International growers body joins sustainability initiative

The International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) has joined the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI) - an initiative formed by stakeholders working within the ornamental horticulture supply chain.

With the help of funding from the Sustainable Trade Initiative, the body is developing an Equivalency Tool for comparing and evaluating industry certification schemes from around the world.

The focus of the Equivalency Tool will be the environmental and social standards within certification schemes.

AIPH secretary general Tim Briercliffe said: "Growers around the world work hard to comply with the demanding requirements of many certification schemes.  It is important that the industry addresses social and environmental issues and certificated growers pride themselves on the sustainability standards they achieve.

"The large number of certification schemes that exist for flowers and ornamental horticulture can be confusing for all those involved in the trade.  The new Equivalency Tool, under development by FSI, will enable all parts of the supply chain to compare sustainability standards between schemes which must be a good thing."

He added: "There is always a danger however that growers become forced to introduce practices and procedures which help tick boxes during an inspection but do nothing to genuinely enhance sustainability and simply reduce business productivity. 

"Through the AIPH Environment and Plant Health Committee we will ensure that the views of growers are fully represented during the development of FSI.  We look forward to working with the FSI team, driving sustainability standards and promoting best practice."

The Equivalency Tool will be launched by FSI at IPM Essen this month.

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