The Board of Experts (CvD) for MPS-ECAS welcomed a new member at the end of May: Maartje Vullings. Lan van Wassenaer also joined this college earlier. Vullings hopes that the experience she has gained at FruitMasters will mainly contribute practical knowledge.

MPS and MPS-ECAS both have a Board of Experts (CvD). The MPS CvD has a say in the development, management, policy and requirements of the MPS standards. It advises the MPS Group board and ensures that the schedules are aligned with practice. The MPS-ECAS Board of Experts acts as a review and advisory body for the Operations Manager and monitors the independence and impartiality of MPS-ECAS.

“Standards must be feasible and affordable. The balance between challenge and feasibility in a standard is important. It is better for us all to take small steps than for a few forerunners to make huge leaps,” says Vullings. She has been working at FruitMasters for eleven years as Business Assurance and Support Manager, so she has a lot of practical experience. Her specialty is mainly food horticulture in the fields of processing and trade. But in her role at FruitMasters, she has to deal with the entire chain: ‘from ground to mouth’, as Vullings describes it herself.

“Since growers not only work in nature, but are also dependent on nature, most growers are already working quite sustainably. By independently testing this and demonstrating this by means of a certificate, the grower is rewarded for his or her efforts. An independent certificate also provides trust and transparency. And it helps parties further down the chain to be able to communicate about sustainability,” says Vullings. “I think sustainability is a condition for production. If we don’t take nature into account, nature ultimately doesn’t take us into account either. We produce a natural and healthy product, namely fruit, we have to do this in a way that is in balance with nature.”