The Flori Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules, or FloriPEFCR, will soon become the European standard for footprint calculation in floriculture. Our specialists introduce you to this new standard in a series of blogs. This time director Henri Potze about the urgency of the FloriPEFCR.
Increasing sustainability demands
“Consumers are becoming more critical every day when it comes to the products they buy. Because where were they produced and what is the impact that the production has on the planet?” says Greenhouse Sustainability's director Henri Potze. “Banks are also increasingly setting requirements in the field of sustainability. If you want to receive financing as an entrepreneur, there are strict conditions attached. And then there is the high gas price which has a major influence on the sector. How long can that be maintained? It should be clear that sustainability is no longer optional, but is increasingly becoming a requirement to remain future-proof as a company. Demonstrating that you are working sustainably is just as important. A reliable footprint calculation is therefore a must.”
A big step forward
Until now, the Hortifootprint Category Rules formed the starting point for calculating footprints within horticulture in the Netherlands. A method that is not yet complete, but was a good start for the Dutch horticultural sector. Now that the demand for sustainable products is growing internationally, the need for European standardization is also increasing. In fact, the FloriPEFCR continues where the Hortifootprint ends. It's a big step forward. The application of extensive and strict testing criteria should ultimately result in a very accurate footprint calculation. And only by comparing all flowers and plants to the same yardstick can you compare products and companies fairly. This also allows the calculations to be certified.
A fair way
The FloriPEFCR is being developed by Wageningen University & Research in collaboration with leading organizations such as Royal FloraHolland, FSI and various exporters. As Greenhouse Sustainability, we were asked to test the first draft of the new standard. By means of these supporting studies, FloriPEFCR can be adjusted where necessary, so that it can ultimately be submitted for approval in Brussels. Once approved, which is expected early next year, FloriPEFCR will become the leading standard for footprint calculations across Europe. And also the most honest way to map out the environmental impact.
Ultimately, everyone in horticulture will have to take the step. The introduction of a so-called 'CO2 tax', whereby polluting companies are charged extra, seems only a matter of time. That is why it is necessary that the chain takes action in time to gain insight into and reduce that footprint. Ultimately, your footprint calculation will also become your license to deliver. Several international retailers have already indicated that they embrace FloriPEFCR. There is therefore a good chance that it will eventually become a requirement to be able to deliver at all. If you cannot demonstrate in detail how sustainable you are, then you will be left out.
Cooperation in the chain
It is also becoming increasingly important to seek cooperation in the field of sustainability. After all, the footprint of flowers and plants is determined by many factors, which you, as a grower, do not always have control over. FloriPEFCR makes everyone's contribution transparent, so that growers can hold their suppliers accountable. Growers then no longer have to pay for the environmental impact of their product alone, but everyone in the chain pays their own share.
In the next blog we will take a closer look at how the FloriPEFCR works.