Know Your Grower: New Platform Brings Consumer Transparency to Horticulture
The new “Follow Your Flower or Plant” website (followyourflowerorplant.com) from third-party sustainability certifier MPS (More Profitable Sustainability) allows consumers to learn all about the producers of the plants and flowers they see at retail. The interactive site is part of a more uniform MPS platform that will provide consumers with insight into the way the flowers and plants they see at retail are produced. Available in Dutch, English, and German, the new platform was launched during Planetarium in the Netherlands last week.
Engaging Consumers: How it Works
Using a unique MPS number promoted on plant packaging, consumers can now trace the flowers and plants they see or buy at retail back to the grower who produced it, to learn about how sustainably the plants were grown.
Because sustainability and transparency are important concepts to modern consumers, MPS wanted to improve consumers’ ability to interact with ornamentals producers who have managed proactively to improve the production of their crops, and earned MPS certifications in doing so.
The effort also unifies the many MPS logos that are currently used by growers to show how sustainable their products are. As of August 23, 2017, all growers certified under the MPS-ABC, MPS-GAP (Good Agricultural Practices), MPS-SQ (Socially Qualified), and MPS-Q (Qualitree) programs, who also meet the requirements for MPS-ProductProof, will be able to use the uniform MPS vignette (think Good Housekeeping Seal), with a unique MPS number that provides consumers with insight into the grower’s sustainability efforts and certification.
MPS-ProductProof is an add-on program and growers using it have to submit daily registration of crop protection use, among other requirements. It’s a guarantee that indicates at the product level that certain active ingredients have not been used in cultivation. Learn more about MPS certifications and ProductProof on the organization’s website.
The new platform is available for growers around the world to start using immediately, says Arthij van der Veer, General International Coordinator for North America.
“We are showing strong growth in North America and as the group of participating growers is getting bigger, we expect that new and existing participating growers will start shifting toward use of the new logo in the near future,” he says. “We invite (participating) growers to verify the portal and get in touch with us to update any information necessary, so consumers can easily access their website and learn more about their sustainability story.”
Why Should Growing Methods for Flowers and Plants be Transparent to Consumers?
According to MPS, sustainability is a necessary status in which we live and produce, answering the needs of today, without putting future generations at risk. Because sustainability is a key theme in the green industry, the crops we produce should be able to create more natural value than they consume.
“Consumers are interested in sustainability and want to have quick and easy access to information regarding sustainability,” MPS stated in a release. “With the uniform MPS vignette and the interactive platform, Follow Your Flower or Plant, MPS is making a substantial improvement to the accessibility of this information.”