Eerik Schipper, Control Union Certifications:

"Expanding market of certifications is just a matter of time"

"What's special about the horticulture sector is that a supplier dominates in the certification part. However, there are alternatives and it can often be a lot cheaper," said Eerik Schipper of Control Union, a Dutch company that provides certifications world wide. "The dominator in the floriculture sector is MPS and others are struggling to develop into serious competitors. It's strange how small the market is in this field."

Eerik Schippers, at Plantarium

Unusual market
The demand for the certifications always comes from the buyers like grocery stores and garden centers, it's not the from the growers themselves. "Not many people know that parties often accept a whole range of certifications, sometimes in combination with specific additions. Certification is becoming increasingly important in the field of sustainability, but also in many other fields."

Sustainability remains in the market and also in the field of certification. And the consumers want to know more often how something is produced and by whom. "The floriculture sector is incredibly good at developing new products, but runs behind on other sectors. However, it is just a matter of time. Supermarkets are following and that is the reason why we are at fairs like Plantarium: to inform the breeder, to talk about the necessity but also the amount of things he can do in this field."

When this awareness is created, the market of certifications will expand, says Schipper. "Alternatives to MPS become gradually more visible. GlobalGAP, for example, is not only a lot cheaper, but also has many outlets of equal status as MPS. It has great international recognition, saving time and it involves less paperwork. At the same time it is also true, that these alternatives should promote themselves more. This would help the whole market."

For more information:
Control Union Certifications
Eerik Schipper
Meeuwenlaan 4-6,
8011 BZ Zwolle
T 038 426 01 00
F 038 423 70 40

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