VAL’HOR (Plante Bleue) and MPS tighten ties
At the recent international agricultural trade fair ‘Salon International de l’ Agriculture’ in Paris, semi-governmental trade association VAL’HOR and MPS extended their partnership agreement. Moreover, this agreement now also covers Excellence Végétale, a foundation that promotes companies with sustainable production methods and works to coordinate and promote Plante Bleue and MPS certification.
Plante Bleue
VAL’HOR is the scheme manager of France’s premier social and sustainability certification scheme, Plante Bleue. There are three levels of Plante Bleue certification: the highest level (level 3) is based on social requirements and monitored environmental registration (through MPS-ABC, for instance) of crop protection products, fertilisers, water management, energy use and waste management. Combining Plante Bleue with MPS-ABC registration lets growers reach the highest level of certification. In the previous agreement, the two parties had already agreed to offer combined audits. Yolande van den Boom (CEO MPS Group): “Together with the aforementioned parties, we are committed to continued sustainable development in the French Flowers & Ornamentals sector, lifting the sector to a higher plane. 

For more information, please contact Raymond Scheepens: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +31 (0) 6 53 86 25 51 

New animation: Transparancy in the international  floricultural supply chain
FSI is a network organisation of various parties and NGOs that are working together towards a more sustainable Flowers & Ornamentals sector. MPS is involved in this effort as part of its ambition to bring parties together in order to work on making sustainability efforts more transparent. FSI’s objective is to ensure that 90 percent of all products traded by its members are purchased and traded sustainably by 2020.

In order to achieve this FSI objective, the sector must intensify and accelerate its transition to sustainable practices. The only way this can be done is by adopting an overarching approach. That is why MPS and FSI are collaborating on a project to make the chain more transparent, 
focusing on reducing the use of plant protection products throughout the chain, among other efforts. Other key objectives include improving transparency and communication throughout the chain. MPS-ABC registration and MPS-ProductProof are essential tools for the project, as they enable accurate registration and analysis, whilst encouraging the transition to more sustainable growing practices. The animation below explains how this all works out in practice. 

For more information, please contact Remco Jansen: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +31 (0)6 512 740 01 
Rock-solid combination: MPS-GAP/MPS-ABC
There was some uncertainty in the sector with regard to the timespan required to obtain MPS-GAP, with some companies believing it could take up to a year. MPS-GAP certification need not take that long. Continue reading for a more detailed explanation and 9 other reasons to combine MPS-ABC and MPS-GAP.
Locations MPS-GAP certified companies 
1    MPS-ABC and MPS-GAP reinforce each other
MPS-ABC is the main environmental certificate for consciously sustainable growers. It is a registration tool that can be used to track crop protection products, energy, fertilisers, water and waste. MPS-ABC is a monitored system featuring independent checks, audits and sampling. MPS-ABC is entirely unique in the field of monitored environmental registration.
The MPS-GAP certificate was introduced for companies supplying products to traders retailers, based on certain requirements in the areas of traceability, environment, safety and hygiene. MPS-GAP requires participants to register their use of crop protection products on a daily basis, as is made possible by the MPS-ABC registration tool.
On top of that, MPS-ABC shows (or quantifies) the environmental effect of the measures taken for MPS-GAP.

2    You can obtain MPS-GAP certification in the short term
Growers who are just starting out with MPS-ABC do not have to register their usage for an entire year first, before they can obtain MPS-GAP, as MPS-GAP certification need not take that long. One of the requirements of MPS-GAP is that the companies have an MPS-ABC certificate (or equivalent), but MPS-D status (uncertified) will also be considered sufficient for a limited start-up period. As such, growers need not necessarily complete a full year of registration before they can get started on MPS-GAP.

3    Combining MPS-ABC and MPS-GAP puts participants at the forefront of sustainable development and makes it easier to keep up with future developments, as initiated by FSI, for instance
MPS-GAP meets all FSI2020 requirements and has been included in the “basket”. In the near future, Credible Record Keeping will also become an FSI requirement, which will hopefully encourage many other parties to follow suit. Credible Record Keeping through MPS-ABC is the basis for MPS-GAP. With MPS-GAP, participants can be sure that they are ready for the future.

4    MPS-ABC and MPS-GAP certification are made visible in the Trade Portal
Many traders already recognise and use the MPS Trade Portal as a strategical purchasing tool for certified sustainable products from the flowers & ornamentals sector. All MPS-certified companies are shown on this platform, boosting their chances on the international and domestic market.

5    MPS-GAP is ambitious, granting bonus points for purchasing certified starter material
MPS-GAP has the ambition to close the chain when it comes to sustainability. In addition to the fact that MPS-ABC acts as a foundation for MPS-GAP, growers are faced with more and more requirements with regard to starting materials and additional purchases. In many cases, starter materials and additional purchases must also be GAP-certified. MPS-GAP works with a step-by-step process that sees a company work towards using only certifiably sustainable materials in 3 years’ time. With this process, MPS helps growers become more sustainable at their own pace. Companies purchasing certified starter material also receive MPS-ABC bonus points.

6    MPS-GAP is benchmarked with GLOBALG.A.P.
All companies certified with MPS-GAP feature on the MPS Trade Portal and in the GLOBALG.A.P. database. This is important, because retailers (e.g. in Germany) are tightening their sustainability requirements. Thanks to this benchmark, MPS-GAP-certified companies can also be found by German retailers.

7.    MPS-GAP participants can use two (consumer) labels
All MPS-certified companies can use the uniform MPS vignette, which features a unique number that is linked to Volgjebloemofplant.nl, a website that consumers can use to find out more about a product’s certificates and origins. On top of that, the platform gives growers the opportunity to showcase their companies and products. In addition to this MPS Vignette, MPS-GAP participants can also use the GGN label (the GLOBALG.A.P. consumer label), although this does require them to add GRASP to their certification package . Companies wishing to feature the GGN label on their products must enter into a license agreement with GLOBALG.A.P. and pay a license fee.

8    MPS-ABC / MPS-GAP certification boosts reputation
By participating in MPS-ABC, growers make their performance transparent and quantifiable. On top of that, the Credible Record System used by MPS is one of the most progressive of its kind all over the world. Companies can use MPS-GAP to showcase their Good Agricultural Practices, and combining MPS-ABC with MPS-GAP truly makes one plus one equal three.

 9    MPS has a global presence and offers its customers a “One-stop shop” 
MPS-certified growers already operate in 40 countries all over the world, but GAP certification - an international standard - allows them to make the most of all international opportunities they encounter. Because MPS-ECAS can handle the entire certification process, including for MPS certificates, growers only need to go to one place.

10   Legal requirements included in MPS-GAP
Various legal requirements, such as demonstrating mandatory employee instructions and legally required RI&Es have been included in MPS-GAP.
Finally, both MPS-ABC and MPS-GAP are now ISO 17065-accredited product certification schemes, guaranteeing independence, worldwide recognition and certain reliability and quality.

For more information, please contact Raymond Scheepens: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +31 (0) 6 53 86 25 51 
MPS continues to grow in North America
Last month, another three companies in North America started off with MPS-ABC registration. Charlotte Smit, our regional MPS coordinator, paid a visit to the companies to inform them about the latest sustainability developments and help them explore how they can use the outcome of their MPS-ABC registration to improve their sustainability performance and transparency. Kraemers Nursery, Means Nursery and Olive Hill Greenhouses got started with the innovative tools provided by MPS with great zeal. In North America, MPS works with the AmericanHort industry organisation.
Yolande van den Boom (MPS Group CEO); “As we share the objective of making the North-American horticultural sector more sustainable, we try to work with AmericanHort as much as possible. We help growers become more sustainable by providing our unique, innovative tools and schemes, which are met with great enthusiasm. It is our ambition to continue increasing the share of MPS-ABC-certified companies in the USA. More than 30% of the Top 100 largest growers in the US is already MPS-ABC certified and this share is growing steadily.”
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.

The old vignettes could be used until 31 December 2018. However, as of 1 January 2019, the old vignettes of the corresponding certificates 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.

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