MPS-ABC scheme amendments and updated record keeping tool: what’s going to change?

Five-part video series about all the amendments
Sustainability is becoming increasingly important, and this also applies to the horticultural sector. The market and society are changing, and so is MPS. 
This means the MPS-ABC certification requirements will have to be amended as well. At the end of this year, the updated MPS-ABC certification scheme will be published on our website, and it will take effect at the end of 2020. Our participants will be kept informed via different communication channels. We will also explain everything in a five-part video series. Part 1 is included in this MPS Newsflash!
MPS participants win Dutch Flower Awards 2019
Ter Laak Orchids and Van der Lugt Lisianthus received the Dutch Flower Awards at the Royal FloraHolland (RFH) Trade Fair. The theme of these awards was “A Sustainable Relationship”. Ter Laak Orchids took home the prize in the “Plants” category, and Van der Lugt Lisianthus was the recipient of the “Cut Flowers” award. 

Both companies are MPS certified: Ter Laak Orchids has MPS-ABC, MPS-GAP, MPS-ProductProof, MPS-Quality and MPS-SQ and Van der Lugt Lisianthus is MPS-ABC certified. Congratulations Ter Laak Orchids and Van der Lugt Lisianthus!
Several companies receive certificate at IFTF and RFH Trade Fair
Three companies were awarded a certificate by MPS and MPS-ECAS at the International Floriculture Trade Fair (IFTF) and the Royal FloraHolland (RFH) Trade Fair. At the RFH Trade Fair, Ruud van den Akker, auditor at MPS-ECAS, awarded the GLOBALG.A.P. Chain of Custody certificate to Colours of Nature. This growers’ association claims to produce the most environmentally friendly gerberas in the world. 
Clockwise: Agrita, Soex Flora and Colours of Nature
Soex Flora, a cut flower producer, received the MPS-GAP certificate at the IFTF, making it the first India-based company to achieve this. Finally, Raymond Scheepens, commercial manager at MPS, brought great joy to Agrita S.A. by handing them their MPS-ABC certificate at the RFH Trade Fair. The propagation company has registered 13 periods and successfully concluded the initial audit. It therefore receives its first qualification, which is no less than an A+. The Costa Rican nursery  grows starting material for pot plant growers and aims to respond to customer demands by means of sustainable cultivation. Congratulations on obtaining your certificate!
Featured Company: Sher Ethiopia
It’s the largest rose grower in the world, processing three million sustainably grown roses every day. Located in Ziway, Ethiopia, Sher Ethiopia covers an area the size of 1,200 football fields. The company has been working with the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI) to make its operations even more sustainable. “We want to be front runners in terms of sustainability, and collaboration is a big part of that”, says Franks Kuipers, advisor at Sher Ethiopia.
Working with companies such as MPS and Sher Ethiopia, the FSI is well on its way towards 'FSI 2020'. Its aim is to see ninety percent of all flowers and plants produced sustainably by this milestone year. A key part of this is 'Credible Record Keeping', which FSI uses to make the environmental impact of aspects such as crop protection products transparent and to reduce their use. Credible Record Keeping is also a fundamental requirement of FSI post-2020, which is met by participants with an MPS-ABC certificate. Sher Ethiopia has MPS-A status and has also been MPS-GAP and MPS-SQ certified for almost ten years.

Fish prove the point
“We owe our long-standing MPS-A ratings to the fact that we are committed to growing as naturally as possible. We use very few crop protection products and as many biological controls as we can,” Kuipers says. “Sustainability is becoming increasingly important, so you need to make that switch if you want to retain your market share. In addition to working with FSI, we have also signed the IRBC agreement, which contains arrangements promoting a more responsible approach to the international production of ornamental crops. We believe that joint arrangements will contribute to achieving a sustainable ornamental horticulture chain.”
One of the innovations that helps make the production of roses more sustainable is the ‘wetlands’ system. “This is a water system that has been specially designed by Wageningen University and Research (WUR) for reusing water.” Water that is normally flushed down the drain is purified by the roots of reeds and ultimately ends up in a pool that is populated by fish: living proof that the water is clean. Kuipers: “We use the water purified by the wetlands to water the roses. These wetlands also prevent any contaminated water from flowing into the surrounding area.” The environment is a priority for Sher Ethiopia anyway, says Leen van Driel, auditor at MPS-ECAS. “I visited them to carry out an audit in August this year. They have planted lots of trees, and when you walk through their grounds you are struck by how green it is.” 

Sleeping, playing football, packing
Sher Ethiopia grows seventy different varieties of roses. As Kuipers explains, “Germans have a completely different taste in roses from Danes, for example.” But the company’s activities in Ethiopia are not limited to growing roses. In 2008 they built a sports complex for the people of Ziway. “Lots of our packers play football in the afternoon, then start their packing shift and go to bed after that. There are dozens of teams, and we even have an internal competition.”

Operating in Ethiopia also raises various issues for Sher Ethiopia. “There is an ongoing debate about the living wage. We believe that social facilities are at least as important. We have, for example, a hospital, a church and a school on our grounds, all of which can also be attended by people who don’t work for us. We started small with the school, but now it has more than 6,000 pupils. Lessons are free and are taught by Ethiopian teachers,” Kuipers says. “We believe that the more you put in, the more you get out. After all, it’s important to look after your people.”
Amendment of general terms and conditions and certification rules
To make things as easy as possible for you as the customer, we have simplified our certification rules and our general terms and conditions. All the amendments have been approved by our Board of Experts. This means the following for you:
•    As of 1 January 2020, all existing certification agreements will be converted into agreements for an indefinite period of time. From that date, all new customers will also receive an agreement for an indefinite period of time. These agreements can be cancelled with a period of notice of at least two full months before the end of the current calendar year.
•    The stipulation that in some certification schemes the owner of the relevant certification scheme can access audit reports has now been integrally included in the certification rules of MPS-ECAS.
•    It has been clarified when exactly an agreement is concluded and when it will take effect.
You can consult all documents on our website. The new terms and conditions and documents take effect on 1 January 2020.

Should you have any further questions about the above, please contact MPS-Service & Support via +31(0)174 615 715 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you have any questions about any of the topics in this Newsflash, please contact Service & Support.

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