Royal FloraHolland presents a new approach to digital environmental registration and certification

September 1, 2021
Royal Flora Holland Milieucertificatie alg beeld
Royal FloraHolland is switching to a new approach to digital environmental registration and certification. The new approach is aimed at encouragement, by guiding growers and making participation easier instead of working with sanctions in the form of fines and temporary exclusion from the marketplace.
The Management Board of Royal FloraHolland has taken this decision partly on the basis of a recommendation by the Members' Council. CEO Steven van Schilfgaarde explains: “Digital environmental registration and certification remains an important first step in making our industry more sustainable and future-proof. Only this way can we be transparent to the market about the production process of our flowers and plants, and show everyone how our beautiful products are grown. Our new approach represents a new start after an intensive period and we will cease to impose sanctions for the time being. With full conviction and new vigour, we will start promoting digital environmental registration and environmental certification, in order to realise the cooperative's joint sustainability ambition.”

Customised approach

In the coming period, Royal FloraHolland will turn to the knowledge and skills of groups of growers (so-called ‘FloraHolland Product Committees’, or ‘FPCs’) to jointly explore how a significant increase can be achieved in the number of suppliers that conduct digital environmental registration and have an environmental certificate. The Sustainable Development Team and the Environmental Registration and Environmental Certification Support Team, together with the FPCs, trading companies and other partners, will draw up and implement an action plan for each FPC. In short, Royal FloraHolland is developing a customised approach, because each group of growers has to deal with specific circumstances, which we can take much more into account with this approach.

Trade commitment

Royal FloraHolland will continue to make efforts to arrive at a very broadly expressed trade commitment and to make this concrete and measurable. We are referring to the willingness of the trade to buy only certified flowers and plants. This is an important precondition for growers to take action.

What does this mean concretely for suppliers?

Royal FloraHolland will continue to ask them to hold a digital environmental registration and to have or obtain an environmental certificate. This is also included in the sustainability regulations associated with the Auction Regulations. We will offer growers support to take these steps where desired.

Until the end of 2022, Royal FloraHolland will encourage the implementation of environmental registration and certification by guiding growers and making participation easier. During this period, Royal FloraHolland will refrain from sanctions in the form of fines or temporary exclusion of suppliers from the marketplace. This applies to both digital environmental registration and certification. In the meantime, RFH is closely monitoring progress and at the end of 2022 it will be decided whether adjustments are necessary.

Progress so far

We have made good progress. Over the past year, more than 500 growers started with digital environmental registration. Currently, 54% of all suppliers (members and non-members) have a digital environmental registration (representing 89% of turnover) and 41% of suppliers have an environmental certificate (representing 84% of turnover). We are proud of this and are undeniably on the right track.