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MPS-GAP benchmarked with GLOBALG.A.P.
 

Sustainable developments in the marketplace are in full swing. Earlier this year, we informed you about the updated sustainability requirements set for (German) retailers, which will come into force in the middle of 2019. This means that supplying traders, as well as all growers of flowers & ornamentals should start preparing for these stricter requirements this year.
Starting from 15 September 2018, the new version of the MPS-GAP certification programme will come into effect, which will be benchmarked with GLOBALG.A.P. As a result, the new MPS-GAP programme will be equivalent to GLOBALG.A.P. All companies certified with MPS-GAP will feature on the MPS Trade Portal, each with their own GGN number, as well as the GLOBALG.A.P. database.
 
MPS will continue to develop and innovate in order to provide products and services that are relevant to the market, so that it can continue to comply with changing market requirements.
 
In addition, we have the ambition of becoming a one-stop shop that can serve as a single point of contact for growers and other businesses. We have drawn up this special edition MPS-GAP Newsflash to provide you with more information about how MPS can support you on your journey towards increased sustainability and transparency in a changing market.  
 
Yolande van den Boom
CEO MPS Group

What exactly is MPS-GAP?


The MPS-GAP certificate was introduced for companies supplying to retailers, based on certain requirements in the areas of traceability, environment, safety and hygiene. An MPS-ABC certificate is a prerequisite for MPS-GAP. The key reasons to opt for MPS-GAP certification are risk reduction and traceability.
 
All companies with an MPS-GAP certificate will count towards FSI’s ambitions for 2020. All companies certified with MPS-GAP will feature on the MPS Trade Portal (https://www.my-mps.com/affiliatemembers).

 

FSI


MPS-GAP also complies with the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI), which puts it into the ‘FSI basket’. FSI is an international organisation with members (including suppliers, traders, retail, and branch organisations) in many countries. These members have expressed the ambition to have at least 90% of the flowers and plants they trade globally certified for sustainability by 2020.

 

The advantages of MPS-GAP listed:

  • Visibility in the MPS Trade Portal, including your GGN number
  • The MPS-ABC certificate is a prerequisite for MPS-GAP: it is a new way for growers to distinguish themselves in terms of sustainability, enhancing your company’s reputation
  • With MPS-GAP, companies demonstrate that they comply with requirements set by supermarkets and retailers, improving access to markets
  • MPS-GAP complies with the requirements set by FSI2020

Where are MPS-certified companies located?

Stricter retail requirements


German supermarkets such as Aldi Süd, Aldi Nord and Lidl have been working on implementing social and environmental requirements for a considerable amount of time. They have already adopted internationally recognised environmental and sustainability standards such as MPS, GLOBALG.A.P. and Fairtrade. Thus far, they had mainly focused on cut flowers, but they are now also set to include their entire range of flowers and plants. As a result, all suppliers to these companies must have a GLOBAL.G.A.P. and Chain of Custody certificate (or a benchmarked programme, such as MPS-GAP) starting from 2019.


In addition, all products must also comply with social standards, such as MPS-SQ or GRASP. Residue restrictions and requirements pertaining to logo use will also be introduced gradually. We will address this issue elsewhere in this newsletter.
 
If you are a retail supplier, supplying products to Aldi Süd, Aldi Nord, or Lidl in particular, with questions about requirements and the relevant certificates, please contact Remco Jansen (e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Raymond Scheepens (e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


 
 

MPS-Socially Qualified and GRASP 


(German) retailers have imposed new requirements for flowers & ornamentals, demanding that they now comply with social standards such as MPS-SQ (MPS-Socially Qualified), GRASP or Fairtrade.
 
MPS-SQ (certificate)
The MPS-SQ certificate is based on the universal rights of man and the codes of conduct of representative local organisations, but it also includes agreements made by the International Labour Organisations (ILO). In practice, this means that companies with this certificate monitor acceptable working hours, the presence and contents of contracts, compensations, the use of crop protection products, etc.


 

GRASP (risk assessment)
GRASP stands for GLOBALG.A.P. Risk Assessment on Social Practice, a risk assessment pertaining to a company’s social facets, such as employee well-being and compensation, as well as health and safety issues.
 
If you want to use the GGN label on your products, you must add the GRASP risk assessment to your MPS-GAP certificate. As of 15 September 2018, MPS-ECAS will also be performing GRASP assessments, which can be combined with the MPS-GAP audit.

Label use


Companies wishing to add the GGN label (GLOBALG.A.P. consumer label) to their products must conclude a license agreement with GLOBALG.A.P. and pay a license fee for the use of the label (this fee is included in the annual fees paid by certified growers). For more information about using the GGN Label, please send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
MPS introduced a single, uniform MPS vignette on 23 August 2017 that replaced the multitude of MPS vignettes and logos that had been used in the flowers and ornamentals industry before. Combined with the interactive platform www.followyourflowerorplant.com, the new MPS vignette will contribute to creating more uniform product processing and labelling methods in MPS-certified companies. Please note that the old vignettes may no longer be used on packaging, plant markers, websites, etc. after 1 January 2019.
 

Practical consequences of the MPS-GAP benchmark

 
Companies that will be audited for MPS-GAP after 15 September 2018 (based on the new programme) will be assigned a GGN number and will be added to the GLOBALG.A.P. database. In addition to the standard MPS-GAP fees, companies are required to pay an annual flat fee of 100 euros to GLOBALG.A.P. (via MPS-ECAS), regardless of the size of the company.
 
A number of requirements have been modified or relaxed in the new MPS-GAP certification programme (version 11). We will now briefly explain some of the key changes made.
  • Purchase of additional products (Requirement 2.2a)
With regard to the purchase of additional products, the percentages indicated in the interpretation roadmap have been modified. In version 10 of the MPS-GAP programme, 40% of all additional products must have been certified during the first audit, 70% during the second audit, and 100% during the final audit. In version 11, these percentages have been updated to 25% for the first audit, 50% for the second audit, and 100% for the third audit.
  • Purchase of parent material / starter material (Requirement 2.8)
The same percentages apply as indicated in the amendment of the previous requirement (requirement 2.2.a). Addition to the interpretation of this requirement: Not mandatory for companies that only produce starter material. If the materials are sourced from the wild, they must be present at the company for at least 3 months before they can be sold as MPS-GAP-certified products. If the growing cycle is shorter than 3 months, no less than two thirds of the growing cycle must take place at the company.
  • Training (Health, Safety, Hygiene) (Requirement 2.19)
Version 10 of the certification programme only stipulated general training pertaining to hygiene. Version 11 now includes mandatory health and safety training.
  • Drawing up a nature protection plan (Requirement 2.20)
In the new version, drawing up a policy plan has been replaced with drawing up a nature protection plan.
  • Residue analysis for Crop Protection Products (chapter 7)
The entire chapter dealing with Residue analysis for Crop Protection Products has been dropped.
  • Requirements pertaining to the prevention of food fraud (The new chapter 7)
These requirements do not apply to companies that work with flowers and plants that serve as starter material.
 
You can find the new certification programme on our website.
 

Chain of Custody


The GLOBALG.A.P. Chain of Custody Standard (CoC) is a certificate for all companies and retailers that deal with GLOBALG.A.P.-certified products or products certified with standards benchmarked with GLOBALG.A.P., such as MPS-GAP.
 
The GLOBALG.A.P. CoC Standard follows products throughout the entire growing process, from grower to retailer. It sets requirements pertaining to the use of certified products and the correct separation of certified and non-certified products in the processing units. This certificate lets traders, processors and distributors provide credible proof that they sell certified products, as well as demonstrating the traceability of their products, and allows them to be added to the GLOBALG.A.P. database.
 
MPS-ECAS will start performing Chain of Custody audits in the autumn of 2018, which is part of MPS Group’s ambitions of becoming a one-stop-shop for its customers.
 

If you have any questions, please contact the MPS Service & Support team in The Netherlands at:
T. +31 174 615700
E. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This newsletter is given in good faith by MPS.
MPS cannot assume any responsibility for the accuracy or reliability of the information contained in these newsletter.

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