Dümmen Orange Strengthens MPS Certification Portfolio
Dümmen Orange was recently recognized by MPS for its continued dedication to promoting sustainability in the floriculture industry.
Through a deep understanding of environmental impact and the importance of sustainable operations, Dümmen Orange has implemented production best practices within its facilities to meet or exceed MPS standards on environmental and agricultural practices, as well as social responsibility.
Arthij van der Veer, general coordinator for MPS in North America, has great admiration for the ongoing and expanding efforts on social aspects at Dümmen Orange’s Las Mercedes production farm in El Salvador.
During a visit in March, he states, “I was again able to see with my own eyes how Las Mercedes is making a difference for families, minority groups, and children. It is great to see that during the 2017 audit, the auditor has confirmed a 100 percent compliance on MPS-GAP and MPS-Socially Qualified requirements at Las Mercedes.”
Carl Kroon, general manager at Las Mercedes, confirms, “Nowadays, consumers are not only interested in the visible and tangible characteristics of the products they buy, they also are concerned with how products are made. Dümmen Orange is deeply rooted in our commitment to our people, our values and our planet. The MPS certification helps us demonstrate to our customers that our production methods respect our workers and the environment.”
Here are some of the actions Dümmen Orange has taken to exemplify its high standards for excellence.
- The company has invested in electrostatic spraying equipment for improved penetration of the crop, resulting in better crop coverage.
- Dümmen Orange only uses crop protection agents approved by MPS; in many cases, these are stricter guidelines than required by the government.
- Guidelines focusing on a risk-based approach of preventative sanitation have been established to reduce the use of crop protection agents.
- For a second consecutive year, the Dümmen Orange El Salvador team has obtained 100 percent score for MPS-GAP and MPS-SQ.
- Production personnel observe and enforce very strict greenhouse re-entry times to avoid unsafe exposure to crop protection agents.
- Assistant growers participate in on-line education courses from the University of Florida to learn more about hydroponic growing, increasing their technical knowledge.
- Together with the Ministry of Education, Dümmen Orange El Salvador is facilitating a program so workers can obtain a high school diploma. The first students will graduate in December, including 25 participants that average 28 years old.
- Dümmen Orange has introduced a scholarship program for the children of its workers. Participants receive grants to buy school materials and necessary supplies.
- Through financial support from the farm, many workers are completing a university study program in the evening to further their education.
- Female workers at Las Mercedes receive 112 days of maternity leave (more than the legal minimum), and have the right to work one hour less per day with full pay for six months upon returning to work.
- Health and well-being is promoted through establishment of an on-site, after-hours recreational club for workers, including creative activities, physical exercise and discussion of social issues.