D.S. Cole Growers has been awarded another sustainable certificate from MPS, becoming the first greenhouse grower in the United States to earn GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) certification.
The MPS-GAP certificate is based upon the criteria formulated by supermarket organizations, which require high-quality products that have been cultivated in a sustainable manner. Traceability is also part of the certification scheme. Moreover, MPS-GAP has been benchmarked with the GlobalGAP flowers and plants scheme.
D.S. Cole is the first MPS-GAP certified company in North America. MPS-GAP is also part of the MPS-Florimark Production, the label for sustainability combining environmental, social and quality aspects.
“Most of the requirements of MPS-GAP are satisfied by the fact that in the U.S., we conduct business via modern and regulated procedures that ensure quality working conditions for our staff,” says Doug Cole, owner of D.S. Cole Growers. “What makes the certificate worthwhile is that many of us in the agricultural industry don’t always go the extra mile on some of these steps.
“For example, for MPS-GAP we created an emergency evacuation plan, improved our first aid and CPR training and updated our pesticide storage facility. These examples not only made our facility safer for all of our associates, but it will better cover us in case of frivolous lawsuits. We feel the improvements made for MPS-GAP demonstrate our commitment to our associates and our customers and are good measures to take to reduce liability and increase customer satisfaction.
The certification scheme includes various requirements, including those relating to land use, substrates, waste, safety/health/hygiene, storage locations, maintenance of equipment and resources, application/use and stock of crop protection agents.
For more information on MPS-GAP, visit www.my-mps.com.