Arjan Dukker: “MPS-GAP certification increases your market opportunities”
Dukker Chrysanten BV cultivates chrysanthemums all year round in the most environmentally conscious way possible. They produce over 9 million stems per year. Since 1 April 2018 the company has joined up with Zentoo, a quality label for chrysanthemums that places a great emphasis on sustainability. Originally, the modern nursery of 3.3 hectares was based in De Lier, but since 2009 its calls Bleiswijk home.
"We have noticed that sustainably cultivated flowers are becoming increasingly important. Customers ask for them more often. And we always do our utmost to satisfy our customers' wishes. When we joined Zentoo, we immediately obtained the MPS-GAP certificate for traceability of pesticides, environment, safety and hygiene. This demonstrates that we are a sustainable company."
Dotting the i's
"For the MPS-GAP certification we register our pesticides and make sure that everything is clean. We also check our capital equipment regularly and conduct maintenance of our machine park once a year. Naturally, we were doing that as well before, but now we follow the regulations for the certificate and ensure that everything is really done on time. I think that well-organised companies will not have difficulty with this registration. Certification is a question of dotting the i's. I am proud that we were able to accomplish this so quickly."
Good for the group's interest
"All associated growers in Zentoo work sustainably and are MPS-GAP certified. I consider that extra motivation. Previously, it was my problem if I didn't do something right. Now if I don't play by the rules, there are consequences for all growers in Zentoo. If a grower loses their certification, he deceives the other growers because it annuls the group certification. Direct sales are done under the banner of Zentoo after all. I want to prevent my actions having negative consequences for the other growers. Everyone must do well in the interest of the group."
Certification can have many benefits
"I would advise growers who want to obtain MPS-GAP certification to register if at all possible. Look at the example of crop protection. Then you have something you can show, even to your customers. It doesn't cost much money or time but can have many benefits because you improve your market opportunities. And often customers want to know how you cultivated your flowers and which pesticides you used. The government regulations are also becoming stricter. I feel that we, the Dutch horticultural sector, must stay ahead, and that includes sustainable flowers and plants. You have little to lose, so why wouldn't you go for certification?"