Friday, September 22, 2006

Fair Trading in Montreal

There is a strong effort these days by social activists around the world to bring in products that are traded in a more equitable manner. Part of the drive includes small businesses like The Flower Pot that take small steps towards promoting fair trade products. My employer, The Flower Pot, is slowly getting more involved in this process. However, there are several reasons this is slow. First, there is no truly centralized way to control the labeling of fair trade products, so it is difficult to ascertain what kind of sustainability efforts go behind our floral products. Second, products that have been targeted by the fair trade movement are often heavily traded food products, especially beverages like coffee and tea. So in my opinion the concept of fair trade flowers is quite young. The Flower Pot discovered that it is difficult to find fair trade whosalers of floral products. As was mentioned in a past blog, The Flower Pot offers a selection of flowers certified by Florverde. The Florverde label is applied to the growers focusing on social and environmental issues. To expand efforts for fair trade, The Flower Pot is on the lookout for more wholesalers of fair trade products in Montreal.

In my opinion, The Flower Pot is already part of a more local effort towards a fair trading system. Fortunately, many of our non-floral products are locally made Quebec products. They are brought to you directly from small to mid-size producers and farmers. For instance, we get orchids from local growers, carry products from Montreal’s Atwater Market where farmers sell directly, and even carry handcrafted art made in Quebec acquired directly from the artist.

I would like your opinion on the need for fair trade. Do you think it makes sense for small businesses like The Flower Pot to drive towards fair trade products? How much do you care about the origins of something you buy?

Also, if you’re someone involved in fair trade practices in Montreal, please get in touch! I’d like to know ways The Flower Pot can become more involved with fair trade.

To leave you, here are a few definitions of fair trade yielded by Google. Also, visit équiterre, promoters of fair trade in Montreal.


Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!