Dümmen Orange Continues To Strengthen Standards With MPS Certification
MPS recognized Dümmen Orange during an unofficial ceremony at Cultivate’15 for its continued dedication to ensuring sustainability in the floriculture industry. Through its deep understanding of environmental impact and the importance of sustainable operations, Dümmen Orange has implemented production best practices within its facilities to meet or exceed MPS standards on environmental and agricultural practices, as well as social responsibility.
“Nowadays, consumers are not only interested in the visible and tangible characteristics of the products they buy, they also are concerned with how products are made,” says Carl Kroon, General Manager of the Dümmen Orange farm Las Mercedes in El Salvador. “Dümmen Orange is deeply rooted in our commitment to our people, our values and our planet. The MPS certification helps us to make it visible to our customers that our production methods respect our workers and the environment.”
Setting A High Standard
Dümmen Orange has taken a wide range of actions to exemplify its high standards for sustainability, cleanliness, efficiency, safety and education.
• Dümmen Orange has invested in ‘electrostatic spraying equipment’ for improved penetration of the crop, resulting in better crop coverage. Dümmen Orange only uses crop protection agents that are approved by MPS; in many cases, these are stricter guidelines than allowed by the government.
• Dümmen Orange places great importance on safety, investing a lot of time and effort on proper safety training for its people.
• Dümmen Orange production personnel observe and enforce very strict greenhouse re-entry times to avoid unsafe exposure to crop protection agents.
• Furthermore, a number of Dümmen Orange Assistant Growers have participated in on-line education courses from the University of Florida to learn more about hydroponic growing to increase their technical knowledge.
• Dümmen Orange has introduced a scholarship program for the children of its workers. Participants receive grants to buy school materials and necessary supplies. In addition, through financial support from the farm, many workers have started a university study program in the evening to further their education.
• Female workers at Las Mercedes receive 90 days of maternity leave (more than the legal minimum), and have the right to work one hour less per day with full pay for six months upon returning to work.
MPS Benchmarks Five Areas
Foundation MPS (More Profitable Sustainability) was launched in 1993 in The Netherlands with a focus on reducing the environmental impact of growing. Since then, its activities have expanded to more than 45 countries with more than 3,200 participants for the MPS-ABC Sustainability Certification. Certification on safety and social aspects are also included areas that MPS regulates. Detailed information on its certifying process and certificates is available at the MPS website.
MPS-ABC is the company scorecard where growers are benchmarked on 5 themes; use of crop protection agents, fertilizers, energy, water and recycling. The goal of MPS-ABC is continuous improvement in the production process on the 5 themes. MPS-GAP relates to a variety of aspects in relation to production. For example, the correct use and application of crop protection agents and traceability during the total production and shipping process. MPS-SQ (Socially Qualified) refers to safe and rewarding working conditions with a focus on general health, welfare of the labor force and identical treatment of men and women during production.