Royal FloraHolland - Members' Council not unanimous in its recommendation on enforcement of environmental registration

October 12, 2020
Digital environmental registration & certification

The Royal FloraHolland Members' Council met digitally on Thursday 8 October 2020. The Members' Council gave the Management Board advice on, among other things, enforcement and sanctions for digital environmental registration and environmental certification. In addition, discussions were held about the 2021 member rates for evaluation purposes. The Members' Council will decide on this on 10 December.

The Members' Council issued a positive recommendation with regard to the gradual introduction of the enforcement policy for environmental registration and environmental certification. Support for the recommendation turned out to be limited: 54% of the members of the Members' Council members voted in favour, 38% against and 8% abstained. There is, however, broad support for Royal FloraHolland's sustainable ambition.

Watch the video of the Members' Council meeting on 8 October 2020:

Phasing and cessation scheme

The digital environmental registration and environmental certification obligation is a challenge for a number of growers. The Members' Council has received many signals from members in this regard. To accommodate them, phased enforcement is recommended, based on turnover volume. The proposal is as follows:

  • Commencement of enforcement of environmental registration on 1-1-2021 (environmental certification on 1-1-2022): Dutch growers with a turnover higher than €100,000 per year.
  • Commencement of enforcement of environmental registration on 1-7-2021 (environmental certification on 1-7-2022): Dutch growers with turnover between €50,000 and €100,000 per year + foreign growers with turnover above €50,000 per year + all non-growing suppliers.
  • Commencement of enforcement of environmental registration on 1-1-2022 (environmental certification on 1-1-2023): Growers with a turnover below €50,000 per year.

For the purposes of determining turnover, 2019 is taken as the reference year.

Implementation in stages gives smaller growers more time to orient themselves with regard to the possibilities for digital environmental registration and environmental certification. It also provides for more time to look for cheaper, more efficient solutions for very small growers. Moreover, Royal FloraHolland and the certification bodies are better able this way to lend growers a helping hand.

In addition to phasing, a cessation scheme is proposed. This is an exemption from the obligation for members who indicate that they will stop supplying as of 1/1/2023. Certain unique situations are also provided for.

Royal Floraholland Members Council Recommendation

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The result of the vote is an important signal to trade and members

Numerous Members' Council members question the trade's commitment. Concerns were also expressed about the interpretation of the preconditions and whether the policy won't work against us. Others mainly see important long-term benefits. The recommendation to the Management Board emphasises that the exact moment to start enforcing environmental registration and environmental certification depends on the speed and extent to which the trade commits itself to certified sustainable purchasing on the Royal FloraHolland marketplace. The result of the vote is an important signal to the trade and reflects the emotions of members with regard to this obligation. The Management Board will take its final decision in the week of October 19.

Recommendation process

The policy for enforcement and sanctions was drawn up by the Sustainability Leading Team, which consists of nine growers and the Royal FloraHolland Sustainable Development & Quality Team (DOK). In the past year, the recommendation was presented to the Members' Council twice for conceptualisation and afterwards for evaluation purposes. Subsequently, the Members' Council shared a number of signals and concerns with the Leading Team. This mainly concerned smaller growers who are having difficulty with the pace of change and the emotions surrounding this obligation in the sector. There are also concerns about the trade's commitment to certified sustainable purchasing. Together with the state of affairs of the preconditions, this was incorporated in the recommendation from the Leading Team that was put to a vote in the Members' Council on 8 October 2020.
Last October, after an extensive member consultation, it was decided to make digital environmental registration and environmental certification mandatory for all suppliers on the Royal FloraHolland marketplace.

Royal Floraholland Recommendation Progress

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