Good Ag Practices Help D.S. Cole Growers Further Certification

September 2, 2010 - 09:23

Recently D.S. Cole Growers has taken the next step forward on their path to achieving sustainability certification according to the MPS-Florimark Production, the chainwide certificate of MPS combining environmental, social and quality aspects. One of the appealing aspects of the MPS process is that a grower can take small steps and earn one certificate at a time without being overwhelmed by the entire program.

After being the first certified participant for MPS=ABC in the United States, D.S. Cole Growers has now opted for certification according to MPS-GAP (Good Agricultural Practices).

"Certifying with MPS-GAP allows our company to show that we have gone to the next step towards sustainability," explained Doug Cole. "To accomplish this we found that many of the actions requested were already in place at our facility as it is in most North American companies. The pieces that we were missing were mostly items that we should be doing anyway, but put off unless forced to do so. For example, we had no emergency evacuation plan in place and we really should have one regardless of MPS-GAP."

"Unlike mainstream agriculture, our industry has slipped under the radar of scrutiny by the press," Cole added. "Being prepared to show that we are actively supporting sustainable activities can help growers avoid bad publicity issues in the future. The MPS program creates a positive step in providing a healthy environment for our employees as well as promotion for our product in the marketplace."

MPS-Florimark Production consists of four certificates, namely: MPS-ABC (environment), MPS-GAP (retail requirements), MPS Socially Qualified (social) and MPS-Quality.

For any questions about MPS in general or one of the certificates, please contact: Sandra Hering (regional coordinator, East U.S.) at; Charlotte Smit (regional coordinator, West U.S.)at; or Arthij van der Veer (general international coordinator) at

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