The Board of Experts (BoE) for MPS welcomed a new member at the end of May: Hans Reijngoud. “Everything develops: the company develops, you develop, society develops. And the nice thing is: if you go along with the developments and actively involve yourself in them, it will always remain fascinating,” says Reijngoud.
MPS and MPS-ECAS both have a Board of Experts who have a say in the development, management, policy and requirements of the MPS standards. It is therefore an advisory body to the MPS board: it ensures that the standards are aligned with daily practice. Decisions taken by the Board of Experts are ratified by the Board. The members of the BoE also ensure that social support is created for the certification standards.
Reijngoud has been working at Intratuin for 28 years, for a long time as Head of Purchasing and now as Quality Manager. As a retailer, they are in between the requesting parties. “That means the consumer, the campaigning parties and the grower. We have to ensure that we stay connected,” says Reijngoud. This connection is one of the main reasons that he took a seat in the BoE. He wants to ensure that there is a connection between all parties. “Keeping a connection does of course not mean that you are not allowed to have ambition. You have to ensure that there are ambitions, because the question that constantly hangs over our heads is whether we are going fast enough”.
Reijngoud does not only speak on behalf of Intratuin from the BoE, but also wants to communicate to the garden industry and to the colleagues with whom it collaborates to take steps. They meet regularly on an annual basis. “Then we exchange information: where are we, where do we have to go and what are the developments? The big players in the Dutch market are sitting at the table there, which is a wonderful thing.”
Gathering and sharing knowledge
Various bodies are represented on the MPS BoE, which means that multiple angles are discussed and knowledge can be shared. All with the same goal: taking steps towards sustainability. According to Reijngoud, this is achieved by putting the cards on the table as a group of authorities and seizing the opportunities together. “It is also important that we as retailers include the consumer in the sustainability story. Such as through the ‘Happy Garden Helpers‘ project of Tuinbranche Nederland, in which we show that some insects in the garden and on plants are actually very useful.”
Reijngoud himself also remains well informed about developments in the sector. “The Dutch podcast ‘Save the spring‘ provides a good overview of the current problems, in which growers themselves also have their say. In this way I learn completely new things, which I can also share with others.”
Data and determining the footprint
Providing reliable, verifiable information and data to the consumer. As far as Reijngoud is concerned, everything will be as transparent as possible. He also thinks that ‘data driven’ developments are the future and that ultimately it all leads to determining the footprint. During his first meeting of the Board of Experts, an explanation and presentation was given about the HortiFootprint Calculator, developed by MPS and LetsGrow.com. “Fantastic to see how this can be integrated into certification. I fully support that.”