The International Corporate Social Responsibility (ICSR) covenant for the horticulture sector is being signed today at the World Horti Center in Naaldwijk. The Dutch horticulture sector, together with the Netherlands government, a trade union and an NGO, has made agreements about more responsible international production and trade of plants and flowers. The covenant is widely supported by the sector and more companies are expected to sign up to it in the coming months. Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, and Carola Schouten, Minister for Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, are signing the covenant on behalf of central government. From the sector, it is being signed by individual companies including Dutch Flower Group, Royal FloraHolland and representative organisations such as VGB.
The first step will be to identify social and environmental risks at both sector and company level. The government, trade union and NGO will help with this. Whatever is discovered, the first year will see initiation of projects concerning living wages and the impact of plant protection products on people and the environment.
The covenant was established after a period of intensive consultation led by the Social and Economic Council (SEC). It builds on the sector’s existing Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI). The implementation of the covenant will be supervised by IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative.