For Greencap, sustainability means ensuring the sustainability of the land we farm. We know that what we do now will have an impact in the future. So it’s all about making the best possible decisions to enjoy what the Earth and Nature have to offer and to ensure our long-term success by respecting them.
As part of this sustainable management, Greencap is constantly seeking to improve its working methods and to act in a reasoned manner.
Here are some concrete actions:
Analysis and optimisation of inputs
The necessary phytosanitary treatments and amendments to our agricultural and horticultural crops are applied in a reasoned manner. We use modern techniques that allow us to control our spraying and application with great precision using micro-doses.
The installation of nesting boxes makes it possible to compensate for the lack of natural habitats for the birds (Christmas tree plantations being, moreover, privileged habitats for certain species of birds that had almost disappeared). The presence of many birds of diverse species also contributes to the natural regulation of insect populations, some of which are harmful to our crops.
The establishment of natural hedges in the fir plots has several objectives. First of all, the hedge helps to promote biodiversity, limit soil erosion and maintain elements of the rural landscape. For Greencap, they are above all a way of sheltering and fixing populations of birds and auxiliary insects, natural predators of Christmas tree pests.
“Green tree” trees
In Brittany and in Belgium, several of our plots are managed without pesticides. Year after year, we experiment with new methods of crop maintenance: mechanical weeding, grassing… The long production cycle does not yet allow us to draw all the lessons from these experiments, nor for the moment to generalise these methods of production. We do not yet know if we will be able to produce a tree of sufficient quality for market demand. However, we continue to invest in this direction.
In the management of daily life, Greencap is also taking action, whether it is through waste sorting, maximum reduction of non-biodegradable or reusable packaging, water management, maximum reduction of travel, the use of solar panels or other small simple gestures, we are very attentive to our footprint.
Our commitment to sustainable practices is also reflected in our various certifications.
Our company, important in its sector of activity, remains a small SME. We do not currently have an ISO-type quality approach in our company, but we are certified at various levels for our production:
We have been a member of the MPS label for more than ten years, which notes the environmental impact of our activities. By recording monthly our consumption of inputs (energy, fertilisers, phytosanitary products, etc.) and our waste management method, MPS awards a qualification (A+ being the highest). The relevance of the registrations is verified by regular audits carried out by MPS agents. The score obtained makes it possible to determine the sustainability of the production, and allows us to adapt our production methods in order to constantly improve this sustainability. Our two sites currently have A+ status.
Plante bleue :
This is the French national reference certification that officially guarantees that the plants have been produced in an eco-responsible manner by certified horticultural or nursery production companies. To do so, we respect precise specifications, controlled by an independent body, relating to crop protection, fertilisation, water and waste management, biodiversity and the environment, social and societal rules. Greencap’s French site is currently certified Plante Bleue Level 2 (certification of good production practices). The objective is to obtain Level 3 certification (High Environmental Value), but there are currently a few specificities that stand in the way of this.
We have been Label Rouge certified Christmas tree producers since 2017, and we are one of the producers at the origin of this label, which we have been working on since 2012. The Label Rouge specifications involve a whole range of production methods that guarantee the high quality of our products. We have chosen to label almost all of our production, which implies a strict recording of all our practices throughout the entire production cycle.
In Belgium as in France, we are actively involved alongside our colleagues within the associations that are the UAP (Union Ardennaise des Pépiniéristes) and the AFSNN (Association Française du Sapin de Noël Naturel). These two entities represent our profession to various bodies, and have both a technical and communication role around the natural Christmas tree.