Dutch Floriculture sector unites for more sustainable production
Today, a new IMVO/CSR covenant on floriculture will be signed at the World Horti Center in The Netherlands. The Dutch floriculture sector agreed to new guidelines together with the government, the trade union and NGO Hivos on more sustainable international production and trade of ornamental plants. The covenant is widely supported by the sector and according to expectations, more companies will join in the coming months. Minister Kaag of Foreign Trade and Development Aid and Minister Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality signed the covenant on behalf of the Dutch Government. On behalf of the sector, the covenant was signed by individual companies as well as by Royal FloraHolland and representing organizations.
Initially, social and environmental risks will be registered on sector and on corporate level with assistance of the government, trade union and Hivos. In the first year, several projects will be launched with a focus on fair wage and the impact of plant treatment products on people as well as on the environment.
The scope of the covenant covers the chains for the refinement and the production of bulbs, seed stock, cut flowers, trees and pot plants. The Netherlands is an important intersection in the international floriculture trade. The Netherlands exports worldwide for 6 billion Euros of flowers and plants and imports for 600 million Euros of flowers from Africa and 100 million from South-America. The most important import countries are Kenya, Ethiopia, Ecuador and Colombia. Approximately 600 Dutch trading companies operate internationally. The covenant builds on the existing sector initiative Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI) and the implementation will be led by IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative.
The role of the Dutch government
The Dutch government can make agreements with governments in producing countries about for instance elimination of import restrictions for biological plant treatment products. The government also focuses on scaling up this covenant together with comparable international initiatives to a European approach to increase impact.