Friday, July 20, 2007

Fair Trade Flowers – Take Two!

A few years ago, December 2005 to be exact, we reported about the use of fair trade flowers in the flower industry. To recap, fair trade essentially means offering a fair price when goods are traded internationally. Fair trade works by paying less money to the middleman, and more money to the actual farmers or producers of the goods. It’s a strategy to alleviate poverty in developing nations, and to ensure sustainable development in those areas.

As more people are becoming conscious of buying fair trade products, it has become a concern in the flower industry as well. Most cut flowers are imported from Latin American and East Africa; the flower industry is in fact the fastest growing sector of the Kenyan economy. By offering a fair price for these international products, florists can do their part in ensuring sustainable development.

However, fair trade isn’t just an international issue. It can also mean supporting local industries and paying a fair price to local producers to support our own economy. For The Flower Pot, that means buying from local Quebec growers for our flowers and plants.

It may seem that fair trade has only surfaced as a recent concern, but the founding organizations of the movement – such as Oxfam – have been around since the 1950s. Fair trade isn't a “trend” that will come and go – it’s already proven that it’s here to stay!

Further Reading:

“An Alternative Economic Model,” CBC Online, April 2007