Since the launch of the HortiFootprint Calculator, a tool developed jointly by MPS and LetsGrow.com, in March this year, interest in our latest innovation has only grown. The interest coming from the market and the press is beyond expectations. Last month several articles on the HortiFootprint Calculator appeared in North America, and we are getting more and more requests for explanations and presentations from the Netherlands as well. It is encouraging to see that the international ornamentals sector is stepping up its efforts to become more sustainable and is open to new suggestions.
At present, 37 growers in the Netherlands and abroad are signed up to the HortiFootprint Calculator. These growers mainly come from the Netherlands, Ethiopia, Kenya, Belgian, the USA, France, Spain and Turkey. They are primarily ornamentals producers, a few of whom also produce starting material.
From LetsGrow.com we regularly receive feedback from participants on the use and functionality of the HortiFootprint Calculator. What we notice is that customers who already use the HortiFootprint Calculator find the dashboard simple, clearly laid out and easy to use. The design is customer friendly and intuitive. Users also find that the scenario planning function (which can help predict whether total CO2 emissions are falling in usage if changes are made to the production process and/or operational management) delivers real added value and makes it easy to calculate whether their environmental impact actually falls when they make changes.
Developments and the future
Needless to say, the HortiFootprint Calculator itself is also undergoing constant development. The expectation is that a fully automated footprint calculation at product level will be able to be made by the first quarter of 2023. This will be based on the FloriPEFCR standards.
As mentioned, there is a lot of interest in the HortiFootprint Calculator from various sides. Currently around 25 growers have expressed their interest, with discussions on their participation at an advanced stage. Among these are larger companies such as multi-site suppliers of starting material. Raymond Scheepens, area manager at MPS and closely involved in the HortiFootprint Calculator: “We are of course extremely pleased with all the interest in the HortiFootprint Calculator. We ourselves are fully behind this innovation and want to work with Letsgrow.com, with whom – as expected – we have a very constructive and smooth working relationship, to make it an even greater success!”
Contact has also been made with various industry organisations in the Netherlands and abroad to promote the HortiFootprint Calculator and to keep the sector informed about developments in this area. A number of pilots with, among others, a bank and various exporters are currently ongoing to check whether the HortiFootprint Calculator is the right way to produce footprint calculations for producers of ornamentals and fruit and vegetables.