Greenhouse Canada

Kalamazoo growers joining MPS-ABC

February 11, 2011  By Dave Harrison

Feb. 11, 2011 – Three more U.S. growers have enrolled in the MPS-ABC environmental certification program.

Feb. 11, 2011 – Three more U.S. growers have enrolled in the MPS-ABC environmental certification program.

Ron Sportel, of Sportel Greenhouses, David Westrate, of Westrate Greenhouses, and Dennis Wenke, of Wenke Greenhouses are quite impressed with MPS.


“We decided to begin the program because we found MPS to be a good fit for our business and not too cumbersome,” says Sportel.

“MPS gives us the opportunity to track our costs of inputs such as chemicals and give us benchmarks to compare to other growers, while being better stewards to the environment,” adds Wenke.

MPS, they say, will help them with marketing. “As customers ask what we are doing to become better suppliers for them,” says Westrate, “we have information readily available through our quarterly MPS reports which document our performance and improvement in our use of energy, chemicals and fertilizers and demonstrate our environmental awareness. For example, we recently began our recycling program for paper, cardboard and plastic and found it is not too difficult”.

Wenke agrees. “We were already recycling, but I was surprised how easy it was for my head grower to begin the MPS reporting. It gives us better inventory records for our chemicals and fertilizers and helps us be more responsible with the use of them.”

Sportel says the program “has helped my growers be even more accurate and accountable on their record-keeping and use of all inputs. This awareness is good for all of us, including our bottom line.”

Wenke says he and his colleagues believe the MPS program “will be good for our retail customers and even better for us.”

In a related announcement, the Kalamazoo Flower Group has taken steps to obtain its MPS Florimark TraceCert certification for handlers/wholesalers of flowers and ornamentals. This program is specially designed for cooperatives and groups that ship flowers and ornamentals from their growers, and for the wholesale/handler chain.

MPS grower inquiries in North America can be directed to western coordinator Charlotte Smit at 805-524-9685 or, or to eastern coordinator Sandy Hering at 508-758-3008 or


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