The MPS-Socially Qualified (MPS-SQ) certification standard has been updated. The standard has been revised and adapted to the latest insights.

The most important changes are as follows:

  • Emphasis has been placed on the fact that MPS-SQ guarantees good working conditions at the cultivation company.
  • The certification cycle has been changed. As of the date on which the new standard comes into force, the certificate will be valid for one year instead of three years. This makes it more in line with MPS-GAP, making it easier to combine audits of MPS-SQ and MPS-GAP.
  • The role of the prevention officer has been more clearly defined.
  • Emphasis has been placed on the importance of employee interviews during the audit.
  • The requirements concerning working hours and overtime are more in line with legislation and collective labour agreements.
  • The environmental requirements have been dropped because they do not relate to the working conditions being certified.
  • The minimum wage will now be based on the World Bank Poverty Line, because not all countries have a minimum wage or collective labor agreement and this is in line with the FSI guidelines.
  • The texts have been rearranged into a more logical structure.

This new version of MPS-SQ is listed in the FSI Social Basket and will be submitted for accreditation by the Dutch Accreditation Council (RvA) in the next phase.

This new version has been ratified by the MPS Board and will be published on 1 June 2022. From 1 September 2022, companies with existing certifications will have the choice of being audited voluntarily against the new version of MPS-SQ or re-audited against the ‘old’ (current) version one last time. New companies applying for MPS-SQ certification for the first time will be audited and certified against the new version of MPS-SQ from 1 September 2022. From 1 January 2023, all companies will be certified against the new version of MPS-SQ.

The new version of MPS-SQ (version 10) will be published on the MPS website under ‘Documents’ on 1 June 2022.