MPS-ABC: Why are standards revised every year?

MPS-ABC determines how sustainably a company produces in the field of crop protection agents, fertilisers and energy, among other things on the basis of standards that apply to an environmental cluster. Every year, MPS revises the standards for MPS-ABC. In this way, the MPS-A score remains challenging and achievable for every crop. From the end of this year, new standards will apply to a number of environmental clusters. Why do they review the standards every year?

To determine how many points a grower receives, standards apply per environmental cluster. An environmental cluster is a group of crops with comparable temperature requirements and susceptibility to disease and comparable usage data. A standard refers to the upper limit for the amount of crop protection agents to be used. If a grower is below the upper limit for the maximum amount of pesticides to be used, he or she will receive a certain number of points, for example ten. The score for fertilisers, energy, water, waste and starting material is added together for the total score. The total score determines whether a grower receives an A +, A, B or C score. The lower the usage, the more points a grower earns.

Right balance
The standards are based on the usage data of growers in a specific environmental cluster. This means that a standard can be adjusted upwards, but also downwards. It also means that the standard in a certain environmental cluster can be stricter (lower) for crop protection agents, but wider (higher) for fertilisers.

At MPS, they aim to have fifty to eighty percent MPS-A certified within an environmental cluster. They conduct an annual analysis to determine whether this is the case. For example, if more than eighty percent of Alstroemeria growers score MPS-A (+), they evaluate the standard and the standard may become stricter. In this way they ensure that MPS-ABC remains challenging. Of course it is also important that it remains feasible to score MPS-A. Searching for the right balance is therefore important. Ultimately, the goal is to motivate growers to become more sustainable.

Sustainable choices
The goal of MPS-ABC is to make growers aware of usage and to allow them to make sustainable choices in the field of crop protection agents, fertilisers and energy. Growers therefore have complete freedom to determine which resources they use to achieve the most efficient, low and sustainable use of crop protection agents, fertilisers and energy. This is in contrast to other certificates where many regulations often apply.

In addition to efficient and sustainable use of resources, other saving measures can also be considered. The use of LED lamps and the purchase of green energy ensure a lower usage of fossil fuels and therefore a higher score in the field of energy. The use of biological pest control, for example, has a positive influence on the score for crop protection agents through a lower use of chemical agents.

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