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About On the way to PlanetProof

https://www.planetproof.eu/en/about-the-quality-label/

Certification scheme Plant Products

https://www.planetproof.eu/en/certify/plant-products/

FAQ

On this page you will find an overview of frequently asked questions (FAQ). If you cannot find the answer to your question, please contact us. 

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The independent label On the way to PlanetProof proves that you buy a product that is produced more sustainable and is therefore a better choice for nature, climate and animals. Farmers, horticulturists and other companies use the quality label to work towards a production that is in balance with the carrying capacity of our planet. They are taking steps to reduce the burden on the earth. Step by step, they are making the entire sector more sustainable. The quality label is available for dairy products, potatoes, fruit and vegetables, eggs, flowers, plants, trees, flower bulbs and processed products.

What we do now has consequences for later. On the way to PlanetProof sets strict requirements for animals, nature, and the environment. In this way, On the way to PlanetProof helps farmers, horticulturists and other companies contribute to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Various countries worldwide have agreed on goals to make our planet more sustainable. On the way to PlanetProof is a tool to make an entire sector – from dairy and eggs to floriculture and plant products – more sustainable.

The requirements for climate, for example, also contribute to the agreements in the Paris Agreement on climate change. The aim of this agreement is to reduce CO2 emissions by 49% by 2030. Step by step we are working together to make our planet more sustainable.

On the way to PlanetProof belongs to 1 of the 10 top labels. Milieu Centraal, a Dutch consumer information organization, conducted research into all the quality labels. 10 of these were found to be top labels. This means that the requirements are strict, the information is public and that monitoring is well organized. The Keurmerkenwijzer provides an overview of quality labels relating to the environment, animal welfare and aspects of people and work. The information can help consumers make a conscious choice.

On the way to PlanetProof sets requirements for 8 themes in the field of sustainability; that makes it challenging. All themes are equally important. It takes a lot of skill from farmers and horticultirists to meet them. Farmers and growers who grow according to On the Way to PlanetProof go beyond what is laid down in European legislation (conventional). Click here for an overview of the differences in vegetable cultivation between conventional, On the Way to PlanetProof and organic.

You can come across the label on potatoes, fruit and vegetables, a large range of dairy products (such as milk, yoghurt, butter and cheese) and on eggs. More and more flowers and plants are also being grown On the Way to PlanetProof. They are produced more sustainably and are therefore better for nature, the environment and animals.

You can buy products with the quality label On the way to PlanetProof in all supermarkets in the Netherlands. More and more foreign supermarkets are offering On the Way to PlanetProof products too.

Food safety is already guaranteed by other certification schemes (including GlobalG.A.P.). That is why there is no separate theme within On the way to Planetproof. The focus is on nature, climate and animal welfare.

For animal products, a limited number of working conditions requirements apply. For plant products (arable farming, vegetables, fruit and horticulture), no requirements are set for working conditions. Because working conditions are safeguarded in other certification schemes, it has been decided to focus on the environmental impact of plant products within On the Way to PlanetProof.

Yes, On the way to PlanetProof is an integral quality label. This means that there are requirements on multiple sustainability themes. Animal welfare and animal health is an important theme for On the way to PlanetProof for animal products (eggs and dairy).

Yes, On the way to PlanetProof has been assessed by the Dutch organization Milieu Centraal as a top quality label for food.

Milieu Centraal examined all quality labels and company logos for food. The assessments can be found in the ‘Keurmerkenwijzer’. In the end, 12 quality labels turned out to be the best. These top-quality labels set strict requirements for the environment, fair trade and animal welfare. They are well supervised and are clear about what they are doing.

  • It is strict (ambitious): the requirements go much further than average (which is ‘normal’ in the sector).
  • It is transparent: the requirements are easy to find on the website, they are clear and concrete. In short: you know what the quality label stands for.
  • It is reliable: there is independent control by an organization approved by the Dutch Accreditation Council. The inspections are unannounced and take

Nobody makes profit on On the way to PlanetProof.

SMK, the organisation behind On the way to PlanetProof, is a non-profit organization and does not make profit on this quality label.

The certificate holders are inspected regularly by an independent certification body. SMK manages On the way to PlanetProof. The Dutch Council of Accreditation checks its working method.

If a producer does not meet the requirements, or if, for example, a farmer has used an unauthorized product, this will come up during the inspection. This takes place around the harvest of the product. In that situation, the product will not be certified with On the way to PlanetProof.

A certification body has a license for a certification scheme and therefore carries out independent checks on the certificate holders. Only when the product or service meets all the requirements of the certification scheme does the certification body issue a certificate.

Not only are products or services independently inspected by the certification body, but the certification body itself is also inspected. This is done by the Dutch Council for Accreditation (RvA). The government has designated it as the national accreditation body. The RvA checks in an expert, impartial and independent way whether the international standard ISO/IEC 17065 is being followed. In addition to the certification bodies, the certification schemes of SMK are also reviewed. This sets requirements for what is tested with the schemes, how this is done, and by whom. Because SMK certificates are issued under accreditation, they meet the highest requirements in the area of assurance.

A certification scheme consists of the requirements that a producer must meet in order to obtain the On the way to PlanetProof certificate.

SMK stimulates the sustainability of products and services by developing and managing certification schemes. SMK is committed to independent and high-quality scheme management. SMK works according to a careful and transparent process. Certification takes place under the supervision of the Dutch Accreditation Council. To promote confidence in the quality of scheme development and management, SMK also allows itself to be audited. SMK is a member of the Association of Scheme Administrators and complies with the Dutch Technical Agreement /NTA 8813. An external assessor checks SMK every two years.

A product or service receives a certificate if it meets all the requirements of On the way to PlanetProof. These requirements are described in a certification scheme. SMK develops and manages various certification schemes and is therefore a scheme manager. SMK does not issue certificates and quality labels itself, but has this done by external, specialized certification bodies (CBs). A CB has a license for a certification scheme and carries out independent checks for this with the certificate holders of On the way to PlanetProof. Only when the product or service meets all the requirements of the certification scheme, the organisation receives a certificate from the certification body.

The certificate holders are checked every year by independent certification bodies. The inspection shows whether the certificate holder receives the certificate for On the way to PlanetProof or not.

The requirements are getting stricter every year. The aim is to make the various sectors step by step more sustainable.

Curious about the requirements? Check the certification schemes.

With On the way to PlanetProof we are working towards an agriculture and horticulture that is in balance with the carrying capacity of our planet, with as much as possible closed cycles of raw materials and valued by society and in the market.

Together with farmers, horticulturists, supermarkets and others, we are working towards a more sustainable world. Products with the On the way to PlanetProof quality label meet strict requirements in the field of 8 themes. These requirements are in line with the Paris Agreement and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. This means that the criteria go beyond the European legislation. Every year we review these requirements and refine them where possible.

On the way to PlanetProof is a quality label for more sustainable products. A certificate holder can state this quality label on the certified products. The producer is responsible for the packaging that is used.

Within On the way to PlanetProof, sustainability requirements have of course been set for that packaging. Plastic is not excluded – under certain conditions. Packaging is often necessary for protecting the product, extending the shelf life, making it transportable and stating product information (such as a quality label logo). The waste plastic can then be offered separately by consumers for recycling.

For On the Way to PlanetProof, we look at where the most environmental impact is in making that product and based on that, requirements are set. As crazy as it may seem, a net of onions is currently the packaging with the least environmental impact. Offering the onions loose in the store, with the consumer bringing their own reusable bag/bag, is probably the most sustainable option. Often a supermarket has to offer something so that onions can be taken home. A plastic onion net is a package that requires little plastic, but is strong enough to hold the onions. Other forms of plastic bags require much more plastic material.

Alternative materials have drawbacks: such as rope and hemp; these have a higher environmental impact, or plant fibers that are not strong enough for multi-weight packaging.

Therefore, for onions, the plastic net is currently the packaging with the least environmental impact. Read more here.

By buying dairy products produced under the strict conditions of the label, you know that you are making a better choice for nature, climate and animals than when you buy a pack of milk or yoghurt without the label.

For On the Way to PlanetProof we look at where the most environmental impact is made when making a product. In the case of dairy products, the greatest sustainability gains can be achieved at the dairy farm. Wasting as little dairy as possible is therefore also important. For example, hallmark holders must ensure that there are enough lying places for the cows, the farmers use green energy or generate their own, and because at least 50% of the cattle feed comes from their own farms, the CO2 emissions from transport are also reduced.

On the way to PlanetProof milk is collected separately with milk tankers from dairy farmers who meet the criteria of this label. This milk is processed separately from other milk streams into certified On the Way to PlanetProof dairy products such as (carne) milk, yoghurt and cheese. This makes these products more sustainable than comparable products in the supermarket.

Read more about dairy products with the On the way to PlanetProof label here.

For On the way to PlanetProof we look at where the most environmental impact is in the making of that product. With dairy products, the most sustainability gains can be achieved on the dairy farm. It is therefore important to minimize the waste of dairy products. Packaging can help with this.

There are sustainability requirements for packaging. The basic principles are that:

A packaging must be useful by ensuring that a product can be kept for longer, retains its quality and/or is portioned (= amount of product matched to what the user needs).
The packaging is made in such a way that it is recyclable. This includes the cap.
The material used to make the packaging is derived as much as possible from recycled materials.

On the way to PlanetProof also sets requirements for plastic packaging. For example, certain combinations of plastics may not be used because otherwise the plastic cannot be recycled.

We are always looking for ways to make packaging more sustainable. We are currently conducting a review of the packaging requirements; this means that we are looking at how we can further tighten the requirements. For example, starting in 2022, requirements will be added for glass, paper and cardboard packaging.

Yes, there are also international certificate holders. Because Dutch supermarkets also buy more sustainable products abroad, for example seasonal fruit and vegetables, many farmers and growers there also produce according to the sustainability requirements of On the Way to PlanetProof. We have hallmark holders in Southern Europe (Portugal, Spain and Italy), but also in Belgium, Germany, France and Poland.

Farmers who work according to On the Way to PlanetProof in the Netherlands also sell their products abroad. SMK is working hard on internationalisation and works together with the GroentenFruit Huis, among others, to achieve this. As ambassador for On the Way to PlanetProof at home and abroad, GroentenFruit Huis stimulates the international sale of Dutch products with the quality mark. We believe it is important for these farmers that added value is seen and not lost.

On the way to PlanetProof has the ambition to further roll out the hallmark internationally, hence our strategy to choose an English language, international name.

In addition: many of our Dutch certificate holders of On the way to PlanetProof export a large part of their certified products abroad. In the case of plant products in particular, this is about 80% of their production. For them, an international name is of great importance in order to create added value for their more sustainable products.

There are also many foreign hallmark holders (including in Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, next year probably North Africa) who in the Dutch winter season mainly grow vegetables for the Dutch supermarkets.

When developing the name and logo, we tested ‘On the way to PlanetProof’ with a consumer panel; they found no problem with (the understanding of) the name.

It is important that farmers and horticulturists who grow according to On the way to PlanetPoof are also appreciated for their efforts. That does not always happen. On the Way to PlanetProof aims to stimulate the sustainability of agriculture. Appreciation, in whatever form, is a prerequisite for success in this regard.

The actual price, however, is determined by the market. The Dutch government is looking into how all parties in the chain can ensure that efforts to produce more sustainably are rewarded appropriately.

Only farmers, horticulturalists and trading companies that meet strict requirements are allowed to use the quality label On the way to PlanetProof. Their products are certified if they have been produced in this more sustainable manner. Traders, packers and processors of products must also meet the requirements. This is all checked by external, independent parties.

For each sector there is a certification scheme with requirements. When a (potential) certificate holder meets all the requirements, he can be certified for On the way to PlanetProof by an independent certification body.

Select a sector here to view the certification scheme.

If a certificate holder does not comply with requirements, for example if a farmer has used an unauthorized pesticide after sowing, this will come to light during the inspection. For minor violations there is a period to correct mistakes made; for serious violations the certificate is withdrawn or not granted.

On the way to PlanetProof has over 2500 participating companies.

Yes, SMK is an independent non-profit organisation. SMK stimulates the sustainability of products and services by developing and managing certification schemes. SMK is committed to independent and high-quality scheme management. SMK works according to a careful and transparent process. To promote confidence in the quality of scheme development and management, SMK allows itself to be audited. SMK is a member of the Association of Scheme Administrators and complies with the Dutch Technical Agreement /NTA 8813. An external assessor checks SMK every two years.

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