MPS and VAL’HOR renew their partnership to foster sustainability
by Marie Françoise Petitjean

Dutch certification scheme MPS and its French counterpart Plante Bleue, a sustainability initiative of inter-professional organisation VAL’HOR, have extended their partnership at France’s largest consumer and trade fair for food, agriculture and horticulture, the Salon de l’Agriculture (Held from February 23  March 3, 2019 in Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, attracting 633,000 visitors!).

Both Plante Bleue/VAL’HOR and MPS recognise  a culture of sustainability is quickly becoming a source of competitive advantage for the ornamental horticulture industry. Both certification schemes joined forces to expand eco-certification in France in 2016.

To date, France has two certificates for the ornamental sector : MPS-ABC, since 2000, and the national code of practice Plante Bleue, launched by VAL’HOR in 2011.

In 2016, to reach the highest level of the sustainability framework set by the French Ministry of Agriculture, Plante Bleue had to include quantitative indicators on production environmental footprint. A first agreement was signed, whereby MPS scorecard serves as quantitative indicators for the “High Environmental Value” level of Plante Bleue. A single control body was installed to audit both Plante Bleue and MPS schemes followed by a  technical seminar on good practice in September 2018, gathering 80 participants from across the country.

The renewed VAL’HOR-MPS partnership aims at:

  • Encouraging and supporting ornamental production based on best practices and environmental certifications by using the latest communication tools. Promoting all sustainability schemes under the “Fleurs de France” banner organising technical seminars and trainings.
  • Communicating on environmental certifications with professional and institutional stakeholders. A first round table will be organised during the forthcoming Salon du Végétal, with representatives of certified growers and trade decision makers, to exchange views on market requirements and acceptance regarding flowers and plants grown under integrated pest management.
  • Exchanging information and creating synergy. VAL’HOR and MPS will pool information to produce more accurate statistical data on certified production (estimated at 50% of French production) and practices.

VAL’HOR’s mission statement is to structure French horticulture markets by developing schemes and tools fostering quality, origin and sustainability. Plante Bleue covers environmental and social responsibility. For more information visit www.plantebleue.fr

MPS facilitates sustainability in the horticulture industry by making it transparent and quantifiable, through advanced certification programmes and digital tools. MPS-ABC is the environmental certification for producers of ornamental crops. www.my-mps.com

 

MPS is the largest certification scheme in Europe and operates in more than 50 countries worldwide.