Hoek Flowers: “You are one step ahead with an environmental certificate”09 February 2021
The ambition is to make our marketplace sustainable and therefore future proof. That’s why, as of 1 January 2022, environmental certification will be mandatory. So many buyers, so many growers, so many differences. We love to share these stories. Featured this time around is Hoek Flowers, which already takes certification into account when purchasing floriculture products.
"Will growers eventually lose turnover because they are not certified? No, I do not think so. What I am seeing, is that demand is increasing. Supermarkets are very far along. They want to know the carbon footprint of milk and cheese, and thus also of flowers. The florist does not want to stay behind in this respect. Increasingly more countries are asking for a certificate. We have noticed this is especially the case in the Scandinavian countries and Germany."
Ruben Hoek, director of exports with Hoek Flowers tells his story. This family business from Rijnsburg sends flowers to 56 countries all over the world. "We focus on the higher end florists, but also on event and wedding planners. Our company is quite unique because we have a daily stock of over 4000 species of flowers and 2000 species of plants . The benefit for our customers is that they can receive their order super quickly because of this."
Quality symbol has to be more clear
The purchasers of Hoek Flowers mostly look at certified products. "When we are purchasing and we have the choice between a red flower with or without a quality symbol, we will always choose the one with the quality symbol. You are one step ahead with an environmental certificate. 90% of the products that we trade has a quality mark or a certificate. Luckily, the supply keeps increasing."
He does notice some differences worldwide, and it can be difficult to import products with the right quality symbol. "That is why we are happy with the FSI2020 initiative. It gives us an overview of various certificates across the world, and separates them in two groups: social and environmental. As a result, you can easily see to which certificate we can compare a certificate that is unknown to us. One country could ask for MPS, while GLOBALG.A.P. is more widely used in another country. Through FSI2020, we can know that these certificates are very similar."
With regards to increased sustainability in the industry, Ruben does see more possibilities. For example, not all certificates are digitally linked to the systems of Royal FloraHolland (such as Fairtrade). "There are many different certificates, which might not always be known across the border. As an expert, Royal FloraHolland should be able to include a sort of package leaflet with information about the quality symbol."
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