The Flandria label
Flandria is the quality label for vegetables and fruit that is used by the 5 top auctions in Belgium (under the umbrella of LAVA). One of the requirements in the Flandria specifications is environmentally conscious cultivation: insect pests are combated with their natural predators. Flandria was set up in 1995, with specifications for tomatoes and chicory. Since then, the system has expanded so that there are now more than 60 types of vegetables and fruit under the Flandria label. These include tomatoes, lettuce, asparagus, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, aubergines, courgettes, mushrooms, chicory, cucumber, apples and pears. These products can be identified in the shops by the packaging marked with the Flandria logo.
The Flandria label is issued only to the best products at the auctions. In order to achieve that perfect quality which the Flandria products have come to be associated with, every link in the chain has to take its share of responsibility.
Since 2012 Flandria integrated the logo of Responsibly Fresh. More informations : www.responsibly-fresh.com
The farmers who want their products to be sold under the Flandria label have to comply with a fixed set of specifications with conditions. The requirements imposed cover such things as growing techniques, hygiene and crop protection methods. In addition, the specifications also describe the grading method, the quality that has to be achieved and the indications on the packaging. This information about the day of harvesting, the grower's number etc means that the origin of the product is 100% traceable.
The growers' association sees to it that the growers comply exactly with the specifications for their products. This is done through daily checks on quality and grading. In addition, there are also site visits, which delve further into the production conditions.
The checks on the products are not only conducted internally (by auction staff or LAVA staff) - some are also external. The examination bureau CKCert checks the auctions in terms of their inspections and the products coming in. On top of this, random checks are also carried out at the farms of a number of growers. Certagro is recognised as an independent body for these overarching inspections.