Human Flower Project

Orrington, MAINE USA

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Princeton, MAINE USA

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Flower Ethics: How Deep Is Your Love?

More and more, buying anything is an act subject to moral scrutiny. In an economic slump, how are conscientious consumers of flowers responding?

imageWatering gerberas on a Kenyan flower farm

Photo: Business Daily

Just two months ago, the Fairtrade Labeling Organization was cheering. Its record of buying habits in 2007 showed a 47% increase in global sales of Fairtrade certified products – including flowers.

Since 2004, Fairtrade has certified flower farms in Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Zimbabwe that have proven “safe and acceptable working conditions for their employees. Consumers can buy Fairtrade flowers that carry the FAIRTRADE Mark knowing that the rights of the workers who have produced them are being respected,” the organization writes. “An additional payment, known as the Fairtrade Premium is included in the price for projects to improve the social conditions of workers and their communities.”

The group’s flower division plans to introduce new standards October 31.

One retail expert, quoted by Dominique Patton in Business Daily (Nairobi), declared in June that fairtrade goods, flowers included, have captured a permanent chunk of the consumables market. Joanne Denney-Finch, of London-based IGD, said then of fairtrade goods that concerns about the economy “are unlikely to have a significant impact on ‘ethical’ shopping, which is based on ‘deep-seated beliefs.’

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Posted by Julie on 08/23 at 02:24 PM
Culture & SocietyCut-Flower TradePermalink