AmericanHort, MPS Announce Alliance
AmericanHort has announced plans to partner with Netherlands-based sustainability certification expert MPS (More Profitable Sustainability) on a mission to help green industry businesses improve sustainability best practices. The announcement was made at the AmericanHort Town Hall meeting at MANTS.
The partnership was spurred by AmericanHort’s initiative to provide new, industry-leading programs to help its members perform better, grow faster and prepare for the future.
“Our alliance with MPS will promote and expand best practices in the area of environmental sustainability, enabling the entire industry to perform better,” said Ken Fisher, president and CEO of AmericanHort. “The sustainability standards introduced through this alliance should improve profitability for the industry.”
MPS has been developing the formula to define best practices for growers for over 20 years. Its MPS-ABC Sustainability Certification program evaluates a company’s performance in five sustainable categories, including use of crop protection agents, fertilizers, energy, water and recycling.
Participants in the program receive benchmark data and feedback on their individual performance in these categories four times per year. The MPS-ABC certification focuses on continuous improvement and indicates that a grower is a sustainability leader in their field.
“We have more than 3,000 growers participating in the MPS-ABC Sustainability Certification globally, but less than 100 of those are based in North America,” said Arthij van der Veer, general coordinator for North America at MPS. “The alliance with AmericanHort provides a great opportunity to work more closely with the horticulture industry in general and growers individually. Through this we can help increase transparency and sustainability in this region.”
Among 70 North American growers who have already signed up for the program, Tom Demaline, owner of Willoway Nursery in Ohio and AmericanHort board chairman, is eager to test out the value of the MPS-ABC Sustainability Certification program.
“We are continually looking for ways to be a more environmentally conscious operation, improve our business practices and our bottom line,” said Demaline. “We look forward to identifying opportunities for improvement through this MPS certification process.”
Through the AmericanHort and MPS alliance, a U.S. Sustainable Grower of the Year awards program will launch in 2018. The awards will be open to the entire industry and more details will be available soon.