Unlocking sustainability data packaging materials

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Sustainable practices in the floriculture trade are being given increasing priority. The need for transparency is also increasing. To meet that need, several partners, including Floriday, are joining forces for a new initiative: the Packaging Register. With the register, we are facilitating the exchange of sustainability data of packaging materials. Florpartners project leader Bart Boevé explains: “We want to move towards a circular horticultural chain.

Bart Boevé grew up in the floriculture sector and was part of the Royal Lemkes team for 11 years. He has since been working for Florpartners for three years and handles projects relating to strategy and leadership processes and organizational development daily.

Working together for the sake of transparency
From the Accelerators FSI, Floricode, Floriday & Blueroots, Royal FloraHolland, and Florpartners have joined forces to realize the ‘Packaging Register’ project. Bart: “The register aims to provide transparency on the packaging and materials used, and through this, we want to promote sustainability in the sector. The idea arose from the need to share information more efficiently and effectively in the chain and make it presentable. The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) asks us questions and, besides, we want to be able to meet society’s expectations and needs.”

Taking the burden off growers, buyers, and suppliers
“Currently, it is a lot of work for packaging suppliers and buyers to constantly spoon-feed the data,” Bart explains. “The expectation is that it will become more frequent and the queries more wide-ranging. The register will make things easier for the supplier as well as the growers and buyers. Soon, suppliers will be processing all packaging in the register, and the grower will select which packaging he wants to use. This information is then shared again with the buyer, who in turn needs it for customs declaration if exporting. This information is, in turn, shared with the buyer, who in turn needs it for the declaration to customs in case of export. This information is very easy to retrieve from Floriday based on delivered orders.”

Data is unlocked through Floriday
Martin de Ruiter, who is commercially responsible for Floriday: “For growers and buyers, the administrative pressure around trading products is only going to get worse. This generates a lot of costs for the entire chain. And these costs are not reflected in anyone’s income. It is, therefore, important to be able to meet the information requirements of (end) customers without having to retype or distribute a lot of the same information several times. With Floriday, we are unlocking this sustainability information for all parties in the chain to increase efficiency and provide more transparency in the marketplace. By setting up this packaging register in this way with all the parties in the chain, we can ensure that everybody in it can share their information efficiently.”

Building, testing, and learning together
A project plan has been drawn up from Floricode to deal with sustainability data. Bart: “We decided to keep the dreams big, but for now, we will start small with a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) of the Packaging Register, a first version of this idea with several stakeholders. This involves connecting packaging suppliers, after which product data is linked to Floriday (Bill of Material) and made available to buyers. If the pilot is successful, we will continue to scale up. The Packaging Register can then serve as a model for further digitization and sustainability initiatives in the floriculture sector, such as on energy or raw material issues.”

More than a technology project
“The Packaging Register is more than a technology project; it is a concerted effort to make the sector more sustainable and maintain a positive image in a rapidly changing world. As an industry, we are under fire. If we are not careful, the story will be determined ahead of us. We need to show what we are working towards, and we hope to take a first step towards that with this initiative,” Bart emphasizes. “The willingness to collaborate and the close involvement of all stakeholders make this initiative promising for the future of floriculture!”

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