Floriculture Down One On Standards Committee

Seven replacements were recently appointed to the Sustainable Agriculture Standards Committee but none represent floriculture, which lost a seat when Hans Brand of B&H Flowers left the committee with six others.

The newly appointed standard committee members are:

- Steve Flick, Show Me Energy Cooperative
–Bill Norman, National Cotton Council
–Kindley Walsh Lawlor, Gap Inc.
–Andrew Manale, Soil and Water Conservation Society/USEPA
–LaRhea Pepper, Organic Exchange
–Dr. John Fagan, Earth Open Source/Global ID Group
–Douglas Constance, Sam Houston State University

Flick was added to the producer category; Norman and Walsh Lawlor were added to the user category; Manale, Pepper and Fagan were added to the environmentalist category; and Constance was added to the general interest category.

Now representing floriculture on the committee are the following industry people:

Producers

Ximena Franco-Villegas, Asocoflores
Mark Yelanich, Metrolina Greenhouses

Users

Will Healy, Ball Horticultural Company

General Interest

Alvin J. Bussan, University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Horticulture
Stan Pohmer, Pohmer Consulting Group
Jim Barrett, University of Florida Environmental Horticulture Department

Linda Brown of Scientific Certification Systems and Jacques Wolbert of MPS-ECAS, both of whom represent sustainability certification services within our industry, are also on the committee as part of the general interest category.

The objective of the National Sustainable Agriculture Standard initiative is to establish a comprehensive, continual improvement framework and common set of economic, environmental and social metrics by which to determine whether an agricultural crop has been produced in a sustainable manner.

“As we move into the next phase of the standards-setting process, which will focus primarily on criteria development and indicator and metrics identification, expertise and input outside of the committee will be essential,” says Amanda Raster, Sustainable Agriculture Standard project manager. “We encourage all process participants to reach out to their constituents and continue to engage them in this important work.”

To sign up for the subcommittees, apply for observer status, learn more about participating in the public review and comment process or to join the Sustainable Agriculture Standard e-mail list, contact Raster at Leonardo Academy at amanda@leonardoacademy.org.

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6 comments on “Floriculture Down One On Standards Committee

  1. This effort by SCS and Leonardo Academy is potentially harmful to our industry as the impetus behind the scenes has been to promote unrealistic standards which favor organic producers and environmentalists to the detriment of all others. They were caught and exposed once and had to start over, but their motives have not changed. Most of the non-environmentalist committee members are only there out of necessity to minimize damage to their respective industries by the organic/environmental goals of the plan administrators. Beware; this will be problematic for our industry and there are alternatives. Of note are: The Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops (fresh produce industry), and The California Association of Wine Grape Growers have also developed a program.

  2. The Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops was initiated by the fresh produce industry because of the heavy organic/environment/anti-commercial bias that by SCS and Leonardo Academy have designed into their initiative. Ornamental horticulture should have its own initiative; designed by stakeholders that are specific to the industry, and without the hidden agenda of SCS and The Leonardo Academy.

  3. Thank you for your informative article, Greenhouse Grower! The representatives from Floriculture and Horticulture who remain on the Committee are highly qualified individuals and provide an important range of perspectives. It is unfortunate that David S. is ill-informed on this topic. The “motives” he ascribes are off-base, as we have consistently promoted an open-dialogue, fully transparent multi-stakeholder, nationally recognized process. Likewise, the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops is one which we wholeheartedly support (and participate in). The Stewardship Index initiative was not a reaction to SCS or Leonardo, as he suggests, but was in the works well before. In sum, conspiracy theories do not serve the interests of promoting a constructive dialogue. I would invite David S. and all of you to join in this national process.

  4. This effort by SCS and Leonardo Academy is potentially harmful to our industry as the impetus behind the scenes has been to promote unrealistic standards which favor organic producers and environmentalists to the detriment of all others. They were caught and exposed once and had to start over, but their motives have not changed. Most of the non-environmentalist committee members are only there out of necessity to minimize damage to their respective industries by the organic/environmental goals of the plan administrators. Beware; this will be problematic for our industry and there are alternatives. Of note are: The Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops (fresh produce industry), and The California Association of Wine Grape Growers have also developed a program.

  5. The Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops was initiated by the fresh produce industry because of the heavy organic/environment/anti-commercial bias that by SCS and Leonardo Academy have designed into their initiative. Ornamental horticulture should have its own initiative; designed by stakeholders that are specific to the industry, and without the hidden agenda of SCS and The Leonardo Academy.

  6. Thank you for your informative article, Greenhouse Grower! The representatives from Floriculture and Horticulture who remain on the Committee are highly qualified individuals and provide an important range of perspectives. It is unfortunate that David S. is ill-informed on this topic. The “motives” he ascribes are off-base, as we have consistently promoted an open-dialogue, fully transparent multi-stakeholder, nationally recognized process. Likewise, the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops is one which we wholeheartedly support (and participate in). The Stewardship Index initiative was not a reaction to SCS or Leonardo, as he suggests, but was in the works well before. In sum, conspiracy theories do not serve the interests of promoting a constructive dialogue. I would invite David S. and all of you to join in this national process.

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