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About On the way to PlanetProof


Certification scheme Plant Products


Criteria 2023 for plant products On the way to PlanetProof

Publication date: 21 December 2022

From 2023, new requirements will apply for On the way to PlanetProof Plant Products certification. After the input from many organisations, certificate holders and the decisions of the Board Experts, the revision has been successfully completed. SMK announces the requirements that will be valid for all of Europe valid from January 1st, 2023. There is a transition period for certificate holders of two months. Due to the current growing season, a transition period of five months applies to the countries of Italy, Portugal and Spain.

What will change?

The new certification scheme promotes the sustainable development of agricultural production and is in line with the constantly growing sustainability requirements set by society. Most of the certification scheme remains the same, but there are few important changes. Due to the publication of the Chain of Custody certification scheme this year, the criteria for trade and retail were removed from the Plant products certification scheme. Some examples of criteria changes in the certification scheme are:

  • Energy and climate: more focus on energy consumption and green energy.
  • Crop protection: update of high-risk active substance lists and active substance limits for some crops.
  • Biodiversity: more requirements are set to increase biodiversity on farms by taking more measures. In addition, open cultivation companies will have an overview map of the nature and landscape elements available from 2024 and will work with a farm nature plan from 2025.
  • Water: the efforts made by certificate holders have been related to the risk of water scarcity in their region. New optional measures have been added to use water efficiently.
  • Packaging requirements: these have been harmonised with the requirements in the Chain of Custody scheme.

Check the revised certification scheme and the explanation to see the changes for your situation. You can find the documents on the website.

How the new certification scheme was developed

The revision started with a request to all stakeholders for suggestions for changes. Subsequently, proposals were developed in consultation with an international supervisory committee, various researchers and advisers and the Technical Working Group. The proposals were submitted for feedback during the consultation round. All responses from the consultation round have been presented to the Board of Experts. Based on the input, the Board has balanced ambition and feasibility and decided on the final certification scheme.

Commitment of growers and call to trading companies and retail

Over the past five years, growers of various plant products have worked hard and invested to have their products certified. With their knowledge and experience, they have also made a valuable contribution to the development of the new certification scheme. Therefore, SMK thanks all growers who make On the way to PlanetProof products available. SMK calls out the trading companies and retail to enable and encourage sustainable agricultural production, by rewarding the efforts of the growers.