Since 2013, FSI has been implementing a system in which transparent and benchmarked standards are recognized as a solid basis for good practice. These are included in the FSI Basket of Standards and considered as an international reference for responsibly produced and traded flowers and plants. To secure progress made, stimulate further improvement, and prepare for future requirements, new environmental and social requirements have been implemented as FSI Basket Benchmark criteria. Hence more aspects of sustainability are covered by the FSI benchmarks.
Since January 2021, the FSI Basket of Standards includes three scopes: GAP, Social, and the new Environmental scope. To comply with the FSI requirements, producers need to be certified by at least one of the accepted standards in both GAP and Environmental scopes. Producers in risk countries will additionally have to obtain one of the accepted certificates for the Social scope, an unchanged requirement since 2013.
FSI Executive Officer Jeroen Oudheusden explains: “Consumer awareness, new market requirements, and upcoming legislation around social/ethical issues have instigated discussions on how to best anticipate these new requirements. FSI members believe that our sector is only future-proof if we show leadership and embed responsible practices in the entire supply chain. Part of our strategy is to achieve this by encouraging producers to be certified and to stimulate responsible sourcing at trade and retail level.”
Moreover, another new requirement will be added to the benchmark in the coming years. Producers in low-risk countries (like North America and most countries in Europe) will be asked to conduct a third-party social risk assessment on-site or demonstrate compliance through a social certificate from the FSI Basket. To comply with this future requirement, FSI will develop benchmark criteria so that scheme owners have time to adapt and develop risk assessment solutions. Ideally, these risk assessments take place during regular audits to make them time and cost-efficient.
This new FSI Basket requirement will be effective from 1 January 2024 to allow time for implementation. For the FSI members, reporting on these criteria will be compulsory to track progress and is part of the 90% responsible production and trade ambition.
The Floriculture Sustainability initiative
The 75 members of the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative, including producers, traders, and retailers of flowers and plants, are committed to increasing responsibility and transparency, with the aim of keeping the industry future-proof. To achieve this, FSI members address sustainability issues together at the sector level and focus their efforts around three pillars: responsible production and trade, responsible conduct, and integrated reporting.
The definition of responsible production and trade has expanded over the years as new environmental and social aspects emerged that were not always transparent or fully covered by existing requirements and certifications. Therefore, FSI implemented a system in which transparent and benchmarked standards are recognized as a solid basis for good practice. The standards meeting good agricultural and social practices have been included in the FSI Basket of Standards and are the international reference for responsibly produced and traded flowers and ornamentals.
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