in how and what chemicals can be used in growing quality products.”