Sustainability and social responsibility are important topics for the American nursery ForemostCo. At the beginning of this year, the company started with MPS-ABC to map out their sustainability efforts. “We expect that this will make us more aware of our water and chemical usage and that we will approach each application with even more discipline. In this way we hope that we will be able to deliver a beautiful product with respect for the health of local residents and the environment,” says Jos de Boer, Marketing Manager at ForemostCo.
Employees of ForemostCo at IPM Essen, with Jos de Boer in the middle and Arthij van der Veer, Area Manager at MPS, second from the left.
ForemostCo produces, amongst others, cuttings, seeds and bulbs all year round from offices and nurseries located in the United States, Costa Rica and Guatemala. MPS has 83 participants in the United States and 61 in Central America.
In these greenhouses and offices people now use face masks, gloves and disinfectants; measures taken to prevent further spread of the corona virus. Although the United States is slowly releasing the reins of measures taken to deal with the corona virus, the number of infections is still increasing.
The company is therefore cautious and has taken steps to ensure that employees do not become infected with the corona virus. This also shows that social sustainability is important for the company. De Boer explains: “We also measure the temperature of employees on a daily basis. In addition, the offices and greenhouses have multiple entrance and exit doors so that people pass each other less. In this way we try to guarantee the well-being of our company, not only from an economic point of view, but also with regard to the health of our employees.”
From solar energy to helping children
Long before ForemostCo started with MPS-ABC, sustainability was high on the agenda. For example, the Costa Rican production facility uses many acres of the farm for reforestation. “This nursery also uses a solar powered well pump that provides a clean alternative to using fossil fuels and enables low-carbon irrigation,” says De Boer. “The Winter Garden-based company Phoenix Foliage is building a rain collection system that saves drinking water and reduces the amount of rainwater drainage in the sewer system. Vita Farms in Guatemala works together with the non-profit organisation La Fundación Margarita Tejada para Síndrome de Down and Yamavé, a wholesaler in Guatemala City, to help children with Down syndrome develop vital skills and improve their well-being.”
It is important to evaluate the impact of our production processes on the environment
‘Healthy for me and healthy for the world’
ForemostCo is aware of its ecological impact and with MPS-ABC the organisation hopes to gain more insight about the actual use and environmental impact of chemicals, water, fertilisers and energy. “We expect MPS-ABC to make us more aware and to consider whether an application is necessary,” says De Boer. “That’s important because there is an increasing demand for products that are ‘healthy for me and healthy for the world’ not only in the United States, but around the world. Consumers find it increasingly important to know how products are made. As consumers become more aware, companies decide to make changes to make the world a better place.”
“Our products literally make the world a little greener, but it is important to evaluate the impact of our production processes on the environment,” says de Boer. “By partnering with MPS, the global leader in setting sustainability standards in floriculture, we hope to provide tangible evidence to our customers that ForemostCo cares about the environment.”