Sustainable Sourcing Scan (SSS)

  • Scan your own purchase data based on the FSI2025 sustainability criteria. 
  • Analyze and monitor the purchase results in the dashboard and act accordingly. 
  • Showcase your involvement with sustainable purchases with the ‘Proof of Sustainable Purchase’ (PoSP). 

The SSS is used on behalf of the Floriculture Sustainable Initiative (FSI), founded in 2013 by the precursors in the floriculture sector.  

The ambition of FSI2025 is to accomplish a minimum of 90% responsibly produced and traded volume in 2025.  


CONCISE PRESENTATION OF THE OPERATION OF THE SSS, INCLUDING THE ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED:

The SSS has been a collaboration between the Dutch Association of Wholesalers in Floricultural Products (VGB in Dutch), Floricode and Floridata since 2017. 

  • The Dutch Association of Wholesalers in Floricultural Products (VGB) holds the intellectual property rights of the SSS and finances updates of the tool.
  • Floricode takes care of the coding and the certificates administration, that determines the output of the SSS.
  • Floridata houses and facilitates the tool in the portal for her participants. Floridata guarantees as ‘Trusted Third Party’ strictly confidential processing of the purchase data. Also, Floridata functions as person of contact and helpdesk of the SSS.

Advantages use of the SSS:

Competition advantage & transparency by tangible availability of sustainable products. By downloading the ‘Proof of Sustainable Purchase’ (PoSP), you have the means to showcase your performance to clients and other beneficiaries. This will grow in importance considering the rise in political discussions and society’s awareness towards responsible trade. Your PoSP functions as burden of proof to the FSI monitoring protocol. 

Able to make the shortest transition to a sustainable purchase through use of the acquired insights. As a buyer you can reach out to growers who do not have the required certificates. 

Offer a contribution to making floricultural products more sustainable, by actively improve the results and strive to achieve the 90% target. 

Floridata participants who are using the SSS:

Tutorial Sustainable Sourcing Scan 2025

FAQ:

What does the certificate basket (FSI sustainability requirements) look like?
What has changed for the target of 2025 (in relation to) 2020?
For the ambition of FSI2025, FSI has added an extra demand to the current existing structure of the sustainability criteria of 2020 for the criteria of 2025: ‘Environmental-Record Keeping’.
Next to a GAP-certificate this extra demand is necessary. For the Social certificates nothing has changed.

Is the grower located in a high-risk country?

  • Yes, all three certificates are required; GAP, Environmental- Record Keeping and Social.
  • No, only the following two required; GAP and Environmental – Record Keeping.
Which countries are labeled as high-risk countries and how is this determined?
FSI makes use of the BSC countries Risk Classification. The risk countries can be found on the website of BSCI countries.
For these high-risk countries, next to GAP-certificate and Environmental-Record Keeping certificate also social certificate is required.
How are the results illustrated in the tool and how are these results generated?
In the output the percentages of the purchased volume are split into four categories:

The results are generated in three steps:
Based on the received purchase data, the tool calculates the share of each of the four above-mentioned categories. These data are processed according to the sustainability demands of the FSI Basket of Standards. This means that your purchase data is validated with the register of certificates of Floricode and the country of production (ISO-country codes). Floricode is the owner of the register of certificates and updates this weekly.

  • Step 1: By monitoring the VerkoperGLN, RFH or Plantion number, the tool checks whether the grower is known in the administration of Floricode. When the grower is unknown, the corresponding volume is defined as Unidentified. Is the grower known at Floricode, but he is not included in the register of certificates? The grower will be found in the category of not certified.
  • Step 2: With the ISO-country code is determined if a country is a high-risk country, based on the production country of the grower (according to BSCI).
    • High-risk country?:
      Yes, three certificates are necessary: 1) GAP-certificate, 2) Environmental-Record Keeping certificate, 3) Social certificate.
      The grower can receive these certificates separately or combined. Two examples of the combined certificates are Florverde Sustainable Flowers Standard and Kenya Flower Council Silver Standard. For more information of the certificates, please check the FSI Basket of Standards.
    • Not a high-risk country?:
      Only the GAP-certificate and the Environmental-Record Keeping certificate are required.
  • Step 3: The last examination is to understand if the grower has the required certificates for the corresponding time span. Depending on this result the volume is defined as:
    certified-responsible source
    certified

The results can be filtered on period, product group, production country and grower.

Do you want to know more about the results of the SSS? Please have a watch at tutorial video Sustainable Sourcing Scan (duration: 3:48min spoken in English with Dutch subtitles) to get a better understanding on how the results are highlighted in the tool.

Which parties have made the SSS possible?
  • The Floriculture Sustainable Initiative (FSI) s an international floriculture-platform, who works together on a more sustainable international floriculture sector in a precompetitive way.

    Participants of this collaboration are breeders, growers, wholesalers, retailers, scheme owners, NGO’s, sector of industry organizations and governments.

    • The first coherent ambition aimed at 90% sustainable traded volume in 2020.
    • The second current ambition aims her focus on altered sustainability requirements, in 2025.
    FSI is located at Union Fleurs, in Brussels.
  • The Dutch Association of Wholesalers in Floricultural Products is owner of the SSS. One of the four most important goals in their long-term strategy is creating one of the ‘most efficient and sustainable national and international supply chains, for flowers and plants.
  • Floricode is the desk for registration and coding of floriculture products. They share their product- and company coding and ‘register of certificates’ with Floridata for the benefit of the SSS. They receive mutations in the register of certificates directly from the scheme owners.
  • Union Fleurs is the international organization who looks after the interest of the floriculture trade on EU- and international level.
  • IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative guides public-private, precompetitive change trajectories in 18 different sectors. IDH supports the FSI.
  • Floridata is the collective independent knowledge- and data platform for the floriculture sector. They facilitate the tool within their portal. As ‘Trusted Third Party’ they ensure a reliable and secure use of the data of their clients.
Which organizations can make use of the SSS and what are the costs?
For the use of the SSS a contract with Floridata is required.
  • Floridata participant
    Exporters of cut flowers and potted- gardening plants can only use the SSS when they become a participant of Floridata. This also means that it is mandatory to provide invoice-, payment- and debtors data for the benefit of the sector export statistics for flowers and plants. Contact us for more information.
  • Stand-alone SSS-user
    Trading companies who do not export and wish to use the SSS, will only receive access in the portal to the SSS-service. They cannot make use of the debtor- and market information services.

The Floridata Foundation charges cost-effective prices.

Can I communicate about my own results?
The users are free to use their own results for communication and strategic purposes, in coordination with the FSI.
Is a sector figure being published?
No, not right now. And currently there also are no plans to do this. In case this will be reconsidering in the foreseeable future, then all participants need to be unanimously in agreement.

During the FSI-meetings, certain collective insights are shared on an aggregated level, with the purpose to further increase the sustainability percentage. This is always in agreement with the users of the SSS.

Is membership of the VGB or Union Fleurs a requirement for using the tool?
No, the SSS is available for all traders in floriculture products (cut flowers, cut foliage, and potted plants). When you are not a VGB-member you are obliged to pay them a renumeration. You will automatically receive an invoice from the VGB. This is to cover the costs of the VGB, owner of the SSS (Floricode subscription and fee SSS).

Data delivery and results 

Which data do I need to deliver and in which way?
Purchase data needs to be delivered in a CSV-file, by e-mail to duurzaamheid@floridata.eu. In this file the purchased volume (in quantities of stems/plants), split into:
  • Product code (VBN-product code or GPC Brick)
  • Grower identification (GLN-code or auction number)
  • Country of origin (ISO-country code)
  • Month and year

Price information is not a requirement. Data of a period (month/year) should be delivered thoroughly in one attempt. In case the same period is delivered again in another message, the previously delivered data will be overwritten. In one message several periods (months) may be delivered.
For the complete instruction in delivery and all details, see the pdf: Instruction data-transfer Sustainable Sourcing Scan.

Can I also fill in the ISO-country code of the grower sales location if I do not know the country of production?
Yes, when the file is being processed the delivered ISO-country code is compared to the ISO country code production country of the grower, with the Floricode production country ISO-country code list. If necessary, the ISO-country code will be modified. This way the output is ensured of a correct screening for a high-risk country.
I only have a VBN-product code, can I retrieve the GPC code?
Yes, at the website of Floricode you can download via FTP the GPC Brick codes.
The GPC-distribution sets are updated monthly.

Floricode shares a matching table, in which you can look for the GPC Brick code in relation to the VBN-product codes. Here the Product GPC is the unique identification of the Product group used by GPC (in GPC terms the product group is a Brick) and the Product VBN Code the unique identification used by the Dutch Flower Auctions Association (VBN).

What does it mean “a row cannot be read” or “a row cannot be processed”?
  • An unread row refers to a row that does not comply with the instruction data-transfer SSS. The row cannot be read, and as a result the entire file cannot be used. Please delete this row from the file. Possible cause: the amount is 0 or smaller (column M) or leaving a field empty that has to be filled.
  • A failed row is a row that has been read by the tool (and complies with the instruction data-transfer SSS), but the output is not visible in the SSS. An example is an unknown or invalid product code. The related notification is “ProductGPC or ProductVBNCode filled but unknown”.
One of the non sustainable growers in the output is highlighted with M.P.C.G. VD TOGT TEST and unknown grower, what does this mean?
In this case the volume is ‘not sustainable’, because the source is unknown. This is caused by FH-number 999999 or the GLN-field that contains a 0.

  1. Floricode matches the FH-number 999999 with the M.P.C.G. VD TOGT TEST and the ‘test grower’ is shown in the output of the grower’s table. In reality the source with FH-number 999999 is unknown.
  2. When the GLN-field contains a 0 (because the source is unknown) ‘Unknown grower’ will appear in the output of the grower’s table.

One of our growers does not have a GLN nor an auction number, how can this grower be processed into the tool?
A grower that still does not have a GLN, can request one at Floricode. After this request Floricode will update the certificates of the grower in their administration.
When I have saved the CSV-file, columns B and E contains abbreviated numbers (scientific notation), how do I solve this?
For successfully saving the CSV-file, follow the following steps, before saving the file (see table below):

  1. Select the whole column B and E (by clicking on the letter B and E).
  2. Click with the right mouse button and choose “Format cells”.
  3. Choose from the column category: Number
  4. Fill in 0 or the amount at decimals places and click on OK.

Please note: when making further modifications after saving the file, you need to repeat the same process again.

When you’re not following the process steps mentioned above, the first 6 numbers of the GLN will remain and the rest turns into 0. Unfortunately, you will lose information this way.

A grower in the output is shown as not sustainable, but I believe that the grower is sustainable. How is this possible?
These are the most common causes:

  1. The certificate of the grower is not applicable to the FSI Basket of Standards. It can happen for example that the grower has a MPS-A or MPS-B, but not the necessary MPS-GAP. What also may happen is that a grower loses their MPS-GAP status during the year, when MPS A/B/C-status expires. A grower can also just be certified for a specific group of products that is not in scope of the FSI, for example flower bulbs and young plants.
  2. The grower has been certified and has received a certificate, but the certificate has been suspended. You can check the status yourself on the website of MPS and Global GAP, or through the certificate register of Floricode.
  3. The grower has a group certificate together with other growers, possibly with MPS, but it has not been updated to the portal yet by MPS (send an e-mail to info@floridata.eu).
  4. The grower is located in a high-risk country. Therefore, an environment certificate is insufficient, and the growers also need to have a social certificate.
  5. The certificate of the grower is not yet known to Floricode. The SSS reads which certificates of a grower are connected to the administration of Floricode. This administration is not real-time but is updated weekly. However, this does not apply to all the certificates. Some are updated monthly (the first Tuesday of the new month) or every quarter. For this reason, it is advisable to send in the data of the previous month after the first Tuesday of the new month.
  6. The purchase data is registered on a commercial trading name (and company number) instead of the grower’s name.

When you still have doubts regarding the certificates of a grower: feel free to send an e-mail to info@floridata.nl and mention the following:

  • Name of the grower
  • The GLN Seller/AuctionCodeSeller of the grower
  • The type of certificate
  • The period (month/year)
A grower is shown in both the sustainable as well as the non-sustainable row. How is this possible?
This can happen when selecting a period of several months.
For example: when a grower is certified from 10-1-2020 until 4-1-2021, the grower will be shown as not sustainable in the period January 2020, because this certificate is not valid for the whole month. For the remaining months February-December the corresponding trade will be shown as sustainable.
It is also possible to have half a month between two certificates, which causes the grower not certified for the whole year. However, in accordance with the FSI a transition period of 10 days is applied between the end date of the certificate and the start date of the renewed certificate. This way a grower can have a non-valid certificate for a maximum of 10 days.

Is your question not mentioned here? Please let us know!

Contact us at info@floridata.nl, or by phone at +31 20-820 00 35