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GlobalGAP has been named to create technical benchmarking assessments for sustainability for the new Floriculture Sustainability Initiative. The announcement last month noted that GlobalGAP has been a reference and benchmarking standard for good agricultural practices in the floral and plant sector for more than 10 years.

The FSI group, based in Holland, was formed last summer to create “an international, sector-supported vision on sustainability by aligning global and local interests in the sector in a precompetitive way,” according to a news release from the group.

HermanHerman de BoonLast fall, FSI named a working group to develop a FSI Equivalency Tool to measure the level of sustainability of standards. The tool would be designed to eliminate duplication and make it easier to compare various certification programs. The initiative’s goal is to have 90 percent of internationally traded flowers and potted plants by FSI members sustainably produced by 2020.

Herman de Boon, vice president of the flower and plant wholesale organization VGB in Holland and chairman of the new initiative, has described it as “a unique international public-private sector initiative” that aims to contribute to greater sustainability in the floral industry and create “a more level playing field for producers, wholesalers and retail.” (See “Floriculture initiative based in Netherlands aims to easily compare sustainability certifications,” The Produce News, June 4, 2012, page 130).

Members of the FSI group include the Kenyan Flower Council; Asocolflores, the Colombian flower exporters group; and ZVA and LTO Noord Glaskracht of Amsterdam, floral industry public policy groups; Dutch Flower Group in Aalsmeer, Holland; UnionFleurs, the flower trade group based in Brussels, Belgium; a nonprofit group named OLAA; Ahold, the international grocery chain with headquarters in Amsterdam; and Florint, the European florist group.

Also on the committee are FloraHolland of Aalsmeer, which operates six flower auction centers; UnionFleurs; ANCEF, the Italian association of flower exporters in San Remo, Italy; BGI, the German wholesale and import trade group in Essen; Rainforest Rescue International; and VGB.