MPS is organizing information sessions in different parts of the Netherlands to inform potential clients about the certification program of MPS ABC. The first session kicked off yesterday, by Raymond Scheepens, Area Manager at MPS, in the reception area of Waterdrinker in Aalsmeer, the Netherlands.
What does MPS ABC mean? This certification (C means good, B is better, A is best) showcases the sustainability efforts of a grower. Either out of personal conviction or social pressure, nowadays this is a must. With MPS, in the market for over 25 years, present in 52 countries and with about 3,300 companies in their portfolio, the grower is in good hands. At MPS, everything is in-house (the development of new certificates, commerce and even audits via sister organisation MPS-ECAS), and also their benchmarking method may catch the interest of growers. Not one's own moral findings are leading, but the performance of a company as compared to companies with similar production in similar production conditions.
At the same time, right or wrong, being sustainable or being unsustainable is politicized. In the end, consumer's findings are leading. These findings are more or less captured in FSI, Floriculture Sustainability Initiative, a kind of vision on sustainable floriculture signed by practically all (large) parties in the entire floriculture chain - from breeders to growers and from traders to supermarkets and florists. One of the ambitions included in this statement is that by the end of this year 90% of all products sold should be certified. The requirements included in FSI are leading in the certification schemes of MPS as well.
Koen Druijf, Manager for Quality & CSR at Waterdrinker
The world of certifications is not the most transparent. In order to change this, at least in floriculture, FSI has defined three categories: social, agricultural and environmental. These are, so to speak, three areas in which a company can or cannot perform well. Certificates are available for each of these three facets; some overlap two of the three categories. As far as the last category is concerned, for the time being MPS ABC is the only one meeting the standards laid out by FSI. However, as we speak GLOBALG.A.P. is preparing to enter the market as well (meaning MPS will get a competitor - a logical development when looking at the obligated certification requirement set by Royal FloraHolland, and also the main reason why MPS has lowered the prices).
Koen Druijf, Manager for Quality & CSR at Waterdrinker, welcomed the guests, a group of about 20 growers. In his opinion, growers, trade companies and all parties in the chain should consider the importance of certification in relation to the common market. "Traditionally, the Dutch have had a leading position in the global floriculture trade. Often Dutch flowers equal good flowers. If we want to hold on to this reputation, it can only be done through a collective effort".