Last month MPS organised an event in France together with Excellence Végétale, an association that promotes certifications in France, where growers could exchange experiences about their cultivation process. The purpose of this was to facilitate discussions between all actions they take to make their production more sustainable.

This year’s event took place in Bergerac, at the Pépinières Desmartis company that grows fifty different types of Lagerstroemias, using only crop protection agents when other ways have proven ineffective. This year’s theme was the use of chosen plants against pests on cultivation and the use of chosen plants to develop more biodiversity around cultivated areas.

Two researchers from the French Horticultural Research Institute, Astredhor, presented the results of their research and experiments on this topic. In addition, they gave growers advice on how to introduce plants that help with their cultivation in their greenhouses or on their fields.

The event concluded with a visit to the company Pépinières Desmartis, which has a brand new three-hectare greenhouse with solar panels on the roof. The company has been MPS-ABC certified since 2003. Pauline Lavidale, responsible for the company’s certificates, says: “Regulations are becoming stricter, it is important to anticipate hierarchically. This way you comply with new rules before they are confirmed. And we think it is important to keep our impact on the environment as small as possible.”

The company also uses the MPS-ABC record-keeping for this. “We are vigilant for fluctuations in our score. When we see a fluctuation, we investigate why it is. We do this with a score that has a negative impact on the score, but also the other way around. That’s how we learn from it. In addition, we try to limit as many products as possible that are classified as ‘red’ (these agents are the least environmentally friendly, red.).”