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Interview with Royal FloraHolland: Promoting sustainable production together!

“We acknowledge that we have an impact on the environment and take our responsibility in this.” This is, according to our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Officer Suzanne van der Mark what sustainability is all about. Royal FloraHolland asked her how FleuraMetz is collectively engaged in promoting sustainability. Read the interview that RFH held with her below:

The Accelerators are five companies: FleuraMetz, Royal FloraHolland, Royal Lemkes, Waterdrinker and Dutch Flower Group. They are joining forces to accelerate sustainability in the floriculture industry. The first aim is to accelerate the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI), but chain cooperation is being sought in more areas. "The dream of the Accelerators is a world in which all flowers and plants make a positive contribution to humanity and the environment. And we cannot do that alone; we need the entire chain to achieve that."

All Accelerators have the same goal: to increase sustainability in the floriculture chain. However, the companies do have different approaches. How does FleuraMetz work towards sustainability? "Our aim to achieve 90% sustainable trade in 2020; that is our focus. It is therefore important to us that growers are certified according to the FSI Basket. Naturally, we are also working on other things, such as sustainable packaging and supporting the Plastic Pact NL. We also train our drivers to drive safely and economically. This keeps our CO2 emissions low and it also reduces costs. A fine example of how sustainability and economy go hand in hand."

The Accelerators have three focus areas: increasing transparency, reducing the environmental footprint and improving social conditions. Certification relates to increasing transparency. "I believe it is important for organizations to demonstrate that they are working in a good and honest way. Certification is the way to achieve this. Be transparent and show people what you do and how you do it. It's just like driving a car. You may be very good at it, but you still need a driver's license. The same thing applies to sustainability. If you are doing a good job, make sure people know! You can do that through certification, but sustainability is more than that. Consumers increasingly want to know where products come from and how they are produced. Transparency therefore plays an important role."

Susanne has noticed that FleuraMetz customers are increasingly asking for sustainable products. "That is because consumers also ask for them more frequently. Sustainability offers florists an opportunity to distinguish themselves. In my ideal world, certification wouldn't even be necessary and sustainable production would be a basic principle. That's probably not going to happen, so certification is now a 'license to sell'." Susanne believes that positivity is the key word. "You can state repeatedly that the world is being destroyed, but that won't incite people to act. Set good examples and inspire people to produce and buy sustainably."

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