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Sustainability Focus: Marginpar


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Flower growers worldwide are increasingly embracing sustainability as a crucial aspect of their operations. At Marginpar Group, we're at the forefront of this movement, going beyond mere compliance with local regulations and aiming to meet the highest international standards in the industry.


We're embracing the need for more sustainability, striving to meet international best practice standards in our industry along with actively pursuing benefits to our workforce and the communities in which we're based.



Environmental Sustainability

In terms of environmental sustainability, Marginpar is an active member of the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI).


FSI is an initiative conceived to find more sustainable solutions for farmers, the environment, and for the future of the sector. Together with FSI, we're striving to achieve 100% sustainable production for all plants and flowers. While there is still much work to be done in this area, we're already implementing several practices to minimize our environmental impact.


One of our key objectives is the reduction of the product carbon footprint. FSI is developing and testing an environmental foot-printing tool, together with Marginpar and other stakeholders, for the calculation and reduction of their carbon footprint. Members may use the tool to calculate their own carbon footprint and set a carbon reduction goal for selected products.


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Ways in which we're reducing our carbon footprint:

1. Innovations in technology and processes.

2. Resource efficiency.

3. Water Usage reduction.


Innovations in technology and processes

This innovation encompasses new water reservoirs, irrigation systems, infrastructure, energy reduction and generation and solar power. We're reducing energy consuption by using LED lights and generating our own electricity using solar power. Fun Fact: The new Dutch headquarters has so many solar panels it's CO2 neutral. We're reducing our reliance on boreholes for irrigation and catching and harvesting more rainwater, storing water in lagoons to prevent flooding and to avoid any interference with the flow of rivers.


Production Innovation Consultant Sebastian Chambers, who focusses on big innovation projects in the company says: "Sustainability is important for anyone. We must leave the world a better place than where we started… we expect the market will demand more sustainable practices in the near future."


Resource efficiency

Resource efficiency is another key aspect of our sustainability efforts. We're deeply committed to environmental improvements through cleaner production methods, biodiversity promotion, and environmental remediation. Along with dedicated work to reduce water usage and reduce the amount of pesticides used, any organic waste produced at sites is put to good use and turned into compost.


Water Usage Reduction

Innovations such as aqua checks are helping to monitor and reduce our water usage. These consist of a probe that is inserted into the ground to measure how far irrigation water on crops is penetrating. This helps to identify shallow rooted crops and deep rooted crops and tailor the irrigation system to the specific needs of each crop; a change that has shown to reduce water usage by about 40% water. We're also working to reuse as much water as possible, with storm and flood water being collected and stored in a containment dam which can be drawn-off when required. Dirty water is filtered in the new Wetlands areas, a natural filtration system that cleans water for reuse.


Certifications

Our sustainability efforts are recognized and certified through various industry standards. In Kenya, all our locations hold the KFC Silver Label and Global G.A.P. certifications. These certifications ensure that our operations adhere to principles of environmental responsibility, socioeconomic well-being, and safe production practices

Similarly, in Ethiopia, our farm is certified by MPS-ABC and MPS-SQ, which highlight our environmental friendliness and focus on health, safety, and good working conditions. In Tanzania, all our partner farms hold MPS certifications, including MPS A+, MPS-SQ, and MPS-GAP. Additionally, Tsanga Flora in Zimbabwe is fully MPS certified, while other partner farms in Zimbabwe are currently undergoing the certification process.


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International Best Practice

At Marginpar we're striving to meet the following international standards and guidelines and it is important when assessing any grower that you pay attention to their business codes of practice.


By adhering to these rigorous standards and guidelines, it ensures that your supplier’s operations meet the highest benchmarks for sustainability, environmental protection, and social responsibility.


Leading by example

We believe that promoting sustainability within the flower-growing industry is one of the most important challenges the industry is facing at the moment. Our commitment extends to environmental sustainability, community benefits, labour benefits, resource efficiency, and certifications. By actively pursuing sustainable practices, embracing employee empowerment and prioritising the well-being of our communities, we set an example for other flower growers, demonstrating the importance of sustainability in shaping a brighter future for both the industry and the planet.


Images: Hanneke Frankema, Nico Alsemgeest, Sala Lewis, BLOOM'S Medien

 
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