Floriculture Sustainability Initiative
FSI was founded in 2013 as a market-driven initiative, bringing together key stakeholders of the international floriculture sector. The FSI2025 ambition is centred around three pillars – responsible production & trade, responsible conduct, and integrated reporting. Towards 2025 FSI members will continue to build a future-proof sector with a strong focus on transparency, responsible production and trade, positive impact and improvements in floriculture supply chains worldwide.
The Annual Reporting cycle is part of the FSI members’ commitment and is centred around the certification requirements of the FSI Basket of Standards. This Basket comprises three scopes for responsible practices – GAP, Environmental and Social – and currently holds sixteen standards that have successfully passed the benchmarking processes. FSI members of production have committed to comply with each of their production sites. FSI Trade & Retail members have committed to sourcing 100 per cent of their volumes in compliance with the FSI Basket of Standards. Through this alignment between production and trade, FSI members promote sustainable practices, create visible impact, and stimulate responsible production and procurement for the global floriculture supply chain.
Producing members reported an overall FSI-compliant percentage of 69 per cent. For Trade & Retail members, the overall FSI-compliant percentage is 65 per cent. Comparing the numbers for 2020 and 2021, we see significant growth in impact: the total volume of Producing members has doubled from 4.4bln to 8.8bln flowers and plants, and the volume of Trade/Retail members increased by 40 per cent to 10.6bln flowers & plants. To add context to these figures: FSI members make sourcing decisions that account for roughly three times the total Kenyan flower production volume and twice the total Colombian flower production volume.
The 2021 overall FSI-compliant percentages for both Producing and Trade/Retail members are lower than in previous years. There are two reasons for this decrease. Firstly, the number of new members reporting for the first time increased, leading to more volume (production +200 per cent, trade/retail +40 per cent) compared to 2020. Secondly, the FSI Basket requirements have become more stringent with the introduction of the required environmental scope. An essential requirement with reliable record keeping at its core and is the basis for Environmental Footprinting that will lead to continuous improvement. It will take some time for producers to be in line with this new requirement.
The FSI secretariat analysed the reporting processes with the members during validation visits and identified four key success factors. These factors are instrumental for better understanding the supply base and effectively mitigating risks. And with added transparency and traceability, companies are preparing themselves for the upcoming due diligence legislation and stricter market requirements.
1. Embedding responsible sourcing in Policies and KPIs
• Companies that incorporate responsible practice and procurement into their strategy and policies are more focused on the importance of continuous improvement. More (senior) people from different departments are involved, leading to greater awareness, increased commitment and better outcomes in both process and results.
2. Monitoring certifications and compliance
• Companies do better when they actively and more frequently monitor compliance. Most companies have automated the process and used the specialised tool Sustainable Sourcing Scan, which saves a lot of time and makes monthly reporting possible.
3. Outreach to growers and traders
• Companies do better when they publicly communicate their sustainability goals and FSI requirements to their suppliers, i.e. through a Code of Conduct and purchasing policies. When new suppliers are actively onboarded and monitored, results improve. Additionally, motivating and demanding other traders to become transparent leads to decreased risks, better insights, and better results.
4. Data Management
• Companies that monitor data monthly do better because it leads to higher awareness, better data quality, and data management than producing only a yearly report. An increasing number of companies are upgrading their ERP systems, automating queries and having specialised staff working on data and dashboards. With dashboards set up, management and staff can make better decisions at lower costs.
The FSI secretariat has identified several opportunities to increase the percentage of responsibly sourced volumes. During the coming months, actions will be taken to take steps toward reaching the 90% objective by 2025. These include improvement and implementation of company policies, change in procurement/purchasing practices, the development of data dashboards, and increased frequency of measuring to improve monitoring of volumes. As always, we will work together and communicate with relevant stakeholders. This is one of the ways FSI members define what good practice looks like to keep the floriculture sector future-proof.
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