Recently D.S. Cole Growers recently took the next step on its path to achieving sustainability certification according to MPS-Florimark Production, the chain-wide certificate of MPS combining environmental, social and quality aspects.
After being the first certified participant for MPS-ABC in the United States D.S. Cole Growers has now opted for certification according to MPS-GAP (Good Agricultural Practices).
“Certifying with MPS-GAP allows our company to show that we have gone to the next step towards sustainability,” says Doug Cole, whose operation achieved the MPS-ABC certification in 2009. “To accomplish this we found many of the actions requested were already in place at our facility, as it is in most North American companies. The pieces that we were missing were mostly items we should be doing anyway, but put off unless forced to do so.
“For example, we had no emergency evacuation plan in place, and we really should have one regardless of MPS-GAP.”
Another action that D.S. Cole implemented was being sure several staff members have CPR training.
“Unlike mainstream agriculture, our industry has slipped under the radar of scrutiny by the press,” Cole says. “Being prepared to show we are actively supporting sustainable activities can help growers avoid bad publicity issues in the future. The MPS program creates a positive step in providing a healthy environment for our employees, as well as promotion for our product in the marketplace”.
MPS-Florimark Production consists of four certificates:
• MPS-ABC (environment);
• MPS-GAP (retail requirements);
• MPS Socially Qualified (social); and
Learn more about MPS at My-MPS.com.