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Rancho Tissue Technologies, Olson's Greenhouse earn VeriFlora certification

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Companies recognized for sustainable initiatives

Garden Center | January 18, 2010

Two green industry companies recently got "greener." Rancho Tissue Technologies and Olson's Greenhouse both received VeriFlora’s Sustainably Grown Certification, marking that the businesses use sustainable practices in the production of their plants.

VeriFlora is North America’s first eco-label certification standard for the floral industry. Considered the gold standard, it is the most rigorous flower and plant certification program in the market.

“More than a seal of approval, VeriFlora represents the true depth of Rancho Tissue Technologies’ commitment to producing the finest quality tissue culture plants while maintaining the safety and health of our employees and the environment,” said Heather May, founder and owner of Rancho Tissue Technologies.

Olson's Greenhouse, likewise, met stringent standards to earn certification. “For some greenhouses, growth and developing environmentally sustainable production practices represents real challenges," said Dr. Michael Keyes, Certification Manager for Scientific Certification Systems. "In the case of Olson’s Greenhouse, expansion was seamless.”

The VeriFlora standard establishes rigorous performance criteria and a framework for continuous improvement in sustainability areas including crop production, resource conservation and energy efficiency, ecosystem protection, integrated waste management, fair labor practices, community benefits and product quality. Companies must meet stringent requirements for chemical use in their facilities, as well as high standards for worker safety and workplace conditions.

Rancho Tissue Technologies’ extensive sustainability efforts encompass every aspect of the business, including:

• Selecting plants that require less water and fewer chemicals

• Recycling and reusing all lab vessels plants are grown in

• Installing new growth chamber lighting to reduce energy usage and costs by at least 25 percent

• Weekly employee health, safety and quality training meetings

For Olson's Greenhouse, certification by Veriflora means that products grown by the company are independently certified as being produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.  It also identifies that the company enlists quality, employee-friendly management practices which meet and exceed pre-determined standards of excellence. 

“As we started working with Veriflora, we could see that many of the things we were doing as a company was already in-line with the Veriflora certification program," said Bart Olson, president of Olson’s Greenhouse. "With Veriflora’s help, we were able to identify additional areas where improvement would be beneficial.  The certification process has not only helped Olson’s Greenhouse in its quest for sustainability, it has made us an all-around better company. "
 

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