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Developing sustainable solutions together
 
More and more partnerships are emerging in the chain to develop sustainable solutions together. MPS is a big supporter of this. After all, joining forces, sharing knowledge and promoting transparency are important values nowadays. In this MPS NewsFlash, we will focus on one of these partnerships: our joint project with Natuur & Milieu, LTO, WUR and CLM to develop an ‘Environmental Indicator for Crop Protection Products.’ We will describe this project in greater detail below. Natuur & Milieu believes we are an ‘important link between growers, the market and society’, which is something we’re very proud of. We will keep you informed of our progress in this project!  

Yolande van den Boom, CEO MPS Group
Natuur & Milieu examines environmental footprint of crop protection products
The public debate about cutting back on the use of crop protection products has been going on for decades. “It took a little longer for the discussion to jump from food to flowers & ornamentals, but the fact that the sector has started working on this issue is a positive sign”, says Jelmer Vierstra, programme leader at Natuur & Milieu, where he is responsible for organic production. “However, there is plenty of room for improvement, as violations of drinking and surface water standards are all too frequent and Dutch biodiversity is not doing well.”
A balancing act
Vierstra: “Our goal is to ensure that growing crops no longer harms the environment. However, growers can only implement measures that fit the economic reality in which their businesses operate.” Because of food safety, growers in the fruit and vegetable sector have been working on organic production for much longer. 
In the flowers & ornamentals sector, it took a little longer for this discussion to arise, because human health is less of an issue here. “Despite this, the average grower of flowers & ornamentals uses more crop protection products than a producer of fruit & vegetables, because of stricter aesthetic requirements. As such, it is a good thing that it has become a hot topic in the flowers & ornamentals sector too, as it means the market will start demanding improvement and be open to a discussion about costs”, says the programme leader. 
More ProductProof
Natuur & Milieu believes more growers should seek to become ProductProof-certified, rather than ‘just’ MPS-ABC-certified. Tuinbranche Nederland, one of the Dutch environmental organisation’s partners, is also in favour of this move. Vierstra: “The main reason is that ProductProof shows whether certain products have not been used. Thanks to daily registration and extra samples, the checks & balances involved in this certificate are much more stringent.” To help the environment as much as possible, the programme leader has two strategies in mind that should, preferably, be combined. Reducing the use of the most toxic products, where possible, and treating water used in the greenhouse industry, because some products simply cannot be cut out entirely.”
Low-risk products 
He also has three solutions to aid the transition from high-risk to low-risk products. “There are plenty of CPPs, but some require in-depth knowledge to be used effectively. On top of that, they can be more expensive than more common alternatives”, says Vierstra. 

Another solution is to breed more resistant varieties of crops, which can withstand diseases and pests. The parties purchasing these products also have a role to play, as it’s up to them to demand these crops. Vierstra’s third solution is better coordination of environmental requirements, because growers currently have to deal with different parties who all have different demands. “It would be best if we wouldn’t only start asking which specific products are used, but also inquire after the full environmental impact of all products used”, says Vierstra.
That’s why Natuur & Milieu is an enthusiastic supporter of the ‘Environmental Indicator for Crop Protection Products’, a project that they initiated along with many other industry parties, such as MPS, LTO, WUR and CLM. The aim of this project is to develop an integrated indicator and a calculation system that describe the effects of crop protection products on the environment, biodiversity and health; that meets the wants & needs of the industry, market and society; that provides an easy, transparent way to calculate the impact of growing a particular crop; that can be applied internationally, and that is widely supported.
Transparency in the chain
Vierstra also highlights that the discussion surrounding sustainability is here to stay and that the role played by organisations such as MPS is only set to increase. "Sustainability starts with transparency in the chain. 
That’s one of MPS’s great strengths: they gather information and make it transparent, which makes them an important link between growers, the market and society. We’re very enthusiastic about their positive efforts”, Vierstra concludes.
Lead time for MPS-GAP certification 
For some time, there has been uncertainty in the industry with regard to how long it takes to obtain MPS-GAP certification, with some parties even claiming that it can take a year. The lead time for obtaining MPS-GAP certification is much shorter than many people think. Growers who have just started the MPS-ABC process (or have yet to start) do not have to keep registrations for a year before they can obtain MPS-GAP certification. 

When growers start their MPS-ABC registrations, they will not be certified for the first 13 four-week periods. Nevertheless, they can still get started with MPS-GAP certification immediately, up to 17 periods (68 weeks) after the start of the initial registration. 

If you have any questions about MPS-GAP certification, please contact Raymond Scheepens at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on tel. +31 (0)6 538 625 51.
MPS Customer Panel on 29 January and 5 February 2019
As part of the development of the new MPS-ABC scheme, a number of MPS-ABC participants met up at MPS on 29 January and 5 February. These meetings were organised by MPS in order to discuss the new MPS registration tool. The purpose of the meeting was to take stock of practical experiences with the current tool and any wishes for the new registration tool, a mobile application, and the MY-MPS user environment. The meetings have led to a comprehensive overview of needs & wishes, which will now be tested for practical feasibility and,
where possible, be implemented in the new registration tool. 

If you have any questions or would like to take part in the MPS Customer Panel, please contact Martine Holtkamp by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling her on +31 (0) 6 834 833 67.

 
Instructional videos for MPS-ABC registration

MPS supports participants in MPS-ABC and, optionally, MPS-ProductProof in registering their consumption levels as efficiently and easily as possible. 
Registration (periodic registration) or Actres Top (daily registration) and have any questions about this, you can now also consult our instructional videos with useful tips & tricks. These instructional videos will soon also be available in English. You can find our instructional videos here.

Of course, our Service & Support team is always ready to help: Contact MPS Service & Support at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on +31 (0)174 615 715.
Are you all ready for the uniform MPS vignette?

The uniform MPS vignette was introduced on 23 August 2017. This vignette replaced a multitude of MPS vignettes and logos that had been used in the flowers & ornamentals sector up to that time. Together with the interactive platform www.followyourflowerorplant.nl/en, the uniform MPS vignette contributes to uniform working methods and product labelling for products by MPS-certified companies, as well as offering transparency to consumers. You can continue to use the old vignettes until the end of this year. Starting from 1 January 2019, the old vignettes of the certificates in question may no longer be used on materials such as packaging, plant markers, etc.

If you have any questions, please contact the MPS Service & Support team in The Netherlands at:
T. +31 174 615700
E. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

This newsletter is given in good faith by MPS.

MPS cannot assume any responsibility for the accuracy or reliability of the information contained in these newsletter.

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