Conrad Fafard Inc., a subsidiary of Syngenta, has received Veriflora certification for responsible horticultural peat moss production and peatlands management, allowing it to begin offering certified peat moss products. The Veriflora certification program recognizes Fafard for producing peat moss in compliance with rigorous environmental, social and product-quality standards. Fafard, an industry leader in supplying growing mixes for professional ornamental growers and home gardeners, uses peat moss in formulating most of its blends.
“Receiving the Veriflora certification is very important to Fafard because it demonstrates our commitment to meeting America’s most comprehensive sustainability standards to address industry and grower needs,” said Bruce Adams, Fafard head of operations. “This certification elevates us in the industry and demonstrates our concern for day-to-day operations, our producers and ensuring we produce the highest quality products possible. It also validates our long-term commitment to treating our workers fairly and being a good citizen in our communities.”
The Veriflora program is administered by Scientific Certification Systems, an independent, third-party certifier of environmental, sustainability and food safety standards. In the United States, the Veriflora ecolabel is a recognized sustainability certification for potted plants and cut flowers. To receive the Veriflora certification, peat moss producers must meet stringent requirements that include:
- Restoring carbon-accumulating wetland ecosystems (peatlands)
- Reducing the environmental footprint during production
- Conserving resources and energy
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
- Minimizing residual materials sent to landfills
- Meeting product quality, safety and purity standards
- Stimulating innovation
- Ensuring fair labor practices and community benefits.
The certification process involves detailed on-site inspections, document audits, in-depth interviews and annual follow-up to maintain the certification.
“It takes a lot of time and effort to demonstrate compliance with these requirements,” said Ernie Basque, bog operations manager for Fafard Peat Moss. “Fafard peat moss was already being produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner, but consumers can now have the added confidence that independent Veriflora certification provides.”
Conrad Fafard, headquartered in Agawam, Mass., is the third-largest manufacturer of packaged growing media for professional ornamental growers and retail outlets in North America. Acquired by Syngenta in 2006, the company owns and operates eight production facilities in the United States and Canada as well as peat bogs in Minnesota and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Manitoba. For more information, go to www.fafard.com or call 1-800-732-8667.