The Agreement for International Responsible Business Conduct (IRBC, Dutch: IMVO) in the Floricultural sector brings together the private sector, NGOs, a trade union, and the Dutch government, to address human rights risks and environmental risks in the value chain with the aim to create a more sustainable production and trade in ornamental plants. Many of the ornamental plants you find in the stores are sourced and traded across the globe. The complexity of the international value chain calls for a collective effort to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts on people and planet. Accordingly, the parties have joined forces under the IRBC agreement to leverage their efforts.

 

International guidelines and Due Diligence

The collaboration under the IRBC agreement is pursuant to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (OECD Guidelines) and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), whereby the Parties’ intention is to make substantial progress, within a three-year period, towards improving the circumstances of those who may experience adverse impacts in connection with the floriculture sector.

The OECD guidelines and UNGPs agreements require companies to carry out risk-based due diligence to avoid and address adverse impacts on people and planet associated with their value chain. Due diligence is a central theme in the IRBC agreement. Each company participating in this Agreement will ensure a satisfactory due diligence process.

Connection with the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative

The IRBC Agreement for floriculture was signed in 2019, with the aim of promoting sustainability throughout the value chain whilst acknowledging the sector’s existing platforms and initiatives. As such, the IRBC Agreement for floriculture builds on the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI). The Agreement will support, complement and where possible accelerate the international floriculture agenda of the FSI.

Who is involved?

The Agreement has been signed by private sector players (companies, sector organisations and an auction), a trade union, NGOs and the Dutch Government. As signatories, these parties contribute to the realisation of the ambitions in the Agreement. In addition to the signatories, the Agreement is supported by several stakeholders, who have expressed their support for specific activities described in it.

Governance

The secretariat of the IRBC agreement is facilitated by IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, with managerial support from a Steering Committee and implementing support from thematic working groups.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee oversees the progress of the IRBC Agreement and is tasked with decision making related to overall strategic issues. The Steering Committee is comprised of representatives from the private sector, NGOs, a trade union, and the Dutch government.

  • Ted van der Put

    Executive Advisor

    IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative

  • Ellen Lakeman

    Private Sector

    Dümmen Orange

  • Nada van Schouwenburg

    CSO

    WomenWin

  • Raimon Loman

    Private Sector

    Dutch Flower Group

  • René Kouwenhoven

    Trade Union

    FNV

  • Stefanie Miltenburg

    Auction

    Royal FloraHolland

  • Steven Smit

    Government

    Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Secretariat

Contact the IRBC Secretariat for more information.

Resources

  • IMVO Convenant Sierteeltsector - Tekst (Dutch)

    Formele tekst van het IMVO Convenant Sierteeltsector

    More info
  • IRBC Agreement Floriculture sector - Text (English)

    Formal text of the IRBC Agreement Floriculture

    More info
  • Sector Map IRBC Agreement Floriculture (Dutch)

    Results of a sector risk assessment performed by the IRBC Due Diligence working group

    More info