Floriculture joins hands towards 100%… | Royal FloraHolland
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Floriculture joins hands towards 100% sustainability certification

March 28, 2024

Certificering 2803
From 1 January 2026, the majority of members and suppliers who offer, trade and settle flowers and plants at the Royal FloraHolland platform will be certified according to the requirements of the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI basket of standards). With a step-by-step approach, for all members and suppliers, will be phased towards being fully FSI compliant by 2027.

With this decision of Royal FloraHolland, growers are taking their responsibility on sustainability, in line with the future-proofing of the sector, the increasing demand from society and the requirements of legislation. It also matches the needs of the Floriculture Accelerators, a group of forward-thinking growers, and of the FSI Accelerator Group, a group of large buyers, which has committed to buy 100 per cent certified in 2027. Sector organisation VGB is calling on its members to do the same. This decision was also discussed in the VBN board. These regulations become applicable on behalf of the VBN and therefore also apply to members and non-member suppliers who deliver to Plantion. is a collective move by the floriculture sector on sustainability; growers and buyers join hands on the road to full transparency. With this, the sector is moving forward and taking responsibility. Details of the roadmaps can be found at the bottom of this message.

By 2040, the floriculture sector wants to be climate neutral, as laid down in the Covenant Energy Transition Glasshouse Horticulture with the central government. There are already many good examples of concrete energy transitions, such as LED lighting, geothermal energy and solar energy. Further sustainability of floriculture is necessary to keep the world livable for future generations, with growers making huge strides on energy, labour, use of crop protection, packaging and water. CEO Steven van Schilfgaarde: "I am proud of where our sector is today. Thanks to the power of innovation and entrepreneurship, immense strides have been made. Many members have taken the lead and made substantial investments in sustainable solutions, the same can be seen on the buyers' side which has allowed beautiful initiatives arise. Now we need to take the next step: certification is important for transparency and objectification. With our decision, buyers on our platform will soon only buy flowers and plants from certified growers. This fits the social role of our internationally leading floriculture platform, giving customers more transparency. It also fits with Royal FloraHolland's role as a leading cooperative and floriculture hub in the Netherlands, Europe and beyond." This decision supports also the commitment of the Floriculture Accelerators: Unicum, Zentoo, Tulips.nl, Air So Pure, Colours of Nature, Decorum, product group Kalanchoe and Orchid Netherlands.


Certified purchasing
The decision is also being embraced by buyers. Matthijs Mesken, director VGB: "We see an increasing demand from society for transparency, for example in the areas of cultivation and labour, themes that are very important for us as trade. Certification of growers is going to contribute to the reputation of floriculture, in the Netherlands and abroad." The FSI Accelerator Group (Dutch Flower Group (DFG), FM Group, Floral Trade Group and Royal Lemkes) supports the Royal FloraHolland decision which is in line with the commitment of these buyers: all companies within this group commit that from 2027 their entire own purchasing is 100% FSI-compliant. Marcel Zandvliet, DFG board member: "This decision is crucial for our companies and sector. This is why we have been working on this issue from the FSI Accelerator Group since 2017. We are therefore pleased with the step RFH is now taking, which also fits seamlessly into the commitment and timelines of the FSI Accelerator Group. Large international retail companies, our customers, are setting increasingly strict sustainability requirements. The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) legislation also requires us to demonstrably report on the sustainability of the products we trade".

Of Royal FloraHolland's total product revenues, 83% are already currently environmentally certified and 71% are FSI-compliant. With the chosen approach, Royal FloraHolland aims to enable all growers to make their supply 100% FSI-compliant by 2027 and thus enable all buyers to buy 100% certified through the Royal FloraHolland platform. Royal FloraHolland will enforce this decision.

FSI Accelerator Group roadmap and commitment
The companies within Dutch Flower Group, FM Group, Floral Trade Group and Royal Lemkes have committed to the FSI requirements for purchasing with the following roadmap:
  • For 2025, the FSI commitment remains in place; a minimum volume of sustainably sourced flowers and plants of 90%.
  • From 1/1/2026, all plants will be 100% FSI compliant
  • From 1/1/2026, the Rose and Chrysanthemum flower product groups will be 100% FSI-compliant
  • From 1/6/2026, the Tulip product group will be 100% FSI-compliant
  • From 1/1/2027, these companies will phase in 100% of their own purchasing according to the certifications in the FSI basket of standards. In doing so, they will use the learning curves and processes in the Rose, Chrysanthemum and Tulip product groups. In addition, these companies will actively commit to ensuring that even more trading companies and KOA customers will switch to the requirements of FSI compliant certification for their purchasing.

Roadmap en commitment of Royal FloraHolland

Members
Members - with member packs Direct flex, Direct focus and Clock flex - must fully comply with FSI certification requirements from 1/1/2026: an Environmental certificate, GAP certificate and - if applicable - a social certificate. Members with package Clock focus will be given a little more time and will be able to trade on the Royal FloraHolland platform without a certificate at least until 1/1/2027. For small-scale growers, a simplified scheme is being developed in the FSI setting.

The exact effective date for certification in package Clock focus is linked to the availability of this simplified scheme; from the moment the simplified scheme for small-scale growers is available, small-scale members in package Clock focus will have to comply with at least the simplified scheme within 2 years thereafter, but no earlier than 1/1/2027. Members with package Clock focus, who do not meet the conditions for small-scale growers, will have to meet the same conditions applicable to packages Direct focus, Direct flex, Clock flex from this date. Small-scale members who have opted for the packages Direct focus, Direct flex, Clock flex can also use the simplified scheme from the moment the simplified scheme is available, if they wish, provided they demonstrably verifiable - based on their entire farm size - meet the conditions for small-scale growers to be determined at FSI level. Small-scale members with package Clock focus will receive specific support organised by RFH.


Suppliers (non-members)
All suppliers (non-members) must demonstrably verifiable meet the applicable FSI basket of standards certification requirements by 1/1/26. These FSI certification requirements mean an Environmental certificate, a GAP certificate and - if applicable - a social certificate. Small-scale non-member suppliers can also use the simplified scheme from the moment the simplified scheme is available, if they wish, provided they meet demonstrably verifiable - on the basis of their entire farm size - the conditions for small-scale growers to be determined at FSI level.


New members and new non-member suppliers
With effect from Q3 2024, new members and new non-member suppliers will be required to meet the certification conditions applicable to members and suppliers (non-members) with the corresponding rules and deadlines. With this, new growers will automatically comply with the set certification requirements.

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