valentine`s day 2014 - swiss



valentine`s day 2014 - swiss
This Media Review is a collection of the articles published in February 2014
about the flower industry and Valentine's Day, brought to us by Union Fleurs
members and distributed exclusively to our membership.
Have an insight on what has been said this
> In the local and international press
> Both online and in the printed press
> On the blogosphere
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you will find good use of this report.
This Media Review is not meant to be exhaustive but is based on selected information available to the Union Fleurs Office. It is a service offered by Union Fleurs for the exclusive use of
its members. Union Fleurs is in no way responsible for the content of the articles referred to.
The inclusion of any links to other websites does not necessarily justify a recommendation
or endorse the views expressed within them.
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Union Fleurs - 2014
Table of contents
>> “Valentine’s Day 2014: The Real Story Behind the Rose Bouquet” by
Vittorio Hernandez, International Business Times, 14 February 2014
>> “No bed of roses for romance farmers as import market grows”, by
Kerry Staight, ABC (Swan Hill), 8 February 2014.
p. 5
>> “Valentinstag bringt dem Handel 105 Mio. Euro”, Österreich, 11 February
>> “22 Millionen für Wiener Handel”, Wirtschaftsblatt, 11 February 2014.
p. 9
>> “Fair zu Mensch un Umwelt”, Tips, 5 February 2014.
p. 11
>> “Une affaire de coeur et de conscience” by Marie-Fleurette Beaudoin,, 28 January 2014.
>> “Epines africaines pour les fleuristes belges”, by Bernard Padoan, Le
Soir, 14 February 2014.
>> “Valentine’s Day sparks war of rose in New Zealand”, People’s Daily
Online, 11 February 2014.
>> “Weakening Peso is Valentine’s Gift For Colombian Flower Growers”,
Nuestra Tele Noticias 24, 11 February 2014.
>> “Ethiopia: Flower Merchants Love Valentine’s Day”, by Hiwot Seyoum,
All Africa, 16 February 2014.
>> “Pour la Saint Valentin Priorité aux Roses d’Israël”, Israel Valley, 14
February 2014.
>> “À la Saint-Valentin, les roses de contrefaçon affluent dans les rayons”
by Isabelle de Foucaud, Le Figaro, 13 February 2014.
>> “La Saint-Valentin, un jackpot pour la Colombie et beaucoup d’ouvrières
célibataires”, L’express, 13 February 2014.
>> “Saint-Valentin : dans les coulisses pas très romantiques du business
de la rose” by Yvan du Roy, BastaMag, 14 February 2014.
>> “Valentinstag: Gutes Ergebnis für Großhandel”, BGI Pressemitteilung, 21
February 2014.
>> “Rose prices soar ahead of Valentine’s Day”, by Manokriti Bedi, The Times
Of India, 8 February 2014.
>> “When love blooms, so does rose business” by Rohith B R, The Times Of
India, 8 February 2014.
>> “Bangalore’s rose exports bloom ahead of Valentine’s Day”, The Hindu,
6 February 2014.
>> “Floriculture: International Markets”, By Dr. Sangita Ladha, Floriculture
Today, February 2014
p. 4
>> “Debt-ridden Karuturi Flowers closes shop”, by James Ngare, Kenya
News Online, 11 February 2014.
>> “Karuturi flower farm put under receivership” by Antony Gitonga, Standard
Digital, 11 February 2014.
>> “Horticulture export earnings drop again”, Business Daily, 11 February
21/03/2014 2014.
p. 10
p. 12
p. 13
p. 16
p. 17
p. 19
p. 20
p. 22
p. 24
p. 26
p. 30
p. 31
p. 32
p. 33
p. 34
p. 36
p. 38
p. 39
>> “More than just a rose”, The Times Of Malta, 9 February 2014.
p. 41
>> “Bloemenexport Valentijn leed niet onder veilingstaking”, Persbericht
VGB, 17 February 2014.
p. 43
>> “Es muss die rote Rose sein - News Leben: Gesellschaft - thunertagblatt”,
by Juliane Lutz,, 14 February 2014.
>> “Valentinstag lässt Kassen von Blumenläden klingeln” by Rohith B R,, 14 February 2014.
>> “Blühende Kreationen, die von Herzen kommen”
>> “Ein Tag zum Feiern oder Frust mit Blumen?”, Bieler Tagblatt, 14 February
>> “Herzen, rote Rosen und Romantik”, Bieler Tagblatt, 14 February 2014
>> “Rosige Zeiten im Zeichen der Liebe”, by Anette Wolffram Eugster, MigrosMagazin, 10 February 2014
>> “Rosiges Geschäft mit Valentin”, by Sherin Häring, Tagblatt, 14 February
>> “Rosige Zeiten für die Blumenbörse”, by Ginger Hebel, Tagblatt der Stadt
Zürich, 14 February 2014
>> “Colombia Exports 500 Mn Flowers For Valentine’s Day”, Money Indices,
15 February 2014.
>> “Europe is in a sea of roses for Valentine’s”,, 14
February 2014.
>> “The cost of a Valentine’s rose - poor Kenyan workers on £30 a month”
by Tom Parry, The Mirror, 13 February 2014.
>> “Where are those Valentine’s Day flowers from, anyway?”, by Laura
Securon, The Daily Journal, 14 February 2014.
>> “Almost Half Of All Fresh Flowers In Europe Come From Kenya, And
These Investors Want In” by Kathleen Caulderwood, International Business
Times, 14 February 2014.
>> “Are Your Valentine’s Day Roses Part of a Responsible Supply Chain?”,
by Jean-Bapriste Andrieu, BSR-Blog, 14 February 2014.
>> “Stop and Smell the Sustainable Flowers: Valentine’s Day Alternatives”,
Sari Kamin and Leah Eden, The Huffington Post - Blog, 12 February 2014.
>> “The carbon footprint of giving one red rose on Valentine’s Day”,
Democratic Underground, 11 February 2014.
>> “Cut Flowers—A Major Yet Little-Known Source of Toxic Pesticides”, by
Joseph Mercola,, 10 February 2014.
>> “Where Did Your Roses Grow?”, by Elena Day, Crozet Gazette, 8 February
>> “The thorny issue of Valentine’s Day rose pricing”, by Mitch Lipka,
Reuters, 6 February 2014.
>> “Sweet-smelling success for Valentine’s Day”, by dean stiles, Global Cold
Chain news, 18 February 2014.
>> “Ted Case Study”, World Intellectual Property Organization, February 2014.
p. 44
p. 45
p. 50
p. 51
p. 55
p. 56
p. 59
p. 60
p. 61
p. 62
p. 63
p. 67
p. 69
p. 70
p. 71
p. 73
p. 75
p. 79
p. 81
p. 84
p. 85
Friday, February 14, 2014 9:45 AM EST
Valentine’s Day 2014: The Real Story Behind the
Rose Bouquet – Kenyan Worker Snips 8,000
Roses an Hour for £1 Daily Wage
By Vittorio Hernandez
On any given Valentine's Day, the red rose is probably the most common flower
given to wives, girlfriends and female friends. Each year, thousands of roses and
other flowers are shipped, arranged, sold and delivered for Feb 14 and other
special holidays as an expression of love or friendship, or sometime to ask
The British daily, Mirror, decided to track the path of roses sold by one of the
biggest flower wholesaler in the country, Finlays, and the journey brought the
writer to Naivasha, Kenya, where Finlay owns flower farms.
About 25 per cent of cut flowers in Europe are shipped from Kenya, which started
the industry in the 1980s and is the African nation's third-largest source of
foreign currency at $120 million a year.
There, the writer found a woman, who, during the peak of preparation for the day
of hearts, must cut 8,000 roses every 60 minutes or more than two stems per
The work is done in a hot polythene tunnel, and for her efforts, the harried
employee is paid only about £1 a day.
If she were to buy in Britain's high street a bouquet of a dozen roses, the woman
would have to work over two weeks to afford the flowers they handle daily since
the price tag is £20 on V-Day.
During February, she harvests roses four times a day, beginning from 7 am to 5
pm, six days a week with just one-hour lunch break. Her quota is to fill 40
buckets with 200 roses each every hour.
Finlays, which owns the Flamingo and Kingfisher flower farms along the banks
of Lake Naivasha, sell the blooms to Fairtrade-certified buyers which assume
workers from where the flowers came receive a better deal.
Brenda Achieng, legal and human resources director of Finlays Horticulture
Kenya, belied the claim of workers that they receive low wages. She said Finlays
pays one of the highest rates in the flower industry and all employees get above
the minimum wage, with the lowest-paid receiving 2,000 Kenya shillings more a
month compared to the wages other farms pay.
Achieng added that workers also get housing allowance, medical care, transport
and subsidised meals that are nutritious.
Some relief, however, appears to be on the way for Kenya's flower farm workers
with the approval by the Kenyan parliament of a law that would almost double the
salaries of flower farm employees.
Rose faming is a labour-intensive endeavour since before the blooms are cut, it
needs to be watered, pruned and treated. The best roses are sold through Dutch
auctions and the lesser ones in European grocery stores.
No bed of roses for romance farmers as
import market grows
Landline By Kerry Staight
Updated Sat 8 Feb 2014, 2:54pm AEDT
Vale ntine 's Day is a se rious
busine ss if y ou' re a rose grow er.
"We do three months work in about
four days over Valentine's Day,"
NSW grower Nicky Mann says.
While demand skyrockets each
February 14, Mrs Mann says big
romantic occasions don't necessarily
equal big returns.
"I'd prefer to do funeral work than
wedding work," she says.
PHOTO: Sarah Sammon's Swan Hill rose farm
specialises in petals. (Landline: Kerry Staight)
MAP: Warnervale 2259
"We really would just like nice even production and people just buy nicely all the
way through the year."
Mrs Mann and her husband, Wade, grow more than 40 varieties of roses in
greenhouses at Warnervale, north of Sydney.
She is one of two rose growers to receive a Nuffield Scholarship this year.
It is the first time the program, which promotes excellence in agriculture, has
recognised rose producers.
But both recipients will investigate diversification and business management, amid
growing competition in the flower industry.
"I'd say the increase in imports has probably gone up 40 to 50 per cent in the last
two years," Mrs Mann says.
The Manns were both involved in major agricultural industries such as tobacco,
wheat and cattle in their home country Zimbabwe before moving into the bloom
business 20 years ago.
"I wouldn't say I'm a big romantic," Mr Mann says.
"Roses [were] advised to me many years ago back in Zimbabwe because there
was such a great demand for roses over on the European market."
Putting down new roots in Australia
The family employed about 120
workers in Zimbabwe, exported
more than 200 tonnes of roses a
year and planned to continue
But the couple and their three young
children were ordered to leave their
farm under the Mugabe
Government's controversial land
redistribution policy.
PHOTO: Rose farmer Nicky Mann, pictured with her
husband Wade at their Warnervale farm, is
diversifying into hydroponic berries.
(Landline: Kerry Staight)
"Why we decided to come to
Australia was they started killing farmers ... people who weren't willingly going off
their farms," Mrs Mann says.
To get a business skills visa, the Manns had to show they were technically
advanced in their field, so they decided to set-up a hydroponics operation, even
though they had grown roses in soil in Zimbabwe.
The investment paid off just in time.
"We got nearly down to broke and then we started producing, so we've been
above broke since then," Mrs Mann says.
Now, competition is threatening profitability. Imports from Ecuador and Colombia
have prompted the couple to diversify into hydroponic berry production.
"We've loved our roses and been very loyal to them," Mrs Mann says.
"But we also see the writing on the wall that there's a part of our production that
we won't
be able to sell because it's already been taken up by imports." 6/95
Finding pink shoots in edible flowers
Fellow Nuffield scholar Sarah Sammon runs an outdoor rose farm with her mother
Jan Slater at Swan Hill in Victoria.
"To be recognised as farming scholars is a giant leap forward," Ms Sammon says.
"And two females in the one year as well. It's fantastic for the industry."
Ms Sammon's farm was the first in
Australia to specialise in rose petals,
which are freeze-dried to retain their
fresh appearance.
"[At the time] no-one in Australia was
doing rose petals," she says.
"Far more people told us that the
business wouldn't work than those
that told us it would be successful."
PHOTO: Swan Hill rose farmer Sarah Sammon keeps
an eye on colour trends. (Landline: Kerry Staight)
Unlike Nicky Mann's business,
weddings are the bread and butter of Sarah Sammon's petal farm.
Keeping up-to-date with colour trends and celebrity nuptials is legitimate
"Wills and Kate's wedding ... that was absolutely huge and we had to watch every
detail of that wedding basically because that set the trends," she says.
"I'm constantly looking at American websites, looking at the new bridesmaids
dresses colours that are coming out."
Ten years after starting the business, the mother and daughter have paid off their
business loans.
But demand has levelled off, with increased competition. There are now more
than 30 petal suppliers vying for a slice of the wedding cake.
Ms Sammon is using her Nuffield Scholarship to look into the commercial viability
of diversifying into edible rose petals.
"You've really got to keep changing to stay at the top of the game and to keep
ahead of the competition," she says.
While neither Sarah Sammon or Nicky Mann are giving up on roses, the reality of
the market place is taking some of the rewards out of romance.
For more on this story watch Landline this Sunday February 9 at
ABC 1.
noon on
Topics: rural, farm-labour, community-and-multicultural-festivals, warnervale-2259, swan-hill-3585
First posted Sat 8 Feb 2014, 12:59pm AEDT
Seite 20 / 11. Februar 2014 / Gesamtauflage: 409810
Artikel gleichlautend erschienen in allen Ausgaben, beispielshaft geclippt aus der Mutation: "Wien"
Österreichische Blumenwerbung
Valentinstag bringt dem Handel 105 Mio. Euro
Dieses Dokument dient ausschließlich Ihrer persönlichen Information. Die Weitergabe oder Übermittlung an Dritte ist nicht gestattet
Ausgabe 4537/2014 / Seite 4 / 11. Februar 2014 / Gesamtauflage: 34197
Österreichische Blumenwerbung
22 Millionen für Wiener Handel
Dieses Dokument dient ausschließlich Ihrer persönlichen Information. Die Weitergabe oder Übermittlung an Dritte ist nicht gestattet
Ausgabe 06/2014 / Seite 23 / 5. Februar 2014 / Gesamtauflage: 800300
Österreichische Blumenwerbung
Fair zu Mensch und Umwelt
Dieses Dokument dient ausschließlich Ihrer persönlichen Information. Die Weitergabe oder Übermittlung an Dritte ist nicht gestattet
Un e affaire d e co eu r et d e co n scien ce
Par Marie-Fleurette Beaudoin
Savez-vous qu’après le café, le cacao et le sucre, on peut maintenant acheter des fleurs coupées équitables?
On parle de plus en plus de protection de l’environnement, de prise de conscience globale et d’effort écologique. D’où
viennent les marchandises que nous consommons et dans quelles conditions ont-elles été produites? Des révélations sur
le travail des enfants et les pratiques écologiques désastreuses de dizaines de compagnies ont affecté plusieurs secteurs
de consommation.
L’industrie florale a eu sa part de reportages-chocs sur les méthodes de culture polluantes et les conditions de travail
désastreuses de milliers de travailleurs – et surtout de travailleuses – d’Amérique du Sud: exposition à
des pesticides responsables de maladies chroniques, gaspillage et pollution de l’eau potable et contamination des sols.
Offrir des fleurs est synonyme de beauté et de plaisir. Selon l’entreprise Sierra de Montréal, les ventes
des fleurs équitables représentent déjà de 15 à 20 % des ventes totales de fleurs au Québec. Son programme Sierra
Eco, mis en place en 2004, vise à promouvoir la culture de fleursdans des conditions qui respectent les travailleurs et
l’environnement. On peut les acheter pour un coût légèrement plus élevé: les producteurs, eux, reçoivent de 2 à 4
cents de plus par fleur. Pour le moment, une vingtaine de fleuristes à travers le Québec vendent ces fleurs (pour la
liste, voir le site Internet de Sierra Eco (
Produites dans des fermes colombiennes et équatoriennes, deux pays importants dans la production de fleurs coupées,
les fleurs portant le label Sierra Eco sont cultivées avec le moins depesticides possible ou encore avec
des pesticides biodégradables approuvés par l’Organisation mondiale de la santé. Leur utilisation est rationalisée et doit
respecter la santé des ouvriers qui sont formés et munis d’équipement pour se protéger. Un système de traitement et
de purification des eaux empêche la contamination des puits d’eau potable de la population locale.
Autre innovation, les entreprises qui participent au programme doivent offrir des contrats de travail afin d’empêcher le
licenciement arbitraire qui prévaut dans ces pays. Les femmes enceintes disposent de congés de maternité, et un
horaire est aménagé pour les jeunes mamans pour leur permettre d’allaiter. Les entreprises sont encouragées à
participer à la vie des villages en subventionnant le salaire de professeurs ou en finançant la construction d’écoles ou de
dispensaires, améliorant ainsi grandement la vie des travailleurs et de leur famille.
La fête de la Saint-Valentin est un moment idéal pour dire d’une manière toute spéciale à nos proches que nous les
aimons. Cette année, pourquoi ne pas acheter des fleurs issues de commerce équitable, et ainsi ajouter à nos
promesses d’amour, une bonne conscience sociale.
Bonne Saint-Valentin à tous.
Epines africaines pour les
fleuristes belges
La métamorphose du marché de la fleur
pousse à la diversification
La Saint-Valentin reste
le moment de l’année
où l’on offre le plus de fleurs.
Le marché européen
n’est pas très dynamique.
La production africaine
est de plus en plus importante.
i vous avez oublié d’acheter votre bouquet, il est
encore temps. Mais ne
traînez pas : la file risque d’être
longue devant chez le fleuriste.
Devant la Fête des mères et la
Fête des secrétaires, la Saint-Valentin reste « le » moment pour
offrir des fleurs. A lui seul, le 14
février représente entre 10 et
15 % du chiffre d’affaires annuel
du secteur en Europe, où le
marché de vente au détail est
estimé à 38 milliards d’euros.
Un succès qui s’explique « en
grande partie par le traitement
des médias, explique Rudy Kriegels, directeur d’Interflora Belgique. Même s’il y a d’autres cadeaux qui ont du succès comme
les parfums, la lingerie ou les
restaurants, chaque homme se
sent presque obligé d’offrir des
fleurs à sa femme. »
De quoi redonner le sourire
aux fleuristes ? Pas sûr. « Il y a
une saturation du marché européen », prévient Sylvie Mamias,
secrétaire générale d’UnionFleurs, l’association internationale du commerce de fleurs. Les
explications sont multiples.
« Traditionnellement, en Europe, le marché de la fleur est lié
à des événements rituels comme
les mariages, les anniversaires,
les enterrements, pointe Syvie
Mamias. Or ces cérémonies sont
en perte de vitesse comme moments de consommation de
Bouquet ou plante en pot
Mais surtout, il y a la crise
économique. « L’impact est clair
et net, assure Rudy Kriegels. Les
gens ont moins de revenu disponible pour acheter des fleurs. »
« C’est surtout vrai ces derniers
mois, ajoute cette fleuriste
bruxelloise. On n’a pas moins de
clients, mais les montants dépensés sont moins importants.
Ou alors les gens prennent une
plante en pot, qui dure plus
longtemps qu’un bouquet ». Un
phénomène qui touche également les clients professionnels,
constate notre fleuriste qui réalise également des compositions
florales destinées aux bureaux.
« Les entreprises ont réduit
leurs budgets pour les événements,
Par exemple, on met des fleurs
fraîches chaque semaine à l’accueil, mais plus dans les bureaux des directeurs. »
Conséquence : « depuis cinq
ans, 500 fleuristes ont fermé
boutique dans notre pays, explique Marijke Walbers, secrétaire générale de l’Union royale
des fleuristes de Belgique. Il
reste environ 4.500 détaillants,
fleuristes et jardineries. » Ne
sont pas compris dans ce
chiffre : les supermarchés, stations-services et autres points
de vente non spécialisés, qui
proposent également des bouquets de fleurs. Or l’affirmation
de ces nouveaux acteurs représente un des changements les
plus significatifs de ces dernières années, pointe Sylvie Mamias d’UnionFleurs. Avec un
impact très net sur les prix : il
suffit de jeter un œil sur les publicités pour trouver des offres
de « bouquets de roses pour la
Saint-Valentin » à 4,50 euros les
dix dans telle ou telle grande
surface !
Certes, en Belgique, le phénomène reste limité : en 2012,
62 % des achats de fleurs ont
été effectués auprès de fleuristes, contre 13 % dans les
grandes surfaces. Mais en
Grande-Bretagne, par exemple,
les proportions sont inversées :
55 % d’achats dans les supermarchés contre 28 % en boutiques spécialisées. Pour l’heure,
les fleuristes belges préfèrent
relativiser. « L’achat en supermarché relève davantage de
l’impulsion, explique Marijke
Walbers. On y achète des fleurs
pour la maison. Mais quand on
veut faire un cadeau, on va chez
le fleuriste. » « L’évolution est la
même que dans chaque secteur,
précise Rudy Kriegels. Celui qui
vend simplement un bouquet se
met lui-même hors circuit. »
Pour le patron d’Interflora, le
fleuriste a une obligation de
créativité . Mais il doit aussi enrichir son offre. « De plus en
plus de fleuristes proposent des
articles de cadeaux, de la déco,
des bougies, dit-il. Ils doivent
aussi pouvoir combiner des
fleurs avec des articles comme
une bouteille de cava ou un
nounours. Cela permet de maintenir le budget. » ■
De Nairobi à Bruxelles en passant par Liège, en 48 heures
LE SOIR - 14.02.14
Bruxelles 9
6 bis
Paris (Rungis)
Nairobi- Liège
6552 km
250 tonnes
Chaque semaine, entre 10 et 14 vols en provenance d’Ethiopie, 2 du Kenya et entre 6 et 10 d’Israël débarquent des
fleurs sur le tarmac de Liège Airport. L’aéroport s’est imposé
comme un acteur de premier plan dans ce type de chargements, gérant entre 250 et 350 tonnes de fleurs chaque jour,
surtout des roses, du gipsophile et des lys. Liège Airport voit
son activité « fleurs » croître de 15 à 20 % chaque année.
B. P.
1. Jour A, matin. Les fleurs
sont coupées et triées dans
les champs kényans.
2. Jour A, après-midi. Les
fleurs sont assemblées et
emballées, puis acheminées
par camions-frigos vers l’
aéroport de départ Nairobi.
3. Jour A, soirée. Les cartons sont placés sur des
palettes et embarqués à
bord d’avions-cargos frigorifiés à destination des
aéroports européens (Schipol, Luxembourg, Francfort
ou, comme dans notre
exemple, Liège).
4. Jour A/Jour B, nuit.
Transport par avions.
5. Jour B, matin.
Entre 5 et 7 heures,
les avions se posent sur le
tarmac de l’aéroport de
Liège. Les cargaisons de
fleurs sont soumises aux
contrôles sanitaires et
douaniers, puis embarquées en camions.
6. Jour B, après-midi. Les
fleurs sont transportées
vers les criées hollandaises,
dont la principale à Aalsmeer. Mais une partie des
fleurs part directement vers
les grands lieux de distribution (comme le marché de
Rungis, à Paris), ou vers les
centres de distribution de
grandes surfaces.
7. Jour B, soirée. Dans les
criées hollandaises, les
fleurs sont déballées, recoupées et reconditionnées
par les grossistes. Dans la
nuit, elles sont vendues aux
enchères et réexportées
vers les autres pays européens, mais aussi les EtatsUnis ou des marchés en
croissance comme la Russie, l’Ukraine ou l’Asie.
3 Jour B, nuit. Les fleurs
sont transportées vers le
marché matinal de
Bruxelles ou l’Euroveiling de
9. Jour C, matin. Les fleuristes achètent les fleurs
qu’ils vendront dans leurs
boutiques le jour même.
B. P.
Nairobi 1 2
Des roses kényanes dans un bouquet sur
trois en Europe
lle est la « reine des fleurs ».
Symbole de l’amour, elle
pourrait aussi être celui des changements qui affectent un marché
longtemps centré sur les PaysBas. Certes, les grossistes hollandais restent les maîtres du jeu floral, puisque 60 % du commerce
mondial transite par leurs criées,
dont la principale à Aalsmeer.
Mais en termes de production,
les choses changent. Depuis le
début des années 90, les plantations kényanes, colombiennes,
équatoriennes ou éthiopiennes
n’ont cessé de grandir. Elles sont
aujourd’hui de sérieuses rivales
pour le pays de la tulipe. Ce sont
d’ailleurs souvent des producteurs hollandais qui, les premiers, sont allés chercher à hauteur de l’équateur des conditions
de travail plus avantageuses :
main-d’œuvre et conditions climatiques idéales toute l’année
(pas besoin de chauffer des
serres). Exemple avec nos roses.
Sur les 7,55 milliards de tiges vendues en Europe en 2012, plus de
la moitié ont été produites hors
du territoire de l’UE : 2,64 milliards venaient du seul Kénya,
1,26 milliard d’Ethiopie et 280
millions d’Équateur.
Autre changement : l’importance croissante de la grande distribution et des franchises de
fleuristes dans le commerce de
fleurs en Europe. Leur puissance
d’achat leur permet de négocier
en direct avec les producteurs
non-européens, et de mettre la
pression sur les prix. Réponse de
ces derniers : au lieu d’embarquer les fleurs en « vrac » dans les
avions, ils essaient de donner davantage de valeur à leur offre, en
composant les bouquets sur
place. Une évolution qui correspond à ces nouveaux modes de
distribution : dans les supermarchés, mais aussi sur les sites internet, qui proposent des bouquets
formatés. Pour ne pas se faire
doubler, les grossistes hollandais
multiplient les enchères en ligne,
pour répondre aux demandes des
clients qui ne souhaitent plus voir Sur les 7,55 milliards de roses vendues en Europe en 2012, plus de
la marchandise transiter obliga- la moitié ont été produites hors du territoire de l’Union européenne.
toirement par les criées bataves. © REUTERS
Reste que le basculement de la
floriculture vers le sud ne va pas
sans critique sur les conditions
sociales (bas salaires, utilisation
de produits chimiques), alimentaires (abandon des cultures vivrières) et environnementales
(surexploitation des réserves
d’eau). Pour l’heure, seul le label
Max Havelaar, présent chez nous
chez Carrefour et Delhaize, garantit des fleurs éthiques (prix
minimum, surprimes pour les
projets de développement, protection des ressources). Mais
l’offre de fleurs éthiques reste
marginale : 2,5 millions de tiges
en Belgique, dans un marché estimé à 450 millions. ■
B. P.
Tue,Feb 11,2014
Valentine's Day sparks war of rose in New Zealand
(Xinhua) 14:36, February 11, 2014
Sina Microblog
WELLINGTON, Feb. 11 -- Valentine's Day, the international day for lovers, is causing a
thorn in the side of New Zealand rose growers.
As the price of red roses shoots up, the country's Flower Growers Association (FGA) is
calling on the nation's lovers to ask where their roses come from and urging the
government to level the competition against subsidized imports.
FGA Chairman David Blewden said Tuesday that about half the 600, 000 roses sold for
Valentine's Day would come from overseas -- mostly from the two main source countries of
India and Colombia -- but they would also carry risks to New Zealand biosecurity, health
and jobs.
Although the imports could be significantly cheaper than the locally grown blooms, buyers
could be disappointed, Blewden told Xinhua in a phone interview.
"To get the imports into the country, the roses have to be dipped in a herbicide for 20
minutes -- that's going to kill the flower or potentially affect the vase-life," he said.
People who were sensitive to chemicals would also need to be careful when handling the
"If the buyer gets an unsatisfactory experience, they might lump New Zealand flowers into
the same category and it would cost us sales."
Even with the herbicide treatment, the imports could still carry exotic pests and diseases
that are a threat to New Zealand's wider horticulture sector and could undermine the local
industry's preference for biological -- rather than chemical -- treatments.
While New Zealand growers faced a labor-intensive and "daunting " challenge in producing
roses for Valentine's Day, growers in India were given "a lot of incentives and subsidies"
from planting through to transport for exports, said Blewden.
"New Zealand flower growers are strong advocates for free trade, because we also export,
but in this case, we don't believe there is a level playing field," he said.
While tariffs to compensate for foreign subsidies "would be nice," he said, he was not
confident of any government action.
"A lot of the retailers are very concerned to be supporting the domestic flower industry,
because potentially the domestic industry could be lost and they would have to rely on
imports all year round, but they are also feeling the pinch from their competitors as well."
Blewden said the sale of roses was strongly influence by supply and demand.
He had heard that a bunch of 10 long-stem red roses had fetched more than 30 NZ dollars
(25 U.S. dollars) at auction on Monday, but "tomorrow that might be 90 NZ dollars (75
U.S. dollars) or 100 NZ dollars (83 U.S. dollars)."
(Editor:WangXin、Gao Yinan)
Publicado en NTN24 (
Inicio > Weakening Peso is Valentine's Gift For Colombian Flower Growers
Weakening Peso is Valentine's Gift For
Colombian Flower Growers
FACATATIVA, COLOMBIA - Colombian flower growers are picking their finest stems and
binding them into bouquets for the industry's annual mass Valentine's Day export, buoyed this
year by ideal weather and economic conditions.
Alvaro Camacho is the logistics manager at Elite Flowers, one of the leading flower
producers in Colombia. He said the weakening peso was helping sales and making business
during this Valentine's Day the best in years.
With the Colombian peso at its lowest rate since December 2009, Camacho expects his
exports for this February 14 to grow by 10 percent.
"Expectations this year starting with Valentine's Day are very good. As we know Valentine's
Day generates 30 percent of sales for a flower growing company in only two weeks and all
the conditions, both economic and climatic are in place. Good weather during the first month
of January, without the possibility of frost, which is a factor which can complicate things for us
as well as an exchange rate of over $2,000 pesos, places us in a different position," he said.
Camacho runs a farm in Facatativa, located 30 kilometres (18 miles) to the west of Bogota.
His 480-hectare farm produces nearly 100 million of the 500 million stems that Colombia
exports to the world's largest economy, the United States.
Valentine's Day usually represents between 12 and 15 percent of annual flower exports from
Colombia. The South American country is the world's second-largest flower exporter after the
Plantation worker, Mayerli Figueroa, said working with flowers puts people in a good mood.
"People (workers) arrive with their problems but they relax here. The flowers give many
sensations of something, something nice, love," she said.
In 2013, the Andean nation exported about 200,000 tonnes of flowers worth approximately
$1.3 billion dollars.
But in the last five years, the strengthening of the peso made Colombian exports less
competitive and forced the flower industry to cut nearly 20 percent of jobs.
As well as enjoying better weather and economic conditions, Colombian flower growers
should benefit this year from the United States' slight economic recovery, where some 80
percent of production is headed.
As evidence of changing times, Elite Flower had to increase its payroll by 36 percent,
employing 11,000 people, to meet with shipment requirements for Valentine's Day.
Plantation worker, Luz Miriam Lisarazo, said she doesn't mind working long hours.
"You see over there (abroad) how they appreciate it, you see a nice bunch here that one sees
as simple but for them it has important value."
In addition to roses, the flower of choice for most romantics, Colombia also exports
carnations, alstroemerias and pompons.
URL del envío:
Addis Fortune (Addis Ababa)
Ethiopia: Flower Merchants Love Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day arrived with the usual boost in flower sales, both locally and in the export market, requiring Ethiopian Airlines to give the exporters two additional cargo
flights a week for the past two weeks.
For the local sellers, the boost could amount to as much as a month's sale in ordinary days. Biniam Takele, in business for the past two years, normally sells 150
stems a day from his shop located around the Ambassador Theatre area on Ras Desta Damtew Street.
The week before Valentine's, his daily sale started averaging at 4,000 stems. Others, such as Melese Geleta, who has a shop near Bole Brass, and Kassu Kokebe, a
little way off around Bole Medhanialem, have a daily average of 5,000 pieces, up from 500 and 200 pieces, respectively.
A single stem costs these people 1.5 Br at normal days, going up to 3.5 Br. Their usual selling price, after they have decorated it, is three to four Birr. As Valentine's
Day approached, it increased to six to 10 Br. On Valentine 's Day prices were up to 20 Br in some places, although the cost of the decorations used, such as sprays
and ribbons, somewhat reduces the profit they make.
The biggest business was, however, for the flower growers that are involved in the export market.
According to the report of the Ministry of Trade (MoT), Ethiopia exported nearly 1.76 billion stems of flowers in 2011/12 and 2.25 billion stems in 2012/13; despite the
growth in export, however, its revenue was down from 197 million dollars to 187 million dollar.
Part of this picture is painted by ET Highland, which grows flowers on 20ha of land in Sebeta in the Oromia Region, 26km from Addis Abeba. An average day sees this
company, owned by Tsegaye Abebe, former chairman of the Ethiopian Horticulture Producers & Exporters Association (EHPEA), exporting 60,000 to 70,000 stems.
The approach of Valentine's Day sees this doubling to 120,000 and 130,000.
ET Highland, established in 2004, employs 440 people. For last year's Valentine, it exported around 1.1 million sticks from end of January to the middle of February.
This year the price of a stem in Holland, the destination for Ethiopia's exports, has increased from 0.14 euro to 0.30 euro. The months between January and May
represent opportune moment for flower producers as Europe, Ethiopia's main destination for flower exports, celebrates occasions like the Valentine's Day, Mothers'
Day, Women's Day and Fathers' Day.
View All
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Pour la Saint Valentin Priorité aux
Roses d'Israël. Du Chocolat, pour
plus tard...
Yoram Gabson (Kfar Hanassie) | Éditorial
Share Share Share Share
Pour la première fois les producteurs palestiniens et israéliens se sont regroupés pour exporter ensemble. Israël,
3ème producteur mondial de roses, a affrété des avions cargo spéciaux ces derniers jours afin de livrer les
précieux gages d’amour.
Pour la Saint-Valentin, nous vous recommendons de ne pas acheter de chocolats comme cadeau. En effet, si
vous achetez des belles roses, elles viendront très certainement d’Israël. Ce sera la meilleure réponse à un article
calomnieux publié par des illuminés en France à l’occasion de la Saint Valentin et qui démarre fort :
“Chaque année à la St Valentin, Israël exporte des millions de fleurs vers les marchés européens, en transitant par
la bourse aux fleurs d’Amsterdam. Ces fleurs proviennent de terres volées et irriguées par de l’eau dérobée aux
Palestiniens. Alors, pour ce vendredi 14 février, choisissez plutôt les chocolats !”.
Extrait de l’article :
“Depuis un mois environ, à l’approche de la fête commerciale de la « Saint Valentin » , les sites de propagande
israéliens ne cessent de nous conter une magnifique ’success story’ à l’eau de « rose », espérant qu’ainsi les
sociétés israéliennes exportatrices de fleurs puissent empocher les profits dont elles sont avides.
Le site de la Chambre de Commerce France Israël, Israël Valley, indique (article du 15 janvier) que la société
israélienne The Flower Council, créée il y a deux ans par les producteurs de fleurs israéliens (après la liquidation
d’Agrexco) est devenue « le premier exportateur de fleurs palestiniennes ».
Quant au le site de l’Arche, un article du 24 janvier dernier titre : « Israël-Gaza, dites le avec des fleurs ! » et
déclare que "la coopération économique entre Gaza et Israël suit son cours, en dépit des tensions politiques et
sécuritaires » (sic) .
Un comble en matière de mensonge et de cynisme quand on sait que les Gazaouis sont sous blocus depuis 2007
et que de plus à Gaza, janvier a été un mois sanglant, avec de nombreuses attaques de Tsahal notamment dans
les zones voisines de la clôture militaire qui maintient enfermée la population.
L’arnaque consistant à dire « si vous voulez aider les producteurs d’oeillets palestiniens, achetez les fleurs de
Flower Council » se garde de dire que les quotas d’oeillets que les Gazaouis sont si aimablement autorisés à
exporter vers les Pays-Bas pour la « Saint-Valentin » doivent impérativement être transportés par des sociétés
israéliennes via l’aéroport Ben Gourion, à l’exclusion de toute autre destination. (…)"
À la Saint-Valentin, les roses de contrefaçon affluent dans les rayons
L'entreprise Meilland - dont la variété de rose Bingo figure sur cette photo - déploie les grands moyens pour stopper l'afflux de copies illicites de ses créations. Crédit
photo: Meilland International. Crédits photo : Photographer: Matthias Meilland
Selo n les pro fessio nnels, un quart à un tiers de la pro ductio n mo ndiale serait illicite. Chaque créatio n est
pro tégée par un brevet et les pro ducteurs en cultivant do ivent verser une redevance à leur inventeur.
La contrefaçon1 ne cible pas que les sacs à main, chaussures ou montres de luxe. Les produits agricoles et végétaux - comme le vin,
l'échalote ou la rose - ont eux aussi leur marché parallèle. À l'approche de la Saint-Valentin2, une période de forte demande pour la
rose 3 et donc de risque accru d'un afflux de copies illicites dans les rayons, les professionnels tirent la sonnette d'alarme. D'autant plus
que la supercherie est indétectable par le consommateur. «Dans le textile ou la maroquinerie, les faux présentent des différences avec
le produit original. Les roses, quant à elles, peuvent être reproduites à l'infini et à l'identique à partir de boutures», explique Philippe
Laperrière, producteur et créateur de roses au sein de l'entreprise familiale Roseraie Laperrière dans l'Isère.
Couleur, forme, odeur, rien ne différencie la fleur illicite de la création d'origine. Or, c'est justement parce que les roses sont des
créations qu'elles sont protégées au titre de la propriété intellectuelle par un brevet, le certificat d'obtention végétale 4, depuis 1961.
Toutes les caractéristiques de la variété, ainsi que son nom, font l'objet de cette protection. Quiconque décide de la cultiver pour la
commercialiser doit verser une redevance à son inventeur. «Il faut huit à 10 ans pour créer une nouvelle variété de rosiers», justifie
Matthias Meilland, de la société Meilland International. «Les producteurs qui reproduisent une fleur sans demander une autorisation et
sans payer, ou qui en cultivent plus qu'ils n'en déclarent pillent les créateurs.»
Les producteurs qui reproduisent une fleur sans demander une autorisation et
sans payer, ou qui en cultivent plus qu' ils n' en déclarent pillent les créateurs
Matthias Meilland, société Meilland International
Certains pays, comme l'Inde ou l'Equateur, n'ont pas de loi sur la propriété intellectuelle 5. «Ils exportent massivement leur production
sur des marchés qui, eux, protègent les créations. Leurs roses illicites se retrouvent chez nos grossistes et dans les rayons de nos
fleuristes», explique Matthias Meilland. À Rungis, quelques importateurs interrogés par France 3 6admettent ne pas être sûrs à 100%
que leurs sources d'approvisionnement sont en règle avec le paiement des «royalties». «Le phénomène touche surtout les roses
coupées, mais les roses de jardin ne sont pas épargnées», précise Fabien Ducher, propriétaire d'une roseraie éponyme située dans la
Une «piraterie» qui coûte cher
Selon les professionnels, cette «piraterie» touche un quart à un tiers de la production mondiale de roses. Un poids qui n'est pas
négligeable: au total, l'Union européenne a importé en 2012 pour près de 1,4 milliard d'euros de roses coupées de pays comme le
Kenya (21%), l'Ethiopie (9%) ou l'Equateur (8%), selon l'Association internationale des producteurs en horticulture (AIPH). C'est pourquoi
Meilland International, qui compte 400 variétés de fleurs dans son catalogue, deploie les grands moyens pour lutter contre cette fraude
qui la prive d'une part significative de recettes.
La société, qui dégage un chiffre d'affaires de 18 millions d'euros, dépense chaque année 200.000 euros - un budget qui inclut les
dépôts de brevets - pour traquer les producteurs indélicats à travers le monde en s' appuyant sur un vaste réseau d'«informateurs».
«Nous avons des agents dans les pays exportateurs comme le Kenya ou la Colombie, mais aussi dans des marchés qui produisent pour
une consommation locale, à savoir le Mexique, le Japon ou l'Australie», détaille le responsable. «Si leur mission première est de
promouvoir nos créations sur ces marchés, leur rôle est également de repérer les marchandises illicites et d'alerter les douanes
européennes de l'arrivée de ces chargements.»
La rédaction vous conseille :
Vins: la contrefaçon affecte surtout les crus les plus prestigieux7
Les producteurs français lancent une course à l'échalote contrefaite 8
Isabelle de Foucaud
journaliste 56 abonnés
Journaliste au service Économie
Li e ns:
La Saint-Valentin, un jackpot pour la Colombie et beaucoup
d'ouvrières célibataires
Publié le 13-02-2014 à 09h05
Mis à jour à 17h16
Tocancipá (Colombie) (AFP) - En Colombie, la Saint-Valentin constitue un vrai jackpot pour les producteurs de
fleurs et leurs petites mains. Ironie de l'histoire, il s'agit souvent de femmes célibataires qui ne recevront ellesmêmes pas la moindre rose.
"L'époque de la Saint Valentin représente 40% de nos ventes annuelles", s'exclame Jose Restrepo, propriétaire de
la société Ayura-Eclipse Flower, située à Tocancipa, à 20 km au nord de Bogota, dans un entretien à l'AFP.
Cette exploitation de 25 hectares emploie habituellement quelque 300 ouvriers mais, plusieurs semaines avant le
rendez-vous des amoureux du 14 février, les renforts arrivent en masse pour exporter plus d'un million et demi de
bouquets. Parmi eux, énormément de femmes sans compagnon.
"Il y a plus ou moins 70% de femmes, dont environ 80% de mères de famille célibataires", précise M. Restrepo.
Janith Zambrano, qui passe des heures dans les roseraies sans imaginer en recevoir un jour, est l'une d'entre elles.
"Je m'occupe de mes trois enfants et grâce aux fleurs, je peux les élever. Leur apporter de quoi manger chaque
jour", témoigne-t-elle.
Les serres recouvrent cette région centrale de Colom bie
(h ttp ://tem p sr eel.nou /tag/colom bie), le berceau des exploitations de fleurs puisqu'elle
concentre à elle seule 76% de la production nationale, soit 500 millions de bouquets, selon l'Association des
exportateurs colombiens.
Les conditions climatiques ont permis à ce pays latino-américain de devenir le deuxième exportateur mondial de
fleurs après les Pays-Bas, selon les chiffres de la fédération nationale des commerçants. Un secteur qui génère
130.000 emplois stables et 10.000 saisonniers.
Les principaux pays de destination sont les Etats-Unis, qui accaparent à eux seuls 70% des exportations de fleurs
colombiennes, suivis de la Russie (5%), du Japon (3%), du Royaume-Uni (3%) et du Canada (2%).
22 bouquets par heure
L'industrie de la floriculture a engrangé un milliard de dollars lors de la dernière Saint Valentin, une époque
durant laquelle les prix explosent. Dans l'exploitation de M. Restrepo, la rose se vend 0,94 dollars durant cette
période contre 0,34 dollars en temps ordinaire.
Suivant l'état et la qualité de la fleur, un bouquet de douze roses peut atteindre 150 dollars dans une ville comme
New York.
Un mois avant la fête des amoureux démarre la phase intensive de production dans les exploitations.
Chez Ayura, Marta Cobas se targue de réaliser 22 bouquets par heure. "Les fleurs finissent dans d'autres mains,
loin d'ici, et pour le bonheur de ma famille", glisse-t-elle en ôtant les pétales fanés.
Le slogan de l'entreprise est affiché partout: "Un travail avec des efforts est un travail pour la vie". Le salaire
proposé dépasse légèrement le salaire minimum de 321 dollars mensuels.
"Elles sont très méticuleuses, elles mettent du cœur à l'ouvrage", commente le patron, en observant les petites
mains à l’œuvre. Ce dernier assure veiller au bien-être de ses travailleuses.
Dans les ateliers résonne en permanence une radio de salsa, et une thérapeute veille aussi aux dangers que
peuvent constituer pour la santé les mouvements répétitifs, souvent sources de maladies professionnelles.
Cette dernière a même mis au point un "ballet" pour les ouvrières qui sortent des chambres froides, une série de
mouvements qui leur permettent de retrouver une bonne circulation sanguine.
"Je crois que les fleurs ont représenté une opportunité pour ces femmes, qui normalement, il y a encore quelques
années, n'avaient comme unique option qu'un travail de domestique", conclut M. Restrepo.
Saint-Valentin : dans les coulisses pas très
romantiques du business de la rose
par Ivan du Roy - 14 février 2014
Des centaines de millions de roses sont importées en Europe à l’occasion de la fête des
amoureux. Elles v iennent du Kenya, d’Éthiopie et d’Amérique latine, cultiv ées dans des
fermes géantes. Malgré les efforts réalisés par certains groupes horticoles, les conditions de
trav ail y demeurent pénibles. Et l’irrigation intensiv e met en péril les ressources en eau. En
France, en l’absence de labels clairs, impossible pour le consommateur de faire la différence
entre une rose cultiv ée dans des conditions conv enables et les autres.
Plus de 600 millions de roses vont se vendre en France cette année [1]. Près de 10 par habitant, dont
une partie non négligeable est offerte à la Saint-Valentin, puis lors de la Fête des mères. Des roses
rouges pour l’amour « passionné », blanches pour l’amour « courtois » ou jaunes pour célébrer une
amitié… La fête des amoureux est aussi celle du marché de la « transmission florale ». Une journée qui
pèse fortement sur le marché international, célébrée en même temps en Europe et en Amérique du
Nord. « A partir du moment où une grande partie des roses est vendue sur deux jours dans l’année, une
gigantesque production doit s’organiser pour disposer de la quantité de fleurs nécessaires », précise
Christophe Alliot, co-fondateur du Bureau d’analyse sociétal pour une information citoyenne (BASIC).
Exemple chez un fleuriste parisien qui commande habituellement un millier de tiges de roses par jour
d’ouverture. En prévision de la Saint-Valentin, il en achètera 8 500 à son grossiste de Rungis.
D’où viennent ces millions de roses cultivées spécialement pour colorer un dîner romantique ? Environ
une rose sur quatre commercialisée en France aura fleuri dans l’Hexagone, principalement dans le Var
et le Finistère. Et les autres ? Qu’on les achète directement chez un fleuriste ou que l’on commande un
bouquet en ligne, la route de la rose mène aux Pays-Bas. Le secteur horticole s’y porte plutôt bien. Les
Pays-Bas en sont les leaders au sein de l’Union européenne, qui reste le premier producteur de fleurs
et de plantes ornementales avec 42% de la production mondiale en 2012 [2].
La route de la rose mène en Afrique
Si les Pays-Bas continuent d’alimenter le marché de la rose, le vieux continent en importe la plus grande
partie. D’Amsterdam, où arrivent par avion les colis de fleurs, la route de la rose nous emmène ensuite
vers les pays qui bordent l’équateur : en Afrique de l’Est d’abord, au Kenya (31% des importations
européennes de fleurs coupées, des roses dans leur grande majorité) et en Éthiopie (12%). En
Amérique latine ensuite, principalement en Équateur (8%) et en Colombie (7%). L’ensoleillement et
l’altitude y permettent de cultiver des roses toute l’année.
Lorsqu’un joli bouquet arrive chez vous, la probabilité est donc grande qu’il soit composé de roses
kényanes. Elles auront voyagé environ 72h, et parcouru plus de 7 000 km. Les roses sont d’abord
coupées dans un champs à proximité du lac Naivasha (à 2000 mètres d’altitude), où se concentre la
plus grande partie des plantations horticoles du pays. Elles sont ensuite transportées dans des camions
réfrigérés pour éviter qu’elles ne se dégradent. Puis prennent l’avion, destination Amsterdam. Les deux
tiers seront vendus aux enchères à des grossistes qui les revendront à des fleuristes indépendants, à
des enseignes comme Interflora, Florajet ou Monceau fleurs, qui les commercialiseront via leur réseau
de détaillants, ou à des grandes surfaces. D’autres prendront directement la route vers un atelier,
comme celui d’Aquarelle dans l’Oise, où elles seront assemblées en bouquets par une centaine de
salariés. Pour être à leur tour livrées à leurs destinataires, quelque part entre Dunkerque et Perpignan,
quitte à reprendre l’avion. A chaque étape, la chaîne du froid doit être maintenue pour éviter que les
roses ne fanent trop vite.
Fermes et serres géantes de 5 000 ouv rières
C’est dans les années 90 que de grands groupes investissent dans des fermes florales le long de
l’équateur : la compagnie fruitière états-unienne Dole Food en Amérique latine, des compagnies
britanniques, néerlandaises ou indiennes au Kenya puis plus récemment en Éthiopie. Au bord du lac
Naivasha, des fermes géantes peuvent employer jusqu’à 5 000 travailleurs. Ce business mondialisé de
la rose a bien évidemment des conséquences sociales et écologiques. Le coût climatique n’est pas
forcément le problème le plus grave : même en incluant le transport aérien vers l’Europe, une rose
kényane émet six fois moins de CO2 qu’une rose néerlandaise, qui fleurit à l’abri de serres chauffées au
gaz naturel [3]. « La dépense énergétique engendrée par l’achat d’un bouquet de 25 roses, équivaut à
une balade en voiture de 20 kilomètres », estimait cependant un article de Terra Eco [4].
Au Sud, d’autres problèmes se posent. La ville de Naivasha a ainsi dû faire face à l’afflux de travailleurs
pour les plantations et de leurs familles : en deux décennies, sa population est multipliée par 40,
passant de 6 000 à 240 000 habitants ! Les infrastructures ne suivent évidemment pas. Les écoles
accueillent 80 enfants par classe, les lits d’hôpitaux doivent être partagés à deux. Les tensions
s’accroissent entre locaux et migrants. Et les conditions de travail dans les plantations sont
particulièrement pénibles. En Colombie, « les heures de travail peuvent être longues, jusqu’à 60 heures
par semaine », avec « six à dix heures supplémentaires par jour durant la saison de pointe dans les
semaines précédant la Saint-Valentin », décrit en 2010 une ONG québécoise, le Comité pour les droits
humains en Amérique latine (la moitié des fleurs importées par le Canada viennent de Colombie).
3 centimes par rose pour les employées des plantations
En Afrique de l’Est, les salaires des employés des serres – principalement des femmes – ne suffisent
pas à couvrir les besoins de base, constate une étude de l’organisation Women Working Worldwide
réalisée auprès de 38 000 femmes travaillant dans des fermes horticoles en Afrique de l’Est [5] : entre
59 et 94 dollars par mois pour une ouvrière kényane, entre 28 et 46 dollars pour une Éthiopienne.
Lorsqu’un consommateur en Europe achète une rose à 1,5 €, seulement 0,03 € arrivera dans la poche
de ceux qui l’ont fait pousser, soit 2% du prix de vente final. Une rose est vendue 0,12 € à la sortie de la
ferme. Après son arrivée à Amsterdam, elle est achetée 0,8 € par les détaillants. Entre les deux bouts
de la chaîne, le coût se répartit entre les marges des éventuels intermédiaires, ainsi que le prix du
transport, surtout aérien [6].
A cette faible rémunération du travail, s’ajoutent des risques importants pour la santé, causés par
l’usage intensif de pesticides et d’engrais chimiques. « En Colombie, on utilise une moyenne de 200
kilos de pesticides par hectare, soit le double de la quantité utilisée aux Pays-Bas pour la même
superficie, et environ 75 fois plus que l’agriculture conventionnelle dans les pays industrialisés »,
pointent les Québécois. « En Équateur, nous avons observé plusieurs cas de travailleuses atteintes de
cancer vers 45 ans. Comme elles n’étaient pas déclarées, elles n’avaient droit à rien », raconte
Christophe Alliot, qui s’était rendu sur place dans le cadre d’une mission de Max Havelaar, l’une des
principales organisations de commerce équitable. En France, pas moins de 26 herbicides, insecticides
et fongicides peuvent être épandus sur les cultures de fleurs.
Vers l’assèchement du lac Naiv asha ?
Les roses sont aussi gourmandes en eau : 7 à 13 litres sont nécessaires pour qu’un bouton arrive à
maturité. Résultat : le niveau du lac Naivasha, où les fermes puisent leur eau, baisse inexorablement.
Une baisse « qui coïncide avec le début des cultures horticoles dans la région en 1982 », estime une
étude de l’Unesco, publiée en 2010. Une recherche plus récente menée conjointement par l’Université
de Bonn (Allemagne) et de Twente (Pays-Bas) montre que le lac ne serait plus qu’à 60% de son volume
initial. Le second lac kényan connaîtra-t-il le funeste destin de la mer d’Aral ? Le péril pèse aussi bien
sur l’économie de la rose, sur les habitants de la zone, que sur les tribus pastorales masaï dont les
troupeaux viennent s’abreuver sur les rives du lac. En attendant, la situation « crée des tensions entre
les éleveurs et les fermes capitalistiques », pointe Christophe Alliot.
Face au risque d’épuisement de la ressource en eau et aux indignations provoquées par les conditions
de travail, plusieurs groupes horticoles assurent avoir adopté des pratiques un peu plus responsables.
En Suisse, une mobilisation d’organisations non gouvernementales puis un travail entrepris par Max
Havelaar, avec le soutien des enseignes de grande distribution et l’appui des pouvoirs publics, ont
permis à ce qu’une première ferme importante soit certifiée « commerce équitable », dès 2005 (la ferme
Panda Flowers). Au Royaume-Uni, le groupe Flamingo, qui produit chaque année 120 millions de roses
à Naivasha destinées au marché britannique, assure avoir diminué de moitié la consommation d’eau,
réduit l’épandage de pesticides et amélioré les conditions de travail.
Inv isibilité des roses labélisées
Et en France ? La PME Aquarelle, l’une des principales enseignes de vente de fleurs en ligne, se fournit
directement auprès d’une demi-douzaine de fermes au Kenya et en Éthiopie [7] « Nous essayons d’être
attentifs. Nous allons voir sur place. Nous travaillons avec des fermes qui tentent de ne pas utiliser de
pesticides. Et quand nous ne pouvons pas rencontrer le personnel, nous ne retenons pas la ferme
parmi nos fournisseurs », répond François de Maublanc, le PDG d’Aquarelle, qui reconnaît cependant
ne pas avoir mis en place de charte éthique ni procéder à des évaluations objectives de ses
fournisseurs. « Entre les normes objectives et ce que font les gens, il y a toujours un écart », se défend
le PDG.
Plusieurs certifications existent en matière de qualité des fleurs, de critères sociaux et
environnementaux [8], mais elles sont invisibles pour le consommateur. « Il existe plusieurs labels, qui
ne sont pas valorisés par le marché. Dans ces conditions, il est difficile d’avoir un cercle vertueux qui
entraînerait les producteurs de fleurs », explique Christophe Alliot. D’autant qu’il faut se méfier des
« bonnes pratiques » un peu trop paternalistes. Investir dans des écoles ou des dispensaires autour
des fermes, c’est bien. « Mais cela crée un phénomène de dépendance. Un salarié qui est en
désaccord avec son employeur risque de tout perdre : son salaire, l’école pour ses enfants, son centre
de santé, et parfois sa maison », prévient Christophe Alliot. « Ces certifications n’auront un effet levier
que si elles s’accompagnent d’un véritable travail avec le producteur et les employés, et pas seulement
d’un audit une fois dans l’année. Pour les fermes certifiées en commerce équitable, trois ans de travail
ont été nécessaires pour organiser des réunions avec les salariés, leur expliquer leurs droits, leur
donner envie de se syndiquer. » Aujourd’hui, 20 plantations de fleurs sont certifiées Fairtrade/Max
Havelaar au Kenya, dont la ferme Oserian qui compte 4 300 salariés.
Des efforts sont donc entrepris. Mais en l’absence de labels clairs, impossible pour le consommateur de
faire la différence entre une rose cultivée dans des conditions convenables et les autres. La
multinationale indienne Karuturi, qui produit 580 millions de roses par an au Kenya et en Éthiopie, dont
une partie
est exportée vers l’Europe, a ainsi été accusée d’évasion fiscale par l’administration
Depuis cet hiver, elle est aussi l’objet de grèves et de protestations de ses salariés kényans, qui
dénoncent le non-paiement des salaires, l’absence de protection contre les pesticides ou le
harcèlement sexuel de la part des managers. « Karuturi veille à ce que ses employés aient de bonnes
conditions de travail et une rémunération équitable », a répondu la firme, par publicité interposée.
Karuturi fournit-elle le marché français ? « On ne traite pas avec eux. Ce mouvement social, c’est la
meilleure nouvelle qui puisse arriver », commente François de Maublanc, pour la société Aquarelle.
« Quand bien même une moitié de producteurs seraient vertueux, si l’autre moitié fait n’importe quoi,
cela n’est pas suffisant. C’est l’ensemble du secteur qui doit arrêter les pratiques les plus néfastes, par
la régulation publique si nécessaire », conclut Christophe Alliot. Alors, quelle sorte de roses offrirezvous à la personne que vous aimez ?
Ivan du Roy
Photo : CC Frédéric Le Gac
[1] Selon la dernière étude de référence disponible, publiée par FranceAgriMer en 2009, 190 millions de roses ont
poussé en France – une production en déclin depuis 20 ans – et plus de 470 millions ont été importées. 65% des fleurs
coupées achetées sont des roses.
[2] En son sein, la France arrive en quatrième position, derrière les Pays-Bas, l’Italie et l’Allemagne, au coude à coude
avec l’Espagne.
[3] Comparative Study of Cut Roses for the British Market Produced in
Kenya and the Netherlands, Department of Natural Resources Cranfield University (février 2007).
[4] Article publié en 2007, à lire ici en accès abonné.
[5] Achieving a Living Wage for African Flower Workers, printemps 2013.
[6] Source : A Study on the Kenyan-Dutch Horticultural Supply Chain, une étude publiée en mai 2012 par le ministère de
l’économie néerlandais.
[7] Nous avons également contacté par courriel Interflora, qui n’a pas répondu.
[8] Florimark MPS, la certification la plus répandue, Fair Flowers Fair Plants (FFP), Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI), Flower
Label Program (FLP) et les normes des Fairtrade Labelling Organizations (FLO) avec le label Fairtrade (Max Havelaar)
destiné au consommateur.
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Valenti nstag 2014
Freitag, den 21. Februar 2014 um 11:57 Uhr
Valentinstag: Gutes Ergebnis für Großhandel
Trotz regionaler Unterschiede liegt die Rose weit vorn
In seiner alljährlichen ad-hoc Befragung unter repräsentativ ausgewählten Mitgliedsbetrieben hat der
Verband des Deutschen Blumen-Groß- und Importhandels e.V. (BGI) die Umsatzergebnisse im
Blumengroßhandel zum Valentinstag 2014 ermittelt. Demnach waren alle befragten Großhändler durchaus
zufrieden mit dem Valentinstaggeschäft in diesem Jahr.
In der Einschätzung der befragten Großhändler hat vor allem das milde und überwiegend trockene Wetter
eine positive Auswirkung auf die Kauflaune allgemein und die Lust auf Blumen besonders gehabt. Darüber
hinaus ist der Valentinstag 2014 auf einen Freitag gefallen, der generell als guter Tag für den Blumenverkauf
gilt. Der Blumenstrauß ist also nach wie vor das beliebte Geschenk zum Valentinstag – nicht zuletzt wohl
auch deshalb, weil ein Blumenstrauß im Gegensatz zu Pralinen keinen störenden Einfluss auf die
Frühjahrsdiät der beschenkten Damen hat.
Besonders im Westen, in der Mitte und im Süden des Landes verzeichneten die Großhändler teils
deutliche Umsatzzunahmen, sowohl bei der Entwicklung der Preise wie auch der Mengen. Hinsichtlich der
Bewertung der Preisentwicklung wurde auch in diesem Jahr wieder deutlich, dass gerade dieses Kriterium
stark von der Geschäftspolitik des einzelnen Großhändlers abhängig ist. Grossisten mit langfristigen
Lieferverträgen können die Preisentwicklung daher zumeist günstiger betrachten.
In Norddeutschland wird die Umsatzentwicklung als eher verhalten bewertet, hat sich aber im Vergleich
zum guten Vorjahresergebnis nicht verändert. Auch im 25. Jahr nach der Wiedervereinigung hat der
Valentinstag in Ostdeutschland nicht die Bedeutung erreicht, die dort der Frauentag am 8. März genießt.
Wenngleich der Valentinstag nur etwa ein Viertel des zusätzlichen Umsatzes des Frauentages generieren
kann, konnten doch erfreuliche Zuwächse bei einigen Großhändlern verzeichnet werden.
Der Nachverkauf am Samstag lief vor allem für die
Großhändler im Süden und in der Mitte des Landes
bemerkenswert gut, während die Kaufstimmung im
Westen und Norden am Tag nach Valentin eher
gebremst war.
Als erfreulich bewerten die Großhändler, dass sich die
Publikumsmedien in den Tagen vor Valentin relativ
vereinzelten, schon fast obligatorischen, Berichten über
Pestizide in Rosen wurden die Konsumenten nicht
negativ beeinflusst.
Nach wie vor ist die Rose als Zeichen der Liebe der absolute Verkaufsschlager zum Valentinstag. Als
Strauß oder als Solitär, in Rot, Rosa, Weiß oder Gelb – Rosen gehören zum Valentinstag einfach dazu.
Nach der sehr optimistischen Stimmung, die vom Großhandel während und auch nach der IPM zu
vernehmen war, hat der Valentinstag 2014 bestätigt, dass dieser Optimismus durchaus berechtigt ist.
The Times of India
Advanced Search »
Rose prices soar ahead of Valentine's
Ma n ok ri t i B e d i , TNN Feb 9, 2014, 12.16A M IST
T a g s : Valentine's Day
Rose Day
CHANDIGARH: With Valentine's Day just a few days away, roses have become expensive
with a stick costing Rs 20 now being sold for Rs 50 to Rs 70, depending upon the size.
Ramesh Sharma, a florist at Sector 47, says, "The price will go up by Rs 30-50 per stem on
Valentine's Day eve. As people come with huge demands, we have kept bouquets starting from
Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000."
Umesh Kumar, a florist at Sector 35, says, "We import flowers from Delhi, Pune and at times
from Bangalore. We start getting orders two days prior to 'V-Day', and people go for bouquets
as big as of 100 to 500 roses. As a result, we have to order in bulk."
He adds, "Pink, yellow and white roses are also common on Valentine's Day , and cost less
than red roses."
However, love birds do not mind to pay around two time's the usual price for flowers. For city
resident Nitin, his wife is more worthy than the price of a bouquet. "On Rose Day, I gave her a
bouquet of 500 roses and on V-Day, I plan to give her a bouquet of 1,000 roses," he says.
Ramandeep Singh, a resident of Sector 25, says, "Valentine's Day comes only once in a year so
spending even triple the regular is worthy. But thankfully, it just comes once in a year."
The Times of India
Advanced Search »
When love blooms, so does rose
You are here: Home > Collections > Taj Mahal
Roh i t h B R, Feb 7, 2014, 01.21A M IST
T a g s : Vinayaka Agritech Limited
Sridhar C howdhary
BANGALORE: Next weekend, when a British lad goes down on his knee to woo his valentine,
he will probably do so with a Taj Mahal. And he just may win her heart with this symbol of
love: the Taj Mahal is the rich red rose grown just outside namma Bengaluru.
As young lovers across the globe celebrate the festival of love, it's the villagers of Doddaballapur
or Nelamangala who'll be laughing their way to the ATM. The roses cultivated on the city's
outskirts have a huge market in Amsterdam, the world's largest flower auctioning hub.
The fame of the Bangalore rose spreads from the auction house in Hebbal. The International
Flower Auction Bangalore (IFAB) Limited reveals some interesting links: farmers from
districts around Bangalore frequent IFAB to auction their produce, mainly roses, which is
exported by buyers to Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Gulf countries
and Europe, including The Netherlands.
With just a week left for Valentine's Day, the demand for roses has shot up. The IFAB facility is
buzzing with activity, receiving flowers, processing, packaging, auctioning and transporting
them through the day.
Voter enthusiasm high in Bangalore Rural
May 11, 2008
Lov ers will pay tribute with roses, and tulips too
February 14, 2013
It's bloom tim e for rose exports from city
January 20, 2011
Taj Mahal
Manjunath R of Kaveri Exports said he bought 1,000 rose bunches (of 20 stems each) to be
sent to various states in India. "The Taj Mahal, a red variety, is a huge hit with customers. The
rate is fixed at the auction hall, depending on the maintenance and length of the stem. A Taj
Mahal stem went up to Rs 15.95 on Thursday, and is expected to shoot up in the coming days,"
he added.
While nurseries in Doddaballapur and Hosur form the major suppliers to IFAB, polyhouses in
Nelamangala in Bangalore Rural, Tumkur and Chikkaballapur districts also participate in the
auction. Apart from the red rose, the symbol of love, varieties in white, yellow, pink, purple and
mixed colours are also popular.
Established in 2002, IFAB is a joint venture company of public and private shareholders, and
provides a forum to auction high quality cut flowers every day. This platform for sellers and
buyers is said to be the first of its kind in Asia. The centre has two cold storage units, where 2.5
lakh stems can be stored.
Thanu Murthy, auction officer at IFAB, said the roses nurtured around Bangalore have a
better shelf life. "Weather conditions around Bangalore are best suited for floriculture from
October to March and growers have good quality roses from Christmas to Valentine season.
These rose varieties remain in good condition for seven days in cold storage and two days
under normal conditions," he added.
Sridhar Chowdhary, managing director, Vinayaka Agritech Limited, said of late, they are
having to compete with roses from Kenya and China. "Production in China, though, has
dropped due to the cold climate and in the past two months, Bangalore has received good
export orders," he added.
Dr CG Nagaraju, managing director, IFAB, who is also deputy director (Bangalore Rural),
horticulture department, said there's a growing demand from foreign countries. "Japan, for
example, which has stringent quarantine measures, is a regular importer, and IFAB accounts
for 20% of their total flower imports," he added.
Nagaraju said IFAB is planning to extend the auction forum for online buyers as well.
T im es View
Love is good news for rose growers from villages around the city. From Doddaballapur to
Danish shores is no small achievement, as the Bangalore rose flies out to international
auctions. The almost-perfect climate of the region has given local farmers this big business
opportunity, and the auction platform has helped them export their produce. A 20% increase in
demand this year should come as an encouraging sign to floriculturists. The plan to make it an
online auction could just be the catalyst they need to make the sector bloom.
Nation al » K arnatak a
Published: February 6, 2014 13:05 IST | Updated: February 6, 2014 13:06 IST ​
Ban galo re's ro se expo rts blo o m ah ead o f Valen tin e’s D ay
Staff Reporter
Roses are grown on nearly 250 hectares in and around Bangalore, while the daily production is around 15 lakh stems. Photo: Bhagya
Prakash K.
The Hindu
A ro u n d f iv e m illio n ro ses a re expec ted to be expo rted f ro m Ba n g a lo re
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, nearly five million roses are expected to be exported from Bangalore,
which produces the best varieties in India.
C.G. Nagaraju, managing director, International Flower Auction Bangalore (IFAB) Ltd., told reporters here on
Wednesday that roses were grown on nearly 250 hectares in and around Bangalore, while the daily production was
around 15 lakh stems. The varieties that are in demand are ‘Taj Mahal’, ‘Grand Gala’ and ‘First Red’.
He said while roses did not have a market all round the year, they were in demand on certain days, such as Valentine’s
Day and Mother’s Day. “This year, due to harsh weather in Europe, we expect increased exports of long-stemmed
roses. The increase is likely to be between 20 to 25 per cent from last year when four million stems were exported,” he
Major exports are made to European countries, Gulf countries, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia.
Increased exports are also being attributed to the Valentine’s Day weekend.
Mr. Nagaraju said that even locally, the sale of roses had picked up. With the wedding season a month away, the sale
of roses was likely to see an increase. During Valentine’s Day, 25 lakh long-stemmed roses are expected to be sold
V. Jhansi Lakshmi, vice-president of the South India Floriculture Association, said the floriculture industry would
grow with good support from both the Union and State governments by having a single window system for the export
of flowers. Customs and phytosanitation should be under a single window, and airfreight rates must be subsidises and
import duties exempted, she said.
IFAB’s executive member M. Sridhar Chowdary said that in India, varieties that were developed nearly 10 years ago
were cultivated. Indian growers face stiff competition from growers in Kenya, Ethiopia and China, where newer
varieties were cultivated. “The biggest challenge is the royalty that growers will have to pay to cultivate the new
varieties. It has to be resolved,” he added.
Keywords: Bangalore rose export, Valentine's day celebrations, International Flower Auction Bangalore
Printable version | Feb 19, 2014 4:13:26 PM |
A b o ut F lo r ic ultur e T o d a y
F REE Dir e c to r y Entr y
P ub lis he r s I ntr o d uc tio n
DI RECT ORY - F lo r ic ultur e ,
Nur s e r y & La nd s c a p e
Up c o m ing Ex hib itio ns
P r e v io us I s s ue s o f F LT
Othe r P ub lic a tio ns
A d v e r tis e m e nt T a r if f
Sub s c r ip tio n Bo o k ing F o r m
Me d ia P a r tne r s
Co m p le m e ntr y Co p y
Co nta c t Us
- By Dr. Sangita Ladha, Former Director - Horticulture Training C enter and Dr. Surya Gunjal, Director, School of Agril. Sciences , YC MOU, Nasik
" A us tr a lia r e m a ins a n une x p lo r e d m a r k e t f o r the f a s t g r o wing I nd ia n f lo r ic ultur e tr a d e a nd ind us tr y . I ts
d e m a nd p a tte r n, hig h p r o d uc tio n c o s ts a nd the g e ne r a l d is lik e o n the p a r t o f its y o uth to ta k e up f a r m ing
a c tiv itie s c a n p r o v e a b le s s ing f o r the I nd ia n f lo r ic ultur e ind us tr y to p us h up the s a le s to A us tr a lia , whe r e
the d e m a nd f o r f lo we r s is g r o wing r a p id ly , s a y s M B Na q v i a f te r a v is it to Me lb o ur ne , Sy d ne y a nd Br is b a ne .
" P a c k a g ing is v e r y im p o r ta nt to g e t a g o o d p r ic e . . . W e c a n g r o w b e s t q ua lity f lo we r s b ut if we d o n't k no w
m o d e r n a nd s a f e wa y to d e liv e r the m a ny whe r e , the who le e f f o r t g o e s wa s te . W e s ho uld b e v e r y c a r e f ul
a b o ut p a c k a g ing ," e m p ha s is e d A li Bha i."
It is observed that India's exports of cut flowers is around 0.07 % of total world value exports to US ( US $ 634 million) while that to European
Union(EU) is 0.42% of world exports to the EU (€ 3.36 billion) in 2004. Rose imports in the EU account to 28 % of the total fresh cut flower imports
and have the largest share. In view of the higher demand, consumption and premium prices with lower weight and thereby affordable freight, the
exports of roses has higher prospects and is viable for developing countries like India.
W o r ld Ma r k e t Siz e o f Cut f lo we r s a nd P la nts
It is said that Europe is a Trend Setter in C ut flowers, the reason being the market size. The market size could be analyzed by the per capita
consumption of C ut flowers in some of the main countries from different continents as consumption is directly related with the demand and thereby
the market.
C onsidering the population of each of the country, the market value of C ut flower consumption is as presented below : countries is as shown.
W o r ld wid e A r e a und e r F lo r ic ultur e : In terms of total area in production, Asia -Pacific with
an area of 2,44,263 ha accounts for nearly 60% of the total world area which is estimated to be
nearly 4,00,000 hectares.C hina and India have large total areas under flower cultivation but
only a small percentage of the area is under protected cultivation as the production is mainly
for the domestic markets with large area under open field flower cultivation rather than under
protected cultivation From Table 2 below, it is observed that in terms of area under total flower
production with respect to the world area, India has 26.62 % of area but under protected
cultivation the area is hardly measurable. World C ut flower Import and Export Scenario
(1) T o p T e n I m p o r ting Co untr ie s : As per the trade analysis on imports as per table 3
below, the combined total imports of C ut flowers by the European Union member countries
account to nearly 70 % of world imports. The other prominent countries are USA, Japan and
Switzerland. This trend in imports is inline with the consumption pattern wherein the largest
consumer is again Europe followed by USA and Japan.
(2) Ma r k e t f o r De v e lo p ing Co untr ie s (DC) in Eur o p e :
The Table 4 below reflects the market share of India in comparison with that of other DC 's in the EU which is the world's leading importer of flowers
and foliage, with imports amounting to € 3.3 billion in 2005.
I nf e r e nc e f r o m T a b le -4 :
Fresh C ut flowers imports account to nearly 94.6 % of the total imports clearly dominating the trade.
In the fresh cut flower sector , worldwide roses dominate the market. The share of developing countries is 36 %
amounting to € 328 millions. India's share is just 0.4 % in this trade based on the average values compiled for last
3- 4 years.
Prepared (Dry) cut-flowers is only 2.96 % and that of Foliage is only 2.44 % of total imports of cut flowers and
foliage. Hence though India is a topmost supplier of Dry flowers , dry and fresh foliage to Europe, the market
share of all these three products put together is only 5.4 % as seen above with India hardly figuring anywhere in
fresh cut flowers.
F o lia g e : Important species imported are: Leatherleaf ferns (Arachniodes adiantiformis), Asparagus,
Eucalyptus, Dracaena, Ruscus, Aspidistra and Monstera.
(3) T he Ma in I m p o r ting c o untr ie s in the EU o f Cut-f lo we r s a nd f o lia g e :
Referring to Table below, the average values of imports of C ut flowers and foliage in the EU between 2002 and
2004, imports were € 3268 millions with the top most importing countries being UK and Germany each with a
share of 25.5 % followed by The Netherlands ( 13.76 %) and France (13.08 %). The imports of fresh cut flowers in
EU has been dominated by Roses which emerges as the single largest fresh cut flower to be traded in the EU
market and main importing countries are also shown in table above.
(4) Re c e nt
T r e nd s in s a le s o f to p te n f r e s h Cut F lo we r s :
The sales of individual cut flowers are crucial for voluminous production and exports so as to achieve economies
of scale. In a nutshell, if the product is in demand, it is largely sold and needs to be targeted for mass production
for exports.. Referring to table 06 below , sales of Roses is 30 % of total flower sales even in Netherlands
(5) P r o s p e c ts f o r the De v e lo p ing Co untr ie s (DC) in T he Ne the r la nd s m a r k e ts :
The table -7 below is on the imports of C ut flowers and foliage in The Netherlands as
it has the largest auction centers in the world.. The Netherlands auction figures from
the above table confirm that Roses emerge as a major cut flowers being imported
from the Developing C ountries(DC ) in particular. This trend is especially important
as The Netherlands is the top most exporter of fresh cut flowers and foliages in the
world. The analysis of the suppliers of C ut Flowers and foliage indicate that India has
established itself the topmost supplier of dry flowers and have a sizeable share of 24
% in case of foliage's. In case of Fresh cut flowers and especially Roses the share of
developing countries is 96 % out of which Kenya alone is around 60 per cent.
Referring to Table 6 and 7, it is noted that in 2005 The Netherlands imported C ut
flowers and foliage worth 449.67 euro million out of which the share of imports from
DC was 74.1 %
(6) Ov e r a ll a na ly s is o f s ta tus o f I nd ia in the I m p o r ts o f Cut f lo we r s a nd
f o lia g e in the Eur o p e a n Unio n a nd T he Ne the r la nd s :
The Fresh C ut Flowers imported in some of the leading EU member countries and
India's standing in supplies of fresh cut flowers to these countries is reflected in
Table 8 below: India's share in the leading importing countries like Germany and UK
is negligible. Similarly though 96 % of roses in The Netherlands are supplied by
developing countries, India which exports, mainly roses has a share of just 0.36 %
in The Netherlands despite the potential. The reason for the low percent share of
India is attributed mainly to the high handling charges in the auction and the
discriminatory high import duty in the European Union levied on Indian flowers .
(7) I m p o r ts o f F r e s h Cut f lo we r s in Ja p a n :
The imports of fresh cut flowers in Japan is very encouraging as India is one of the
topmost supplier to Japan with India's share increasing from 35.7 % in 2000 to 46.3
% 2005 with supplies from Netherlands ( 4.75 %). According to the EU market
survey done by C BI, small-leafed standardised foliage (low volume/value ratio)
such as Tops of Dracaena Marginata, Sanderiana, etc.,Areca, C alathea and small
Pandanus are highly in demand. This demand for different foliage varieties is still
increasing in Europe for use in cheap bouquets. Furthermore, European importers do
not have any reticence about using tropical foliage and hence a good opportunity
exists to the developing countries in supplying these products during periods when
these products are scarce on the market. In order to compete, developing country
exporters must be able to supply products of consistent quality on a regular basis.
(7) W o r ld Cut F lo we r Ex p o r t Ma r k e ts :
Referring to table 11 below on the exports, The Netherlands with nearly 64 %
exports is the world's leading exporter and also re-exports a large proportion of its
imported cut flowers (70 % of all auctioned imports) and plays a pivotal role in the
world cut flower trade. Among the Asian countries, Thailand with sole cut-flower
product Orchids still accounts for 1 % and is listed in one of the Top ten cut-flower
exporting country.
(8) I nd ia 's p o s itio n in Ex p o r ts o f F lo r ic ultur e p r o d uc ts to the EU in 2004 :
Referring to Table 12 below in the year 2004, India's floriculture exports with €
35.55 million has been ranked 20th in the world exporting countries to the European Union. The share of India's total floriculture exports is only
0.42 % in the world exports to the EU. In cut flowers, it is observed that the value of
Indian exports were USD 0.45 millions and that of foliage was USD 7.28 millions.
India's share is 0.07 % in the total cut flowers imports in the country and in total
floriculture products, India ranks 15th with 0.79 % share. In a nutshell the prospects
and forecasts of the trade: The above figures on worldwide consumption, market
size, exports and growth rate of exports, worldwide imports and share of imports
from the developing countries indicates that with rose imports from the developing
C ountries being 28.5 % thereby indicating an excellent demand and a growing
market. The trade in Foliages indicate that India has emerged as the top most
supplier among the developing countries and have succeed in developing a
sustainable market in the EU. The floriculture industry in India can therefore continue
to concentrate in this faster growing segment and undertake an aggressive marketing
to increase the market share in US and in EU.
A ll Rights Res erved @ M edia T oday P vt. L td.
Debt-ridden Karuturi Flowers closes shop
F o llo w
February 11, 2014
0 Comment
Business - News
Lik e
By James Ngare
Global horticulture giant, Karututi Flowers Limited has closed its Kenyan operations, can
authoritatively report.
In April last year, the Kenyan government has found Karuturi Global Ltd, the world’s biggest producer of cut roses, guilty
of tax evasion.
The dispute began in 2008 when, the Kenya Revenue Authority ruled that the Bangalore, India-based multinational used
transfer pricing to avoid paying the government of Kenya nearly US$11 million (EUR8 million) in corporate income tax,
part of a larger set of tax disputes with government authorities that amount to a quarter of the firm’s annual turnover.
Dissatisfied with KRA’s ruling, Karuturi appealed, bringing the proceedings into the public domain.
The flower firm is part of Karuturi Global Ltd with operations spread across Ethiopia, Kenya and India where they have
their global headquarters.
It is owned by Indian billionaire Sai Ramakrishna Karuturi know n w orldw ide for tax evasion.
The Naivasha-based firm has been reeling under billions of debts and has been w aging a losing battle
against Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) w ho has been demanding billions of shillings in unpaid tax .
The firm has severally been accused by the tax man for tax -evasion and engaging transfer pricing in order to
avoid its obligations at Times Tow er.
Since yesterday, Kieran Day and Ian Small of financial services firm has been running Karuturi as the official receiver
However, we could not immediately confirm as to the fate of over 3,000 workers who spent the better part of today
camping the farm’s gate.
The Indian-owned firm went down with billions of unpaid workers salaries with one of the directors; a Mr. Peter Mehta
heard telling his workers to liaise with the receiver manger to access their due.
In 2008, another Indian-firm, Triton Oil, went down with billions owed to local commercial banks.
The Tiriton scandal involved the unauthorized releasing of oil by Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC) without informing
financiers. The arrangement resulted in the loss of oil amounting to Kshs7.6 billion.
It’s founding CEO Yagnesh Devani then flew out of the country and has been enjoying his stolen cash in London.
Kenyan government has since issued a warrant to arrest him, but the flamboyant businessman remains “free” in
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Karuturi flower farm put under receivership
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Naiv asha, Kenya: The horticulture sector suffered a major blow after
the country's largest flower farm Karuturi Ltd was placed under
A few days before Valentine when demand for roses is high, CFC bank
took over the running of the Naivasha based flower farm.
Kieran Day and Ian Small of financial services firm have been appointed
as the receiver managers and security group G4S took control of the
farm’s assets.
The fate over 3,000 workers was not clear as they camped outside the
farm's gate waiting for communication from the new managers.
The move comes a few days after The Sunday Standard in an exclusive
story revealed the crisis that was facing the workers and their families.
In the green houses, roses ready for harvest lay uncollected as it
emerged that the workers had not reported for duty for three days.
At its peak the farm was dubbed as the world leading producer of roses
at 1m stems per day but financial constrains has adversely affected its
In the last five months workers have gone without salaries while
electricity and water have been disconnected as the workers endured on
poor working condition.
And on Tuesday morning, the bank took over the running of the farm with
an impeccable source indicating that the farm owed the bank and other
debtors over Sh400m.
Addressing the workers, the community chairman Peter Mehta
confirmed that the farm was under receiv ership.
Mehta told the workers that new managers had promised to address the
workers woes and way forward by Friday.
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Horticulture export earnings drop again
Visitors tour a flower farm in Njoro, Nakuru County, last July. Kenya has made slow progress in developing new markets especially in Russia and Japan. FILE
Horticultural exports dropped 7.2 per cent from Sh89.9 billion in 2012 to Sh83.4 billion last year in line with a declining trend started in 2011.
Growers blame strong shilling and low EU demand for the three-year trend.
T he industry had hoped to register a 10 per cent growth in the year.
Horticulture export earnings have dropped for the third consecutive year with growers blaming a strong shilling, subdued European demand and rising cost of
production for the changing fortunes.
Horticultural exports dropped 7.2 per cent from Sh89.9 billion in 2012 to Sh83.4 billion last year in line with a declining trend started in 2011, according to latest
Kenya National Bureau of Statistics data.
The industry had hoped to register a 10 per cent growth in the year.
“This business is no longer profitable because earnings have remained flat over the years while cost of labour, equipment and inputs continue to soar,” Homegrown
CEO Richard Fox said.
Weak demand resulting from the European economic crisis and low shilling equivalent of dollar earnings also significantly narrowed the gap between expenses and
revenues, discouraging farmers.
The shilling averaged 85 units to the dollar and about 115 against the Euro throughout the crop season compared to a low of Sh107 against the dollar in 2010.
The data showed that cut flower exports dropped by 13.9 per cent from Sh65 billion in 2012 to Sh56 billion.
Earnings from fruits dropped 4.4 per cent to Sh4.5 billion while vegetable growers had positive income growth of 10.4 per cent last year, bringing in hard currency
worth Sh22.3 billion. The drop was also evident in actual volumes flown out.
The dwindling fortunes have rekindled debate about Kenya’s preparedness to compete for investment with emerging producers like Ethiopia.
“I see that Ethiopia is much more investor friendly than Kenya of late. They have cheaper labour, affordable air freight, easy land access and great tax incentives,”
Mount Elgon Ochards chief executive Bob Andersen said. The firm is based in Kitale.
Most growers, however, see uncertainty over preferential trade with Europe where Kenya exports up to 82 per cent of horticultural commodities as the biggest threat
to their investments.
The uncertainty has seen a number of growers scale down on capital investments, hurting the industry’s competitiveness even more.
“Nobody in the sector is willing to put money in long term projects because we face the danger of losing our largest market,” Mr Fox said.
Kenya and its East African Community partners have failed to formalise the preferential trade deal in the last 10 years, forcing the EU parliament to impose October
2014 as the deadline for concluding the talks.
If the pact is not signed by the deadline, Kenya’s horticultural exports will attract taxes of up to 8.5 per cent. Kenya has made slow progress in developing new
markets, especially in Russia and Japan.
The Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK) is hopeful of gains especially in China and the US.
“These markets are already familiar with our cut flowers which they currently buy via the Netherlands auctions,” FPEAK chief executive Daniel Mbithi said.
Back to Business Dai ly: Horti cultu re export e ar nings drop agai n <URL: javascript:h istory.go(-1)>
Sunday, February 9, 2014, 00:01
More than just a rose
Traditionally, the rose is the most sought after flower worldwide. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi
Since time immemorial, the rose has been the epitome of beauty, love and passion. Simonne Pace finds out why the queen of
flowers has earned its place at the very top.
Can you remember the last time you got a bouquet of flowers? I certainly do, and if you do too, then you are a woman in the truest
sense of the word.
Consumer research by the Michael Cohen Group shows that 92 per cent of women can remember the last time they received flowers
and 89 per cent say receiving flowers makes them feel special.
The special thing with flowers is that they touch a person’s heart straight away. In a study by a team of researchers at Rutgers, The
State University of New Jersey, it was proven that flowers have an immediate impact on happiness, a long-term positive effect on
moods and make intimate connections.
But why are roses so much more famous than any other flowers? This is because throughout the centuries, roses have been used to
communicate messages of love, friendship and admiration. The rose has been a favourite flower of poets since poetry began. There
you have it.
US President Barack Obama himself speaks from the White House Rose Garden when he has an important message to put across
to the nation.
The great Roman leader Marc Antony met Egyptian queen Cleopatra in a room that was filled knee-deep in rose petals. The Romans
outdid the Greeks when Nero, their hedonistic emperor, dumped tons of rose petals on his dinner guests. Newly-married couples were
also often crowned with roses.
After a war, brave Roman soldiers would return to be showered with rose petals by the civilians eagerly awaiting their return. Rose
petals were also often dropped in wine in Roman times because it was thought that the essence of roses would stave off
The rose has a long history, dating back to ancient civilisations. Ancient Egyptian graves are known to have petrified roses and, even
before human time, rose fossils have been discovered in Europe.
Some religious documents make reference to roses as a symbol of the blood of Christian martyrs who died for their faith.
The Romans adopted the rose as a symbol of love, secrecy and beauty. Roman dining-rooms were displayed with roses, reminding
guests to keep secret what had been said during dinner.
Roses were also part of Greek mythology, said to be created by Aphrodite when
shedding tears and the blood of her lover Adonis. In Romeo and Juliet, William
Shakespeare asks: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other
name would smell as sweet.”
Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of The Secret Garden, writes: “Where you tend a
rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow.”
600 to 700 bouquets are
prepared in the run-up to
Valentine’s Day
In Victorian times, long before the tradition of hanging out and getting drinks was introduced, suitors had to be extremely careful about
how and where they approached a lady. There weren’t any outright flirtations at the time and small bouquets of flowers were sent to
quietly speak
of deep and secret feelings.
“Traditionally, people ask for roses on Valentine’s Day, the most popular being the red rose, symbolising passionate love,” says florist
Aldo Muscat, one of the owners of Lewis Micallef Co. Ltd, better known as Il-Qronfla.
“Bouquets of six or 12 roses, as well as roses, accompanying soft toys or balloons are the most popular. Tulips are next in line,
followed by mixed bouquets which include roses,” he adds.
The florist, who grew up in the business with his late father Philip and his brother Patrick, says Valentine’s Day was first celebrated in
Malta about 50 years ago by the British Services, who used to organise a ball for the occasion at Lascaris, while the tradition of
sending flowers to say “I love you” started about 30 years ago.
“For this special occasion, we supplied the British Services with a heart arrangement made of red carnations and other loose flowers,”
Mr Muscat reminisces.
“Celebrating Valentine’s Day has become more popular over the years, making the event one of the busiest days on a florist’s
Author of Flower Power and TV host Rebecca Cole says: “If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then the pathway to a
woman’s heart is through her other senses.”
Local florist Prentiss Zammit, who runs F. Zammit Garden Centre in Qormi, admits that it’s mostly men who order red roses for their
women and not vice-versa. The very few women who do order flowers for their better halves, order blue roses, which they prefer to
give personally on the actual day rather than have them delivered. The florist pointed out that there are actually no blue roses but white
roses dyed blue.
With 5,000 roses imported just for Valentine’s Day, Mr Zammit says roses are still a favourite with people, with about 600 to 700
bouquets being prepared in the run-up to Valentine’s Day, from bouquets of two roses up to 50 and even 100.
So if you’re thinking of buying roses any time soon, just give your gesture a bit more thought. Think of Cupid, son of Venus, getting
stung by a bee and accidentally shooting arrows into a rose garden.
Let yourself be transported into a world of mythological illusion. Believe, even if for a second, that the sting of Cupid’s arrows caused
the roses to grow thorns and that when Venus walked through the garden and pricked her foot, her blood turned the roses red.
Buying a rose suddenly turns from a mere cliché into an exciting adventure that is full of colour and imagination.
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Vereniging van
Groothandelaren in
Postbus 1104
1430 BC Aalsmeer
Turfstekerstraat 63
1431 GD Aalsmeer
Telefoon: 0297 - 38 02 02
Aalsmeer, 17 februari 2014
0297 - 36 03 09
[email protected]
Bloemenexport Valentijn leed niet onder veilingstaking
AALSMEER – De bloemenhandel heeft in de week voor Valentijn, hét
bloemenfeest van het jaar, nauwelijks last gehad van de stakingen op
de vestigingen van FloraHolland. De export, goed voor 85 % van de
totale omzet in die sector, heeft er niet onder geleden. Dat zegt de
brancheorganisatie voor de groothandel in bloemen en planten VGB.
“Het is redelijk goed gegaan allemaal”, zegt exporteur Wim Wesseling. “We hebben iets
meer moeten improviseren met luchtvracht. Een vrachtauto wacht wel een half uur,
maar een vliegtuig niet. Maar een topdag als Valentijn vereist sowieso enige
improvisatie, dus zo bijzonder was het ook weer niet.” Overigens wordt het leeuwendeel
van de export per vrachtwagen vervoerd. Dat het weer in de meeste Europese landen
zacht voor de tijd van het jaar was, heeft de afzet ook gestimuleerd, denken handelaren.
Vooral de inzet van de coöperatieve veilingorganisatie FloraHolland en transporteurs
zorgde ervoor dat, behoudens korte vertragingen, alle producten toch op tijd weg
konden, zegt de VGB (Vereniging van Groothandelaren in Bloemkwekerijprodukten). Ook
kwekers toonden grote waardering voor het feit dat veel veilingpersoneel van andere
afdelingen de door stakingen ontstane tekorten aan menskracht in de logistiek opvulde.
De prijzen waren, evenals vorig jaar niet extreem hoog, constateerden handelsbedrijven.
Dat kwam ook door grote aanvoer van de producten.
Rode producten deden het op het liefdesfeest het best. Vooral rode rozen bleken
favoriet.. Maar ook Chrysanten, Gerbera’s, Freesia’s, Lelies en rode Anthuriums werden
veel gevraagd. Volgens sommige kwekers was de koopkracht op de veilingklokken lager
dan voor Valentijn normaal zou zijn geweest, maar anderen spreken dat tegen. In
handelskringen ziet men qua prijsniveau weinig verschillen met vorig jaar. Voor de
meeste producten worden de prijzen niet extreem hoog genoemd. Sommige handelaren
hebben de indruk dat chrysanten er tegen het einde van de week enigszins hoger in prijs
Doordat de vakbonden van tevoren acties in de Valentijnweek hadden aangekondigd,
namen veel exporteurs tijdig maatregelen en zij maakten afspraken met kwekers voor
directe levering, buiten de veilingklokken om. Afzet via supermarkten ging vrijwel geheel
buiten de veiling om (op de afrekening na), zodat de producten niet op de
veilingvestigingen behoefden te worden verwerkt. Dat meldt onder anderen Boudewijn
Rip, directeur Retail van Dutch Flower Group, het grootste exportconcern in de sector.
De VGB is de brancheorganisatie voor de binnenlandse, importerende en exporterende
groothandel in bloemen en planten. Haar leden vertegenwoordigen € 3,5 miljard omzet
in die bedrijfstak.
(Einde bericht)
NOOT VOOR DE REDACTIE / niet voor publicatie: voor meer informatie kunt u
contact opnemen met Robert Roodenburg bij de VGB, telefoon 0297 380202.
Es muss die rote Rose sein
V on Ju lia n e L u t z. Aktualisiert am 1 4.02.201 4 1 Ko m m e n t a r
Am b elieb testen ist am Valentinstag nach w ie v or die K önigin der Blum en, am b esten
in T iefr ot. Das zeigt ein Besuch der Ber ner Blum enb ör se. Duftr osen suchen K äufer
m eist v er geb lich. U nd die schönsten Exem plar e kom m en aus Ecuador .
1/4Die rote Rose steht für Liebe.
Bild: Stefan Anderegg
Artikel zum Thema
Valentinstag: Alles nur Promo?
«Einander schätzen ist das Wichtigste»
Blumen aus Ökoanbau und fairem Handel
Neben Coop, Migros, Aldi oder Volg bieten
auch Blum eneinzelhändler Pflanzen aus
fairem Handel unter dem Label Max
Hav elaar an. Adressen sind auf der Website
Morgens kurz vor 6 Uhr sind die Parkplätze der Berner
Blumenbörse gut belegt. Drinnen herrscht geschäftiges
Treiben. Floristinnen und auch ein paar Floristen
schieben Wägen mit Tulpen, Ranunkeln, Grünzeug,
aber vor allem mit Rosen vor sich her. Sie spielen an
Valentinstag die Hauptrolle. «60 bis 65 Prozent der
Blumen, die wir am 14.Februar verkaufen, sind Rosen»,
sagt Urs Meier, Geschäftsleiter des Schweizerischen
Floristenverbands. Danach folgen erst mit grossem
Abstand Tulpen und Anemonen.
v on Max Hav elaar aufgelistet. Coop bietet
Rot, langstielig, ohne Duft
Blum en aus Europa unter dem OecoplanSiegel an. Sie wurden gewässer- und
bodenschonend gezogen.
Arbeitet der Blum enhändler ohne Labels,
sollten Kunden gezielt nach Blum en aus
guter zertifizierter Quelle fragen, rät
Bernhard Bürgisser, Inhaber des
Ein Raum der Blumenbörse hat sich in ein wahres Meer
von Rosen in Farben von Vanille über Zitronengelb,
Barbiepink und Violett bis zu Chanelrot verwandelt.
Frühmorgens brachten sie Lastwagen aus den
Niederlanden und Italien. Die ersten lieferten ihre zarte
Ware bereits um 1 Uhr nachts ab.
drittgrössten Schweizer Blum enim porteurs
Agrotropic. Das MPS-Label etwa steht für
Produzenten, die nachhaltig wirtschaften.
Bürgissers Tipp: Dam it die Blum en lange
halten, m uss die Vase ganz sauber sein.
Sonst v erm ehren sich im Wasser Bakterien,
Unübersehbar aber dominiert die Farbe Rot. «Um den
14.Februar verkaufen wir rund 50 Prozent mehr rote
Rosen als an anderen Tagen», sagt René Bergmann,
Verwaltungsratspräsident der Berner Blumenbörsen.
die den Blum en schaden. Auch wichtig sind
Die langstieligen Königinnen der Blumen wirken edel
und hochmütig zugleich, wie sie zu Tausenden aus den
quetschen, und Frischhaltem ittel im
Wassereimern ragen. Samtig fühlen sich Blüten der Red
Wasser. Es v erlängert die Lebensdauer um
Naomi an, eine der derzeit beliebtesten roten
zwei Tage.
Edelrosensorten. Selbst wer die Nase förmlich in ihre
oder in die Blüten anderer Prachtexemplare drückt,
riecht nichts. Dass Rosen auch fein duften, wird immer mehr zum Mythos. Im Bestreben, die
Züchtungen länger haltbar zu machen, ging der Duft verloren.
ein frischer Anschnitt, ohne die Stängel zu
S chönheiten aus Ecuador
Haltbarkeit aber ist bei Edelrosen ein wichtiges Kriterium. Die schönsten kommen heute aus
Ecuador. Cayambe, 2800 Meter hoch und nordöstlich von der Hauptstadt Quito gelegen, gehört zu
den Hauptanbaugebieten von Edelrosen. Die Höhe lässt sie langsamer wachsen, was ihre Stiele
länger und ihre Köpfe grösser werden lässt. Die intensive Sonnenbestrahlung verleiht ihnen
besonders eindrucksvolle Farben. Durch Kühlung in ein künstliches Koma versetzt, das dem
Welken entgegen wirkt, treten sie ihre viertägige Reise in die Schweiz an. Und sehen dort im Laden
aus wie frisch gepflückt.
Umweltbewusste Menschen dürfte es angesichts des CO2-Ausstosses, den allein der 12-stündige
Flug von Quito nach Amsterdam verursacht, schaudern. Doch die ecuadorianischen Beautys
schneiden aufgrund des warmen Klimas, aus dem sie stammen, punkto Ökobilanz besser ab als
Rosen aus Europa. Dort müssen die Gewächshäuser lange geheizt werden, was zu grosser CO2Belastung führt.
380 S tr äusse an einem T ag
Bei Blumen Maarsen in Bern binden an normalen Tagen 5 bis 7 Floristinnen 30 bis 50 Sträusse.
Vor Valentinstag arbeiten 13 Floristinnen unter Hochdruck an Bouquets. 2012 wurden 380
Gebinde im Laden verkauft und ausgeliefert. «Am 14.Februar erzielen wir den Umsatz von einer
Woche», sagt Inhaberin Sandra Maarsen.
Im Durchschnitt erzielen die Besitzer der 1889 Blumenläden in der Schweiz an diesem Tag sogar 5
Prozent ihres Jahresumsatzes. «An diesem Tag werden im Schweizer Blumenhandel etwa 40
Millionen von insgesamt 800 Millionen erwirtschaftet», so Urs Meier vom Floristenverband.
P r eise enor m er höht
Blumenzüchter weltweit nutzen die gigantische Nachfrage nach Rosen an diesem Tag und
erhöhen die Preise enorm. Diese Differenz gebe man aber kaum an den Einzelhandel weiter, heisst
es bei der Vereinigung des Schweizerischen Blumengrosshandels. «Um Valentinstag liegen die
Preise für Rosen am Verkaufspunkt im Schnitt um 10 Prozent höher, einzelne, langstielige rote
Rosen können ein Drittel teurer sein», so Geschäftsführer Thomas Bähler.
Wie gut, dass Liebe die Herzen weitet und Kunden grosszügig macht. Rund 50 Franken geben sie
laut Schweizerischem Floristenverband am 14.Februar für einen Strauss aus. «Es sind
hauptsächlich Männer, die kaufen», sagt Sandra Maarsen. Manche Dinge ändern sich eben nie.
(Berner Zeitung)
Erstellt: 14.02.2014, 09:35 Uhr
Alle Kommentare anzeigen
Valentinstag lässt Kassen von
Blumenläden klingeln
Umsatz Am Tag der Liebenden werden die Blumenläden überrannt. Die Kassen
klingeln wie sonst nie während des Jahres. Dennoch bleiben den Geschäften kaum
Gewinne übrig.
Rosen: Der Klassiker ist bei Verliebten besonders beliebt.
Der Valentinstag lässt nicht nur die Herzen der Liebenden alljährlich höher schlagen.
Auch die Floristen sehnen sich den 14. Februar herbei, wenn sie so viele Blumen
verkaufen wir sonst an zehn Tagen. Kein Weg führt dabei an Rosen vorbei.
«Menschen setzen am Valentinstag weiterhin auf Tradition», erklärt Beat Thomann,
Geschäftsführer der Zürcher Blumenbörse, gegenüber der Nachrichtenagentur sda.
Gefragt seien am Tag, an dem sich Liebende in aller Welt mit Blumen beschenken,
bekanntlich rote Rosen.
Umsatzstärkster Tag des Jahres
Thomann ist Herr über eine Fläche von 35'000 Quadratmeter in einer Industriezone in
der Nähe von Dübendorf ZH. Am grössten Blumenmarkt der Schweiz gehen ab fünf Uhr
morgens täglich tausende Blumen über den Ladentisch. Alleine in der Valentinswoche
werden 100'000 Rosen an die Fachhändler verkauft - 14 Mal mehr als sonst.
«Der Valentinstag ist sicherlich der umsatzstärkste Tag des Jahres für uns», bestätigt
Urs Meier, Geschäftsleiter vom Schweizerischen Floristenverband, auf Anfrage. Die
Schweizer Floristen erzielten am 14. Februar gut fünf Prozent ihres Jahresumsatzes. Im
Schnitt gebe jeder Kunde rund 50 Franken aus.
Logistische Herausforderungen
Die logistischen Herausforderungen sind dabei enorm. Dennoch ist Thomann für den
Ansturm gewappnet. Denn die Vorbereitungen beginnen bereits Wochen vorher, wenn
Grosshändler abklären, wie viele Blumen sie benötigen. «Da es sechs bis acht Wochen
dauert bis Rosen erntereif sind, hängt alles von der richtigen Planung ab», sagt
Um den Kunden möglichst frische Blumen zu garantieren, scheut der Geschäftsführer
von der Zürcher Blumenbörse keinen Aufwand. Damit die aus Holland importierten
Rosen länger halten, werden sie in einem Wasserbad geliefert. «Dafür müssen wir aber
auch das Gewicht des Wassers verzollen», sagt Thomann.
So gross der Ansturm auf die Blumen ist: Unter dem Strich bleibt in den Taschen der
Floristen wenig zurück. «Der Valentinstag treibt die Einkaufspreise bis zu 200 Prozent
in die Höhe», so Thomann. Diesen könne man aber unmöglich an die Kunden
weitergeben. Entsprechend werden die Gewinne im Alltagsgeschäft gemacht.
Gute Chance
Der Bedeutung des Valentinstages für die Branche tut dies keinen Abbruch. Es sei
sicherlich immer eine gute Chance, sich der Öffentlichkeit zu präsentieren, schätzt
Thomann. Weniger gut passt da der oft geäusserte Vorwurf, dass der Valentinstag eine
Erfindung der Blumenhändler sei.
Bereits die alten Römer feierten zwar Mitte Februar ein Liebesfest, richtig in Gang
gekommen ist der Valentinstag aber erst als amerikanische Soldaten den Brauch nach
Mitteleuropa brachten. Der Tag der Liebenden wurde in der Schweiz erstmals 1949
Meier beobachtet insbesondere bei jungen Menschen, dass der Valentinstag in den
letzten Jahren an Bedeutung gewonnen hat. «Junge nehmen sich den Tag wieder mehr
zu Herzen.» Dabei gehe es um die Symbolwirkung.
Nicht zufällig ist laut Meier deshalb die Rosensorte namens «Red Naomi» derzeit der
Verkaufsrenner. Die holländische Blume verfügt über einen grossen Kopf mit vielen
Blütenblättern, einen langen Stiel und eine intensive rote Farbe.
Hinweis der Redaktion
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pornografische Beiträge sowie Kommentare, die anderweitig gegen geltendes Recht
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Serv ices
3° / 8°
14.02.2014, 08:59
Ein Tag zum Feiern oder Frust mit
Während die einen heute jede Minute mit ihren Liebsten geniessen,
ihnen die volle Aufmerksamkeit schenken und sie mit Blumen
überhäufen, sehen die anderen überhaupt nicht ein, warum man diesen
Tag feiern soll. Tote Blumen und vom Kalender verordnete Nettigkeit sind
ihre Sache nicht. Auch in der BT-Redaktion ist man sich uneins, was den
Valentinstag betrifft.
Symb olb ild: b t/a
Feiern Sie den Valentinstag?
Ja, ich bringe meiner Liebsten, meinem
Liebsten auf jeden Fall Blumen
Ja, ich überrasche meine Liebste, meinen
Liebsten, aber nicht mit Blumen
Nein, ich bin Single
Nein, der Valentinstag ist eine Abzocke der
Blumen- und Pralinéindustrie
Jeden Morgen ein Lächeln auf den Lippen
Peter Staub, Redaktor Region
Zugegeben, es gibt zu viele «Internationale Tage». Etwa den «Internationalen Tag der
seltenen Krankheiten». Der Valentinstag ist jedoch kein komischer «Internationaler Tag».
Auch wenn einige die Liebe vielleicht tatsächlich als «seltene Krankheit» bezeichnen. Abwegig
ist das nicht. Man weiss, dass sich akute Verliebtheit mit den Symptomen einer Grippe
vergleichen lässt. Der griechische Philosoph Platon sagte es vor rund 2400 Jahren so: «Liebe
ist eine schwere Geisteskrankheit.»
Dass wir den Liebenden einen eigenen Festtag widmen, ist dennoch nicht mehr als recht. Es
ist sogar nicht genug. Wenn ich schaue, wie sich die Liebe meiner Partnerin auf mein Leben
auswirkt, dann müsste jeder Tag des Jahres ein Tag der Liebenden sein. Allein ihre
Anwesenheit zaubert mir jeden Morgen ein Lächeln auf die Lippen. Da können draussen Wind
und Wetter noch so toben. Das kümmert mich nicht. Und ein wenig mehr Liebe und
Zärtlichkeit zwischen den Völkern wären auch kein Weltuntergang.
Natürlich bringe ich meiner Partnerin trotzdem nicht jeden Tag Blumen mit. Aber ich
versuche sonst, sie mit meiner Aufmerksamkeit zum Lächeln zu bringen. Und ich versuche,
ihr jeden Abend die Füsse zu massieren. Die akute Verliebtheit haben wir in eine chronische
Liebe hinübergerettet, weil wir unsere Beziehung pflegen. Egal, ob wir uns abends bei einem
Glas Wein erzählen, was wir erlebt haben oder am Seeufer gemeinsam den Sonnenuntergang
Einmal pro Jahr das Augenmerk auf die Liebe in der Partnerschaft richten, heisst nicht, sich
an den anderen 364 Tagen weniger zu lieben. Und es heisst nicht, sich sonst keine Blumen zu
schenken. Ich jedenfalls muss mir nicht den Kopf zerbrechen, ob ich heute Blumen nach Hause
bringen soll. Denn ich habe das Glück, in einer wunderbaren, emanzipierten Beziehung zu
leben. Deshalb wird heute meine Partnerin mich mit Blumen verwöhnen.
Der Kalender entscheidet über Glück oder
Eva Berger, Ressortleiterin Region
Ich habe mein elftes Schuljahr in den USA verbracht, an einer öffentlichen Schule tief im
Süden. Zu den Beliebten zu gehören, war dort das Allerwichtigste. Zur Festlegung der
entsprechenden Hackordnung diente ein Tag ganz besonders: der 14. Februar. Die
Vorbereitungen für den Valentinstag begannen schon mit Beginn des Schuljahrs im August.
Weinkrämpfe wegen Abfuhren für ein Date waren ab Mitte Januar an der Tagesordnung. Wer
am Valentinstag kein Schätzeli hatte, hatte verloren. Die coolsten waren jene Mädchen, denen
Blumen direkt ins Schulzimmer geliefert wurden. Versager waren die, die nicht einmal eine
Karte von einem Vertreter des anderen Geschlechts erhielten. Gerüchte besagen, dass sich
die weniger beliebten Mädchen sogar heimlich selber Blumen liefern liessen, in der Hoffnung
auf etwas Bewunderung von den anderen.
So wichtig wie in den USA ist der Valentinstag bei uns zum Glück noch nicht. Aber die
Weichen sind gestellt, die Männer hetzen heute im ganzen Land für den Last-MinuteBlumenstrauss in die Läden, die Frauen sind dann enttäuscht, weil sie höhere Erwartungen
hatten. Das erinnert sehr stark an den Muttertag, an dem ebenfalls vom Kalender vorgegeben
wird, wann wir einem wichtigen Menschen in unserem Leben Aufmerksamkeit schenken
sollen. Das reicht dann wieder für ein Jahr, wird suggeriert. Das Resultat sind Alibigeschenke
und viel Frust.
Klar, keiner wird gezwungen mitzumachen. Aber es wird uns überall aufgedrückt, Restaurants
und Läden werben mit «Valentin-Specials», und Millionen Blumen werden abgeschnitten, um
nach wenigen Tagen in Vasen zu sterben. Wir sollen glauben: Wer heute beachtet und
beschenkt wird, ist beliebt und gehört darum zur glücklichen Elite. Die anderen haben Pech
gehabt. Vielleicht für immer. Auch bei mir als entschiedener Gegnerin hat die Gehirnwäsche
zugegebenermassen ein kleines bisschen funktioniert. Insgeheim hoffe ich heute auf eine Rose.
STICHWÖRTER: Valentinstag
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Serv ices
3° / 8°
14.02.2014, 05:10
Herzen, rote Rosen und Romantik
Blumengeschäfte, Bijouterien, Konditoreien und Hotels profitieren vom
Tag der Liebe und der Freundschaft. Doch von einem Valentinshype zu
reden, wäre übertrieben.
Dieser Inhalt /diese Funktion ist nur für Abonnenten des Bieler Tagblatt (Abo-Classic /
112 |
| NR. 7, 10. FEBRUAR 2014 | MIGROS-MAGAZIN |
Rosige Zeiten im Zeichen der
Die Arbeiter der Farm Nevado Roses in Ecuador profitieren dank der
Fairtrade-Prämie von besseren Lebensbedingungen.
ie haben so wohlklingende Namen
wie Cherry Brandy, Mohana oder
Forever Young und zählen zu den
Königinnen unter den Blumen: Die
Fairtrade-Max-Havelaar-Rosen sind
immer ein willkommenes Geschenk,
ganz besonders am Valentinstag – dann
werden in der Migros zehnmal mehr
Rosen verkauft als an normalen Verkaufstagen.
Die Rosen von der Nevado-Blumenfarm in Ecuador, die auf der AndenHochebene auf mehr als 2800 Metern
Höhe angepflanzt werden, blühen das
ganze Jahr über. Ihre Qualität ist den
besonderen klimatischen und geologi-
Das Fairtrade-Gütesiegel kennzeichnet Produkte aus Entwicklungs- und
Schwellenländern, die nach strengen
sozialen Kriterien und umweltfreundlich angebaut werden. Auf Plantagen
werden Umweltschutz und geregelte
Arbeitsbedingungen grossgeschrieben.
schen Bedingungen zu verdanken: Zwölf
Stunden Tageslicht, kalte Nächte, mineralienreiche Vulkanerde sowie das höhenbedingte langsamere Wachstum lassen
die Rosen dafür aber höher wachsen. Die
Rosen entwickeln dicke, völlig senkrecht
stehende Stiele mit einer Länge von 40
bis 150 Zentimetern. Die Lichtintensität
Alba Guadalupe
Tipantasig (38)
arbeitet seit fünf
Jahren auf der
Finca Nevado
Roses. Dank der
konnte sie die
Lebensbedingungen für sich und
ihre drei Kinder
Das intensive
Licht am Äquator
lässt die Rosen
in besonders
lebendigen Farben
am Äquator sorgt zudem für die
Farben-pracht und für grosse
Alba Guadalupe Tipantasig
(38) ist
Angestellten auf der
Hektar grossen Farm Nevado
Roses, wo rund 50 Sorten
angebaut werden. Weil sich die
Mutter dreier Kinder nach dem
Tod ihres Mannes ein Leben in der
| 113
| MIGROS-MAGAZIN | NR. 7, 10. FEBRUAR 2014 |
Abigail León
(22) entfernt
die unteren
Blätter der
damit die
Blumen länger
frisch bleiben.
„ Fairtrade Max Havelaar
Rosen Esperance, Bund
à 7 Stück, Tagespreis
Stadt nicht mehr leisten konnte, kehrte
sie in ihr Heimatdorf Mulalillo zurück.
Nur wenige Minuten vom Ort entfernt,
auf der Farm Nevado Roses, fand sie
Arbeit; seit fünf Jahren ist sie im
Anbau und bei der Ernte der Rosen tätig.
Die Plantage der Rosenfarm wurde
1965 gegründet und ist seit 2003 Fair21/03/2014
„ Fairtrade Max Havelaar
Rosen Hochland,
Bund à 9 Stück, Fr. 16.80
„ Fairtrade Max Havelaar
Rosen, Bund à 15 Stück,
Fr. 14.80 Aktion 11.–17. 2.
trade-zertifiziert. Der Betrieb ist verpflichtet, die Angestellten fair zu bezahlen, geregelte Arbeitszeiten einzuhalten
(40-Stunden-Woche) und Überstunden
zu höheren Ansätzen zu entlöhnen.
Für Fairtrade-Max-Havelaar-Rosen
bezahlt man im Geschäft einen etwas
höheren Preis. Zehn Prozent des Ver-
kaufspreises werden als Prämie im Herkunftsland auf ein separates Konto eingezahlt und für gemeinnützige Projekte
verwendet. In welche Projekte sie diese
Fairtrade-Prämien investieren möchten,
entscheiden die Arbeiter selbständig
und demokratisch. Die Rosenfarm hat
beispielsweise in ein Projekt für Zahn57/95
| 115
| MIGROS-MAGAZIN | NR. 7, 10. FEBRUAR 2014 |
Bereits drei bis vier Tage nach der
Ernte stehen die Rosen aus Ecuador
in den Migros-Filialen zum Verkauf
Melida Tello (35)
verpackt die Rosen
vorsichtig, bevor
sie ins Kühlhaus
werden. Von dort
treten sie ihre Reise
in die Schweiz an.
„ Max Havelaar
Rose rot, 70 cm,
aktueller Tagespreis
medizin investiert, um die Gesundheit
der Angestellten und ihrer Familien zu
verbessern. Zudem konnte ein Projekt
für Schulstipendien ins Leben gerufen
werden. Auf diese Weise ist auch Albas
Tochter zu einem Stipendium gekommen; nun studiert sie auf Kuba.
Bessere Wohnverhältnisse
dank Mikrokredit
Ein weiterer Teil der Fairtrade-Prämie
fliesst in die Vergabe von Mikrokrediten,
die den Arbeitern unter anderem helfen
soll, Häuser zu bauen. Dabei handelt es sich um Summen von bis zu
5000 Dollar, die zu einem Vorzugszins
zurückgezahlt werden können. Auch
Alba hat einen Mikrokredit bekommen
und konnte damit die Konstruktion ihres
Hauses verbessern. Die alleinerziehende
Mutter, die mit 15 Jahren ihr Elternhaus
verlassen und sich als Haushaltshilfe in
der Stadt durchschlagen musste, ist
heute glücklich, dass sie einen sicheren
Job hat. «Meine Arbeit ermöglicht mir
und meinen Kindern ein selbstbestimmtes Leben. Ich fühle mich als Frau sehr
dankbar für das Leben, das ich führe,
und ich bin sicher, dass ich auch weiterhin meine Träume realisieren kann.»
Die weite Reise der Rosen dauert
nur wenige Tage
Die Rosen, die Alba erntet, werden
von Hand mit einem Max-HavelaarEtikett versehen. Dank der vermerkten
Identifikationsnummer kann nun der
Konsument unter
nachvollziehen, woher die Rose stammt
und welche gemeinnützigen Projekte
realisiert wurden.
Nach der Ernte werden die Rosen
für einen Tag lang im Kühlraum auf
Wasser gestellt, bevor sie ihre Reise per
Flugzeug in die Schweiz antreten. Drei
bis vier Tage später stehen sie bereits in
den Filialen der Migros. Auch wenn die
kupferfarbende Cherry Brandy und die
sanft rosa Esperance die Favoriten der
Käufer sind – am Tag der Liebe stehen
rote Rosen besonders hoch im Kurs.
Text: Anette Wolffram Eugster
Generation M steht für das
nachhaltige Engagement der
Migros. Max Havelaar leistet
dazu einen wertvollen Beitrag.
Rosiges Geschäft mit Valentin
Heute ist der Tag der Liebenden. Die vielen Liebesgeschenke bereiten nicht nur Verliebten eine Freude, sondern auch dem
Geschäft. Speziell in der Blumen- und Schokoladenbranche schiessen heute die Verkaufszahlen in die Höhe.
ST. GALLEN. Am heutigen Valen-
tinstag stürmen Verliebte die Läden und kaufen Geschenke für
ihre Liebsten. Ein paar Pralinen,
eine Rose oder doch lieber etwas
Ausgefallenes? An der Frage nach
dem perfekten Liebesbeweis
scheiden sich die Geister. Fest
steht jedoch, dass die Liebesgeschenke die Kassen am Valentinstag klingeln lassen. So liegt
der Gesamtumsatz am 14. Februar bei Coop laut Sprecher
Ramón Gander jeweils rund 10%
höher als an einem normalen
Mehr Blumen als am Muttertag
Für die Migros ist der Valentinstag bei den Rosen der umsatzstärkste Tag im Jahr. Der
Floristenverband (SFV) bestätigt, dass am
14. Februar mehr Blumen gekauft werden als am Muttertag.
Sowieso werde der Valentinstag
immer wichtiger. «Besonders bei
jungen Menschen gewinnt er an
Bedeutung, während die älteren
Generationen eher noch den
Muttertag pflegen», sagt SFVGeschäftsleiter Urs Meier.
Der Valentinstag macht mit
40 Mio. Fr. rund 5% des 800 Mio.
Fr. grossen Gesamtumsatzes der
Blumenbranche aus. Werden
sämtliche Pflanzen mit eingerechnet, erwirtschaftet die Branche laut einer Schätzung der Vereinigung des Schweizerischen
Blumengrosshandels gar 1,4 Mrd.
Fr. jährlich. Damit ist die Branche umsatzmässig grösser als
der gesamte Schweizer Buchhandel.
Importweltmeister Schweiz
Da der Valentinstag – im Gegensatz zum Muttertag – weltweit gleichzeitig stattfindet,
kommt es zu Engpässen im Blumenmarkt. «Die Versorgung der
Blumengeschäfte ist für Import
und Grosshandel eine Herausforderung», sagt Thomas Bähler,
Geschäftsführer der Vereinigung
des Schweizerischen Blumengrosshandels. Ein Grossteil der
Blumen stammt aus Ländern der
Südhalbkugel wie Ecuador oder
Kenia, da in Europa die Produktion im Winter gering ausfällt.
Holland und Deutschland sind
dabei zentrale Handelsplattformen.
ild: epa/Koen van Weel Das
Valentinstagsgeschenk schlechthin: Ein Mitarbeiter der Blumenbörse im niederländischen
Aalsmeer mit einer Ladung roter Rosen.
sieht sich als Wegbereiter dafür,
dass Schokolade eine echte
Alterna-tive zum Blumenstrauss
gewor-den ist. «Vor einigen
Jahren war der Valentinstag im
Schweizer Detailhandel noch
weniger prä-sent, schon gar
nicht mit Prali-nen», teilt der
Erfinder der Lin-dor-Kugeln
Für die Confiserie Roggwiller
in St. Gallen ist der Valentinstag
ein gutes Geschäft in der Zeit
zwischen Weihnachten und Ostern. Obwohl die Verkaufszahlen
heute wieder ansteigen, hat Confiserie-Inhaber Martin Schnyder
neben einem lachenden auch
Schoggi als Alternative zur Rose ein weinendes Auge. «Der ValenAuch im Pralinengeschäft ist tinstag ist nicht mehr das, was er
der Valentinstag ein erster Sai- vor 20 Jahren einmal war.» Heutsonhöhepunkt. Für Lindt & zutage gibt es viel mehr indusSprüngli hat der 14. Februar «ei- trielle Mitbewerber, die sich mit
nen sehr hohen Stellenwert». ihren Produkten auch ein Stück
abschneiden wollen. Sogar im
Tankstellenshop können heute
Geschenke besorgt werden.
«Früher musste man noch zum
Confiseur fahren, um spezielle
Liebesgeschenke zu besorgen»,
bedauert Schnyder. Aber die
Obwohl Orchideen oder Tulpen ebenfalls willkommene Präsente sind, bleibt der Klassiker –
die langstielige rote Rose – die
meistverkaufte Blume am Tag
der Liebe. Im allgemeinen machen Rosen etwa die Hälfte des
Blumengeschäfts aus. Jährlich
importiert die Schweiz bis zu
20 000 Tonnen Schnittblumen
für den Binnenverbrauch und
belegt damit europaweit Platz
fünf, wie die Vereinigung des
Schweizerischen Blumengrosshandels mitteilt. Wertmässig
und pro Kopf gerechnet, ist die
Schweiz sogar Weltmeister im
Confiserie Roggwiller weiss sich
marketingtechnisch zu helfen
und bietet jedes Jahr ausgewählte Produkte aus dem Sortiment
in roten Herzverpackungen an.
«All you need is love»
Natürlich beinhaltet die Geschenkpalette am Valentinstag
mehr als nur Blumen oder Schokolade. Der Fotoservice Ifolor
preist beispielsweise unter dem
Slogan «All you need is love»
seine Produkte als romantische
Geschenke zum Valentinstag an.
Wie wäre es mit einer Fototasse,
die «Ihre Liebe schon beim Morgenkaffee zum Schmunzeln
bringt?» Eine Tasse in Herzform
fehlt dem Unternehmen aus
Kreuzlingen im Sortiment allerdings noch.
Colombia Exports 500 Mn Flowers For
Valentine's Day
Tw eet
Shar e
Bogota: Colombia, the world's second largest flower exporter after the Netherlands,
exported 500 million flowers to 80 countries in the lead-up to Valentine's Day, the
Colombian Association of Flower Exporters said Friday.
The association's director Augusto Solano told Colombia's RCN radio network that the
volume represents more than 15 percent of the total annual sales for the sector,
Xinhua reported.
The Valentine's sales boost signified an economic boon for exporters, with the
Colombian peso's slight dip against the US dollar translating into more competitive
prices for the flower market, the official said.
Flower exports saw an increase to some destinations, such as the US, Russia, Japan,
Canada, and Spain, Solano added.
Europe is in a sea of roses for Valentine's
A ir line s ha v e m a d e c ha ng e s to a c c o m m o d a te the d e m a nd f o r f lo we r s
c r e a te d b y the Va le ntine 's s e a s o n.
Lan C argo and its affiliates are set to transport six per cent more flowers this
year totalling, 8,164 tonnes for the season, which is the four weeks leading to Valentine's day, 14 February.
Lufthansa C argo was expected to transport 907 tonnes of roses to Germany for the day.Saudia C argo was
operating a series of four extra flights from Nairobi to Amsterdam, on top of its existing six weekly scheduled
Boeing 747 freighters, providing an additional capacity of 2,540 tonness for Kenyan flowers. Air France-KLMMartinair C argo transported more than 725 tonnes of flowers to Europe from Kenya. This was in the form of
one full charter set to operate between Nairobi and Amsterdam on behalf of the Dutch Flower Group. This is in
addition to the airline's regular scheduled flights.UPS has been expecting to move 118 million flowers, mostly
from Latin American countries. IAG C argo saw an increase of 25 per cent in its flower exports from C olombia
and Equador compared to last year's season.
The cost of a Valentine's rose - poor Kenyan
workers on £30 a month
149 8 Shares
Across Britain romantic couples are often bunches of red roses for
Valentine's Day, but we uncover the true sacrifice behind the
How sweet: But all is not sweet behind the scenes
The flower cutter clasps a Valentine’s Day rose in her scratched hand
with a look of disgust. For this mum of two it’s not a romantic
symbol of love but a reminder of the grinding toil for which she is
paid barely £1 a day.
We will call her Alice. Her real name has to stay secret to protect her
job. In her mid-thirties, she is one of thousands of casual workers
employed in Naivasha, Kenya, by British flower wholesaler Finlays.
This is the start of the journey for red rose bouquets on sale across
Britain and it is far from romantic. In the build-up to the most
romantic day of the year Alice says she has to snip 8,000 an hour –
more than two per second – in a baking hot polythene tunnel.
I meet Alice and her friend Faith – again, not her real name –
outside a decrepit barracks block of single-room homes built for
flower workers and their families.
Children in hand-me-downs play by an open sewer leaking from a
toilet allocated to hundreds of families. “At the moment the work is
all roses,” says Alice, showing me the bare-concrete hovel she
shares with her children and three others. “Valentine’s is hectic and
our work is much harder. We have to do four harvests a day.
“I work from 7am to 5pm six days a week with only a lunch break. In
an hour we have to fill 40 buckets with 200 roses each. The
supervisor tells me to work harder.
“They give us protective clothing but I still get rashes on my hands
from the chemicals. Most of the time we survive on maize and
vegetables. Meat is too expensive. There are five of us in this tiny
room because we can’t afford somewhere bigger.”
Both women look aghast when I tell them a bouquet of 12
Valentine’s Day roses costs more than £20 on UK high streets. It
would take them more than two weeks to earn enough to buy a
Rowan Griffiths / Daily Mirror
Business is blooming: Flower farms on lake Naivasha in Kenya
“I cannot believe they make such profits on the roses and still pay us
so badly,” Faith says angrily. “I feel like I’m being exploited.”
Alice and Faith, 36, agreed to be interviewed to expose what they
say are their poor pay and conditions. Both have worked for
Stevenage-based Finlays for more than five years. The firm’s two
farms, called Flamingo and Kingfisher, are on the banks of Lake
Naivasha, where miles of ugly polytunnels lie behind by high
security gates. Finlays, which also exports tea from Kenyan
plantations, grows roses, lilies and carnations all year round. Many
end up in bouquets at British stores with a Fairtrade banner.
Flown out of Nairobi and distributed from depots in Sandy, Beds,
and Spalding, Lincs, roses cut by Alice and Faith can be in UK florists
the next day.
In Naivasha, thousands of poor migrant workers are bussed into
these industrial farms before dawn to feed the demand for fresh-cut
The farms opened in the 1970s to exploit the constant heat and
fresh water for irrigation. There are more than 70 in this dusty city
on the edge of the Rift Valley, many owned by British and Dutch
firm. It is Kenya’s biggest industry after tourism.
Mum-of-three Faith complains angrily about her working
environment. Her home is two mattresses squeezed against a wall
for a whole family to sleep on.
Her payslip for January 2014 shows 4,255 Kenyan shillings net pay –
about £30 for the month. For the six- day week they say they work
that’s £1.15 a day.
This seems shocking when Finlays’ Kenyan farms sell to Fairtradecertified buyers. This status should mean workers in the developing
world get a better deal, but Faith tells me: “There is constant
chemical spray for the flowers which I inhale all day long. It makes
me cough a lot, and sometimes I have to strug​gle with my breathing.
They took me to the company doctor but he just gave me painkillers.
I need proper medical help but I cannot afford a doctor. I never have
enough for proper meals for my family. We can stay alive, that is all.
“To me, Finlays is not a good employer. The pay is just not enough.”
But Brenda Achieng, Legal and HR Director for Finlays Horticulture
Kenya insists: “We pay one of the highest rates in the flower sector.
All employees receive pay above minimum wage. Even our lowestpaid get 2,000 Kenya shillings more per month than those at most
other farms.
“In addition to basic pay, workers receive a housing allowance,
medical care, transport and subsidised nutritious meals. It is always
misleading to compare local wages with British pay.
“Finlays has demonstrated a strong commitment to trading
ethically... taking good care of our people, looking after our land,
husbanding resources and helping the communities.”
But Kenyan union official James Okoth says a living wage for flower
workers would be £130 gross, more than double their current pay
before deductions.
Yesterday 21/03/2014
a Fairtrade official asked for more details so they could
investigate the farms, adding: “We always take any allegations about
non-compliance with Fairtrade standards very seriously.
“Regular audits check that the relevant legal minimum or industryagreed wages are being paid to workers on flower farms.”
There is some hope. Kenyan politicians recently passed a law
meaning flower farms will have to nearly double the basic wage by
the end of this year. But that still won’t be enough for people to get
by easily. The poverty is so bad that hordes of children run in the
rutted alleys between homes, unsupervised in their day. Most
families cannot afford childcare. This is exploitation on a grand
scale... there is no hope for these workers,” Mr Okoth claims. “It is a
Murray Worthy of charity War on Want, agrees the pay rates in
Naivasha fall well short of a living wage. “It is an outrage that these
workers can barely support their own families,” he says. “They have
a right to a wage that covers basics like housing and education.
Companies must take action to end this appalling exploitation.”
Alice, a widow, says she has never celebrated Valentine’s Day and
probably never will.
“British women are lucky to be bought flowers by their husbands,”
she tells me. “But they should know where the roses come from...”
Health care reform
Detroit bankruptcy
Michigan Business
High School Sports
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Find what you are looking for ...
Where are those Valentine's Day flow ers fr om, anyw ay?
3:32 PM, February 14, 2014 |
Recom m end
A worker cuts blooms in a flower farm in Debre Zeit, Oromia, Ethiopia. / Bloomberg/Getty
by Laur a Secur on
USA Today News
USA Today Nation
We expect our phones to be "Made in China," our inexpensive lamps
in Sweden and our flowers in Kenya. Hang on â?¦ Kenya?
Millions have been led down the garden path in believing that flowers
we buy locally - at our neighborhood florist or corner grocery - come
from the region. But chances are the flowers you give or receive this
Valentine's Day have accumulated more air miles than diplomats.
More from
The fate of Iran's carpet trade
South America's soybean revolution
Who is arming the world?
The international trade of cut flowers is a blooming industry, with an
average annual growth of 6 percent and an estimated global trade
volume of more than $100 billion a year. In the U.S. alone, more than
$13 billion worth of cut flowers are sold annually, and the majority - a
whopping 82 percent - are imported.
In the same way that fruit and vegetables are flown in to give you more
than a few weeks of strawberries and rhubarb each year, the flower
industry has transitioned from a traditional model based on local
production to an international one that leverages warmer climates and
significantly lower labor costs in southern countries.
Even the industry's queen, the Netherlands, has largely shifted its
focus from production to trade. Instead of growing all those tulips
themselves, the Dutch now host the global hub for 60 percent of the
world's dealings in cut flowers.
The Netherlands is also one of the biggest flower consumers,
alongside the U.S., Germany, France, the U.K., Switzerland and
Japan (the first five buy around three-quarters of the world's cut
So where do your flowers grow? The U.S. imports mainly from
Colombia, a nation that sells around 500 million tons of flowers for
Valentine's Day. Americans get 78 percent of their imported flowers
from Colombia, followed by Ecuador and Mexico at 15 percent and 2
percent respectively. Europe, on the other hand, imports most of its
flowers from Africa, with Kenya in the lead, followed by Ethiopia,
Zimbabwe, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia.
Bothered by the quantity of air miles these blooms rack up? Turns out
the picture isn't as alarming as you'd think. Flower-producing
countries enjoy humidity, temperature and soil fertility levels that are
optimal for growth. Importing flowers actually saves huge amounts of
energy by not having to light and heat greenhouses, especially in
January and February, when global demand peaks just as northern
temperatures plummet. So Ethiopian airfreight flowers might actually
be greener than those grown in local glass houses.
The U.K. went so far as to declare that it was environmentally sound to
buy imported flowers, answering concerns from consumers who buy
about 10,000 tons of roses each Valentine's Day.
Sadly, the flower trade does have a thornier underbelly when it comes
to working conditions. The chemicals used for fertilization are often so
toxic that a 2005 study found that half of the flower farm workers in
Colombia and Ecuador suffered from health problems caused by
overexposure to these substances.
The same report also found that 55 percent of women employed in
Ecuadorian flower production had been victims of sexual harassment
and that child labor was still commonplace.
In the years since these revelations, the flower industry has
encouraged hundreds of farms to become Fair Trade certified. This,
in turn, has prompted many farms to clean up their practices, resulting
in millions of fairly produced flowers being sold worldwide.
Kenya's Oserian flower farm moves an average of a million roses a
day and was one of the first to receive the seal of approval for
providing free health care and education for all its workers and their
Such moves give farm workers hope for a brighter future. "My dream
is to see all my children go to university, and I am so am grateful for
the support that I have received. I urge people to continue buying more
Fair Trade flowers so that we can continue improving our lives," says
Hellen Anyango, who works at Oserian Farm.
Which could bring us closer to guilt-free flower giving. At least in
regards to where they come from. Now why you're buying them and
what you may be atoning for? Well, that's still on you.
Ozy.comis a USA TODAY content partner providing general news,
commentary and coverage from around the Web. Its content is
produced independently of USA TODAY
Copyright 2014
Read the original story: Where are those Valentine's Day flowers
from, anyway?
Vie w Com m ents | Share y our thoughts »
Alm ost H alf Of All Fre sh Flow e rs In Eu rope Com e From K e n ya, An d The se
In ve stors W an t In
By Kathleen Caulderwood on February 1 4 2 01 4 1 2 :3 8 PM
Agri-Vie, a sub-Saharan private equity fund investing in food and agribusiness, said this week that it has invested $5 million in Kariki
Group, a fast-growing Kenyan company that exports cut flowers to such countries as Europe, the U.S. and Japan.
“It’s a strong competitive industry,” Agri-Vie CEO Herman Marias told CNBC Africa. Marias added that his fund typically invests in
agriculture projects around the continent but was especially drawn to Kariki’s unique business in one of the country’s largest exports.
Kenya is one of the world’s leading flower exporters with an estimated 38 percent market share in Europe.
The country's flower industry really started to boom in the 1980s, when farmers realized the advantages of year-round growing
conditions and optimal sunlight. By contrast, European companies have to spend a great deal to fund artificial light and heat if they
want to grow in off-seasons.
Kenya's horticulture industry, which generates about $1 billion a year and employs more than 30,000 people directly, contributes
about 1.6 percent to the country’s gross domestic product, according to the Kenya Flower Council.
Nearly 800 million flowers were sent this year to Europe from Kenya in the runup to Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, the Guardian reports.
Within two days of being cut, flowers from Kariki Group locations are transported to the airport in Nairobi and sent to Holland, where
nearly two-thirds are sold at the Dutch flower auction at Aalsmeer. After that, the flowers move on to other destinations, including
Sweden, Russia, Japan and the United States.
Although Kariki Group isn't the largest player in the Kenyan flower industry, the company has made a name for itself from its socially
and environmentally responsible business practices.
“Their standards are extremely high,” Dave Douglas, an investment adviser at Agri-Vie, told website How We Made It In Africa.
Douglas said the fund was impressed by how Kariki's staff was involved in the business at all levels. “It’s profitable and correctly
structured," he said. "All those things together we felt was a very impressive formula for us.”
by Tabool a
Are Your Valentine’s Day Roses Part of a Responsible Supply
About the
Publication Date
February 14, 2014
If you bought roses for your Valentine today, did you wonder where the flowers came from? If you got your dozen stems in Europe, they
probably arrived on an airplane a few days ago from Kenya, the lead rose exporter to the European Union. If you live in the United
States, the bouquet may have come from Colombia or Ecuador. Generally, commercial flowers are grown on large-scale farms in
developing or emerging countries and then bought directly by big retailers or sold via traders and auction houses.
In production countries, the cut-flower industry employs thousands of workers and contributes significantly to export revenues, driving
economic growth. As such, the industry has a key opportunity to promote empowering and sustainable livelihoods for workers by
adopting responsible practices along the supply chain, which, in turn, can enhance business success.
However, significant barriers to this opportunity remain. Labor and human rights issues are enduring challenges in the industry
[], and although many producers, traders, and retailers promote
and adhere to responsible supply chain practices, they often struggle with how to report on and communicate about their approaches.
While attending the horticultural trade fair IPM Essen [] in Germany, I was reminded of this
unique opportunity and the persistent challenges. As I was walking through the exhibition halls, it struck me that, despite their
impressive flower displays and the emphasis put on sustainable supply chain issues by major retailers, flower traders did not mention
their responsible supply chain management practices.
Conversely, the handful of flower producers I met at the fair spoke confidently about the social certification programs they were
implementing, such as Fairtrade International or the Rainforest Alliance, and their impacts. This included building hospitals and schools
in Ethiopia with money generated from Fairtrade certification, strengthening worker retention to avoid increased investments in new
worker training in Kenya, and improving working conditions in Costa Rica, which translated into higher flower quality. The producers’
comments echoed the impacts that we’ve seen in the farms where we implement BSR’s HERproject [], which
promotes women’s empowerment in global supply chains through partnerships with major retailers.
Later that day, my participation in the first general assembly of the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative [] (FSI)
underlined why flower traders seemed uneasy communicating about supply chain responsibility. Unlike the fruit and vegetable sector,
the flower industry only recently started implementing sustainability standards and certification schemes on a widespread basis.
Although most of the trading companies at the meeting were working with suppliers that were certified Fairtrade or by the Rainforest
Alliance, they have not yet figured out how to respond to retailer requirements and customer demands and deploy robust, integrated
sustainability programs. The lack of transparency and comparability among standards presents an additional challenge, making it
difficult for traders to understand and report on what is happening in their supply chains.
FSI brings together all actors in the supply chain, including producers, traders, and retailers. The initiative will work to clarify and
benchmark available standards to make them more transparent and comparable. As an associate member of FSI, HERproject and
BSR are excited to work across the supply chain to address worker health and empowerment issues in the flower sector. We have
engaged with flower producers in Kenya and Ethiopia, but this step represents a new area of focus for HERproject. We look forward to
collaborating with partners along the supply chain to address these multifaceted challenges, and to ensuring that, in the future, your
Valentine’s Day bouquet will be more likely to support economic and social improvements for people working in the flower industry.
Article Location:
About the Author(s)
Jean-Baptiste Andrieu [], Associate, Advisory Services
Stop and Sm ell th e Su stainable Flo w er s:
Vale ntine's Day Alt er natives
Posted: 02/12/2014 4:34 pm EST
Updated: 02/12/2014 4:59 pm EST
Lik e
MORE: Whole Foods Mar k etFlow er s LocalSlow Flow er Movem entValentine's DaySus tainabilityWhole Tr adeSeas onalGr een
New s
By Sari Kamin and Leah Eden, HRN Writers
It's almost Valentine's Day, and many of you are probably planning to pick up roses at your corner store
or order a bouquet from a 1-800 service. Most people don't think about where cut flowers come from but
the growing interest in sustainable food has led to a greater focus on environmentally and socially
responsible flowers. Like food, flowers come with their share of sourcing challenges. 80 percent of cut
flowers sold in the United States are imported. From transportation and energy costs to labor challenges
to pesticide usage, there are plenty of reasons to think about where you buy flowers for your loved ones
this Valentine's Day.
Luckily there is a small but growing sustainable flower industry working to make changes in every
aspect of the flower supply chain. They focus on conserving water, limiting pesticides and promoting
economic and social justice for those who grow and harvest flowers. Advocates for domestic, seasonal
and eco-friendly flowers suggest asking your neighborhood florist for a local alternative to imported
roses. There are also several online flower companies, such as,,
or that offer USDA certified organic flowers or direct customers to local growers.
Debra Prinzing, author of "The 50 Mile Bouquet" and creator of (launching this
month), suggests consumers source their flowers as thoughtfully as their food. As an advocate for local
and seasonal flowers, it is no surprise she suggests looking beyond roses for Valentine's Day. Look for
flowers blooming in your region or drought-resistant flowers that cut down on water usages in the
growing process.
If you would rather pick up some pretty petals in person and live near a Whole Foods Market, check out
Whole Trade® flowers which works much like Fair Trade. Whole Foods' partner flower farmers in
Ecuador, Colombia, and Costa Rica get a "social premium" price used to fund a community project
benefiting the collective of farmers.
Make your gift of flowers a little more meaningful this Valentine's Day by supporting the budding
sustainable flower industry and give your loved ones something extra to love.
To learn more about the growing sustainable flower industry tune in to Heritage Radio
Sustainable Valentine's Day Flowers: Pleasure-play episode
It's almost Valentine's Day, and instead of picking up roses at your local bodega or ordering them from a
1-800 service, think outside the box and learn about seasonal local flower alternatives from Debra
Prinzing. Also, hear from Carol Medeiros, Associate Global Produce Coordinator at Whole Foods Market
about how
your purchase of Whole Trade® flowers directly supports flower farmers in South
71/95 and
Central America.
Cut Flowers: News-play episode
Currently, the food world is obsessed with traceability and sourcing. But how do these ideas apply to
other agricultural products? Debra Prinzing is a cut flower expert and author, and she joins the to discuss the ethics and environmental impact of importing flowers. Find
out how you can support local growers with your choice in flower arrangements, too!
We Dig Plants: Slow Flowers: Episode 129-play episode
Looking to get something special for that special someone on Valentine's Day? Skip the roses and try
some slow flowers! What's a slow flower? Well, Debra Prinzing is here today on "We Dig Plants" to
explain! Alice Marcus Krieg and Carmen Devito invite Debra onto the program to discuss her infatuation
with local, seasonal, American-grown flowers, and why she wrote a book about the floral industry
The carbon
footprint of giving
one red rose on
Valentine's Day
"Zero grams CO2e if grown
in your garden, no
inorganic fertilizer used
350 grams CO2e if grown
in Colombia and flown by
2,500 grams (5.5 lbs)
CO2e if grown in a heated
greenhouse in the
Netherlands and then
The numbers here sum up
the Hobson's choice if you
want out-of-season cut
flowers. You either have to
put them on a plane or
grow them using artificial
heat. Both of these are
bad news for climate
"There's another concern,
too. All commercial cut
flowers are using land
which could otherwise be
used for growing food. The
demand for agricultural
land is already driving
deforestation, which in turn
is responsible for around
18% of man-made
emissions. Looked at in
those terms, cut flowers
have to mean less
rainforest, so the true
footprint is probably even
bigger than my numbers
From How Bad Are
For comparison, a dozen
red roses are CO2equivalent to driving a
Mercedes Benz SUV 12
miles at 90mph. Lots of
alternatives - my sweeties
are getting a donation in
their name to Save the
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Hosting | Post Free Classifieds | Start a Blog |
Cu t Flo w er s—A M ajor Y et Little -K now n
Sou r ce of Toxic Pestici des
By Dr. Joseph Mercola 11/02/2014 15:32:00
With Valentine's Day just around the
corner, flowers are probably on most
people's minds. But did you know that the
bouquet you're giving your sweetheart may
be loaded with pesticides?
Many people get headaches around flowers
and simply assume they're allergic. This
might not necessarily be true, however. It
could be that you're having a reaction to the
chemical residues on the flowers. Flower
growers are actually among the heaviest
users of agricultural chemicals, including
Cut Flowers—A Major Yet Little-Known Source of Toxic Pesticides
pesticides that are suspected of being
among the most toxic.
The reason for this is that a shipment of flowers can easily be turned back from whence it came should the
US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service happen to find so much as a
single pest in the shipment.1 The department is not equipped to test imported flowers for pesticide
residues, however.
This issue is not new; it just hasn't gotten a lot of attention over the past decade. But testing conducted in
the late 70s and again in the late 90s revealed this dark side of cut flowers. My personal recommendation
—for all the reasons I'll be discussing in this article—is to forgo cut flowers altogether and plant your own
using organic, untreated seeds.
Ar e Yo u r Flo w e r B e d s Pr o m o tin g o r K illin g B e e s?
The reason for my recommendation to plant your own organic flowers is because the pesticide problem is
not restricted to cut flowers—the majority of which, by the way, originate from South America, primarily
Colombia (63 percent of US imports of flower stems), followed by Ecuador (23 percent).2
A recent pilot study3,4 revealed that more than half of garden plants attractive to bees and sold at Home
Depot and Lowe's are also pre-treated with pesticides that could be lethal to bees. This is of great concern,
as bees are necessary for pollinating not only flowers but also food crops.
The study in question, co-authored by the Pesticide Research Institute, found that a variety of beefriendly plants (i.e. garden plants that attract bees) sold at home gardening centers contained neurotoxic
pesticides known as neonicotinoids.
Pre-treated plants included tomatoes, squash, salvia, and flowers that would be attractive to pollinators.
According to Lisa Archer, director of the Food and Technology Program at Friends of the Earth:5
"Our investigation is the first to show that so called 'bee-friendly' garden plants contain pesticides that
can poison bees, w ith no w arning to gardeners.
Bees are essential to our food system and they are dying at alarming rates. Neonic pesticides are a key
part of the problem w e can start to fix right now in our ow n backyards."
There are about 100 crop species that provide 90 percent of food globally and, of these, 71 are pollinated
by bees. In the US alone, a full one-third of the food supply depends on pollination from bees. Private and
public gardens can either contribute to the perpetuation of this "bee holocaust," or help curb it.
To get the ball rolling in the right direction, I will be sending out a packet of Baker Creek Seeds, free with
any domestic order from my online store, between February 10 and February 12. A total of 10,000
packets are available, consisting of a random mix of sunflower seeds, thyme, and bee balm, all of which
attract bees to your garden. These seeds are untreated, open pollinated, non-hybrid, non-GMO and non21/03/2014
patented seeds.
Pe sticid e Po iso n in g in Flo r ists a n d Gr o w e r s
Returning to the issue of cut flowers for a moment, research published in 1979 highlighted the problem of
pesticide poisoning from cut flowers. The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health,6 was
conducted following reports of 10 cases of organophosphate pesticide poisoning in florists. As a result, the
researchers conducted a random-sample survey to assess the residual pesticide levels on flowers imported
into the US via Miami, Florida. According to the authors:
"A sample of all flowers imported into Miami on three days... showed that 18 (17.7 percent) of 105 lots
contained pesticide residue levels greater than 5 ppm, and that three lots had levels greater than 400
ppm... We examined 20 quarantine workers in Miami and 12 commercial florists exposed to contaminated
Occasional nonspecific symptoms compatible with possible organophosphate exposure were noted. This
study documents a previously unrecognized potential source of occupational pesticide exposure and
suggests that safety standards should be set for residue levels on cut flowers."
A 1990 study,7 looking at the prevalence of reproductive problems in Colombian workers exposed to
pesticides while growing flowers, found that workers in the floriculture industry were exposed to 127
different types of pesticides. According to the study:
"The prevalence rates for abortion, prematurity, stillbirths, and malformations w ere estimated for
pregnancies occurring among the female w orkers and the w ives of the male w orkers before and after
they started w orking in floriculture, and these rates w ere related to various degrees of exposure. A
moderate increase in the prevalence of abortion, prematurity, and congenital malformations w as
detected for pregnancies occurring after the start of w ork in floriculture."
Fifteen years later, a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research8
again assessed the risk factors associated with pesticide exposure among farmers of cut-flowers—this time
in the Philippines. Thirty-two percent of the workers reported pesticide-related illnesses since starting
work in the flower business, which typically centered around the eyes, ears, nose, and throat. The most
commonly reported symptoms were weakness and fatigue, muscle pain, chills and fever, blurred vision,
dizziness, and headache.
Mo r e R e se a r ch Sh o w in g H e a lth Effe cts o f Cu t Flo w e r Pe sticid e s
The Organic Consumers Association9 has compiled a list of research published prior to 2006, detailing the
potential hazards associated with pesticide exposure from cut flowers, which includes an increased cancer
risk. For example:
A 2003 study published in Mutation Research10 found that more than 71 percent of cut flower
growers around the world show genetic damage.
Research published in the Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis11 journal found that DNA
adducts, indicative of early-stage cancer, was present in 60 percent of longtime workers in the
floriculturist industry.
In 1999, a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine12
concluded that "among male floriculturist pesticide applicators, prostate cancer and testicular
cancer are significantly elevated. Among females applicators, cervical cancer incidence is
significantly increased."
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) also tested rose samples purchased from American retailers in
1998.13,14Their tests showed the presence of a dozen different pesticides, including two "probable
carcinogens"—one of which was present at a level 50 times higher than permitted in food. At the time,
Richard Wiles, co-founder of EWG, said that:15
"There's a fair amount of pesticides on roses, whether they come from Colombia or California." He also
stated:16"We don´t want to be alarmist. But some children and people with chemical sensitivities could
experience mild symptoms--sneezing or headaches, for example--that they might assume were simply an
allergic reaction."
Wiles' recommendation back then, as mine is now, for avoiding this kind of pesticide exposure is to grow
your own flowers using non-treated organic seeds, and not using pesticides known to be toxic to
pollinators, animals, or humans, in your garden.
Or ga n ic Flo w e r s Sa ve B o th B e e s a n d H u m a n H e a lth
Pesticides have a dramatic impact on the health of our ecosystem. Neonicotinoids in particular are known
to get into pollen and nectar, thereby posing a grave hazard to beneficial insects such as bees. Truly, the
stakes couldn't be any higher, with at least one-third of the US food supply being dependent on these
pollinators. Besides protecting bees, and by extension our food supply, avoiding pesticides from all
sources is also really important for your health. Cut flowers have sailed under the radar for decades in this
respect, but they can be a major source of pesticide exposure, especially if you buy cut flowers on a more
regular basis, or work in the cut flower industry.
My personal recommendation is to forgo both cut flowers and pesticide-treated plants from garden
centers like Home Depot and Lowe's. The ideal solution really is to grow your own from organic, untreated
seed. (Again, the first 10,000 orders from my website, placed February 10-12, will receive one free packet
of untreated, non-GMO Baker Creek Seeds.) I also urge you to sign your name to the letter to Home Depot
and Lowe's on Friends of the Earth's Action page. Much can be done to protect bees across the nation, but
we must ACT!
The report released by Friends of the Earth and its allies shows that more than half of the "bee-friendly"
home garden plants found in garden centers like Home Depot and Lowe's are in fact toxic to bees, yet sold
without any warning to gardeners. So please, join us in asking the CEOs of Lowe's and Home Depot, Robert
Niblock and Frank Blake, to pull all bee-killing pesticides from their shelves and stop selling
neonicotinoid-treated plants.
Where Did Your Roses Grow? /2014/02/where-did-your-roses-grow/
By Elena Day
I am preoccupied with current Dominion Virginia Power’s
push to change Virginia’s utility laws so it can recoup the
$530 million it has invested to date, as well as all future
costs, to license and build nuclear unit North Anna 3 in
Louisa County by increasing our monthly electric bills.
Since Dominion rules the Old Dominion via political
cronyism and its status as largest contributor to political
campaigns on both sides of the aisle in the General
Assembly, the success of their quest is almost guaranteed.
February brings us Valentine’s Day and “love by flower
bouquets.” There’s money in those flowers, just as there is
money out there for our utility company and in the case of
Keystone, the oil industry.
Cut flower production originated and became established
in the Netherlands in the 17th and 18th centuries. The first
greenhouses for flower production in the United States
followed European settlement. These were small
producers of mostly roses, mums and carnations near
cities and larger towns. With the development of
refrigerated trucks and air transport, carnation and rose
cultivation moved to the Colorado mountains and then to
coastal California. Chrysanthemums and gladioli were
grown in Florida and California. Field production
decreased and greenhouses proliferated.
In the mid 1960s producers found that the savannah around
Bogota, Colombia, is optimal for flower cultivation. It has
Wi th th e e xce p ti o n o f th e r o s e s , th i s wi n te r we d d i n g
high light (12 hours a day year round), moderate
ce n te r p i e ce wa s m a d e o f l o ca l l y fo r a g e d m a te r i a l s .
temperatures and low productions costs; i.e., campesinos
displaced by ongoing political violence and then in the
80s, the drug war, who were willing to work for very low wages. In 1969 David Cheever, after having graduated from
Colorado State University, and three partners, each investing $25,000, began growing carnations near Bogota. They
employed state of the art assembly line practices and modern shipping techniques and air transport. Within five
years there were 10 more flower producing enterprises cultivating roses and mums as well as carnations.
Colombia is currently the second largest exporter of flowers worldwide. The Netherlands remains first, although a
percentage of Dutch flowers are first imported from Kenya, Israel, Zimbabwe, Ecuador and Uganda. Seventy percent
of Colombia’s cut flowers are grown for U.S. markets. Ecuador’s high altitude farms account for another 23 percent.
Ecuador’s roses are considered exceptional. Roses produced at 17 cents/rose in Ecuador may sell for as much as
$8 each in the U.S.
In 1971 the U.S. produced 1.2 billion rose, carnation and chrysanthemum blooms and imported 100 million blooms.
By 2003, the U.S. was importing 2 billion blooms and grew only 280 million. California accounts for 75 percent of
current domestic production. These are largely specialty cut flowers such as lilies. $13 billion retail worth of flowers
are sold annually in the U.S.
In 1991 the U.S. suspended import duties on Colombian flowers. This was disastrous for U.S. growers. Of course the
U.S. Colombia Free Trade Agreement signed in 2006 made things worse. Today 90 percent of cut flowers from
South America pass through Miami International Airport (MIA) where they are inspected for insects but not for
chemical pesticide residues. MIA’s top flower importer, Queens Flowers Corporation, receives five tractor trailer
loads of packaged
21/03/2014 blooms from Colombia on a typical day. Now that it is February, imports have swelled,
79/95as they
will again in May for Mother’s Day. It takes 48 hours for flowers to travel from a field in Colombia to a U.S.
warehouse, from where they are transferred to Krogers, Walmart, Costco or a local florist. Flowers are maintained at
34 degrees F throughout.
The South American flower industry has been showcased as a means of alleviating rural poverty and as an
alternative to coca production. However the reality is quite different. Workers are exposed to 100 different kinds of
pesticides because regardless of positive aspects for growing in the savannah around Bogota, equatorial pests are
pervasive. Many of these pesticides are dithiocarbamates, which are implicated in high rates of miscarriage and
birth defects. All cut flowers are dipped in a foamy fungicide solution before packaging as well.
Floriculture in the savannah draws on large quantities of groundwater. Rainfall around Bogota is on average 33
inches per year. Flower planters have drilled over 5,000 wells. Springs, streams, and wetlands are disappearing.
Three gallons of water are used to grow one rose bloom. Furthermore, pesticides and fungicide runoff contaminate
surface waters.
Sixty- five percent of flower workers are women; most are single mothers. Many companies insist that women take a
pregnancy test or provide proof of steriliz ation when hired so employers won’t have to provide maternity leave.
Twenty percent of workers are children in Ecuador. Most child labor has been eliminated in Colombia.
Workers typically work 12- hour days. Before Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, shifts are increased to 16 to 20
hours per day.
Workers have been thwarted in efforts to organiz e or join unions to demand better working conditions. (Unionists
have been regularly killed and/or disappeared in Colombia for decades.) Wages on average are $8 day, not nearly
enough to cover the cost of a family’s basic requirements.
Floraverde, a trade association, motivated to sell more flowers from Colombia/“land of flowers” has begun certifying
growers as to taking steps to improve worker safety and welfare and decreasing pesticide use. Since 1998
pesticide use has decreased 38 percent to an average of 213 pounds of active ingredients per 2.4 acres per year.
In 2005, 36 percent of the toxic chemicals used in Floraverde- certified farms were listed as extremely toxic or highly
toxic by the World Health Organiz ation (WHO). A survey of 84 farms found that only 16.7 percent respected
manufacturers’ recommendations to keep workers out of greenhouses for 24 hours after spraying the most toxic
products. Workers generally re- enter sprayed greenhouses after an arbitrary odor sniff.
Chemical pesticide residues pose little risk to flower buyers. Perhaps there is less incentive to push for changes to
floriculture in South America (and Mexico) than there is regarding imported foodstuffs in the U.S. And then, one may
think of jobs that floriculture provides. But there is the issue of groundwater depletion and surface water
contamination. What’s a world citiz en to do!
Apparently some consumers are demanding organically grown flowers or at least less heavily pesticided blooms.
The “buy local” movement is encouraging small enterprises and thereby, in some localities, the rural economy. Most
hopeful is that some folks are more willing to buy seasonal floral arrangements. These are not simply twigs in winter.
Floral arrangements may include vines and evergreens, ornamental kale, mosses, hellebores or Lenten roses,
seed pods, and shelf mushrooms.
In February 2008 I provided centerpieces for a local wedding (see photograph above). All materials had been
foraged except for the pink roses (origin thereof was likely Colombia). Makes me feel as if I was ahead of the curve.
Action Alert: It has been documented that neurotoxic pesticides known as neonicotinoids have been linked to mass
honeybee die- offs. The European Union has banned their use. In the U.S., “neonics,” manufactured by Bayer
CropScience and Syngenta, are available at garden centers and are routinely sprayed on plants folks buy for their
home gardens. Friends of the Earth, Organic Consumers’ Association and other groups are joining together to ask
CEOs of Home Depot and Lowe’s to end the sale of neonics in their stores during Valentine’s week (2/10- 2/16.) To
“show bees some love” check this website:
Search New s & Quotes
The thorny issue of Valentine's Day
rose pricing
Thu Feb 6, 2014 9:47am EST
Tw eet
Shar e
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Pr int
1 OF 2. A w or k er ca r r ies a n a r m loa d of r ed r oses a t W in st on Flow er s in Bost on , Ma ssa ch u set t s
Febr u a r y 1 3 , 2 0 1 3 , t h e da y befor e V a len t in e's Da y . A ccor din g t o W in st on Flow er s, t h ey w ill deliv er
3 5 0 ,0 0 0 r oses on V a len t in e's Da y .
(The author is a Reuters contributor. The opinions expressed are
Money »
his own.)
By Mitch Lipka
(Reuters) - If anyone knows a thing or two about buying roses, it's John Sullivan, a man
who's given his wife Sally roses on every Valentine's Day for more than 40 years.
Login or r egis ter
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Sullivan, 68, a buyer's real estate agent from Cheverly, Maryland, tackles the annual price
run-up by getting his blooms at the warehouse store Costco, where he says it costs him
about $25 for a dozen.
He has tried grocery store flowers and online sellers and has avoided higher-end florists to
keep costs under control. He likes the quality of the roses at Costco compared to what's at
the supermarket.
"I didn't get my bank account balanced by spending foolishly," Sullivan says.
Indeed, red roses will be a hot commodity, come February 14.
Growers, largely from Ecuador, Mexico and Columbia, scramble to meet enormous
demand ahead of Valentine's Day, setting in motion an upward price push that impacts
most modern-day Cupids.
Other factors beyond supply and demand figure into price inflation, explains industry
veteran Peter McBride, owner of and Towers Flowers florist shop in
Babylon, New Y ork.
Lofty labor costs at the farms, to meet the spike in demand, and higher transportation costs
as large volumes of the blooms are moved within a brief period, also boost prices, McBride
The rose-buying public still encounters a wide variety in pricing - anything from $10 or
under for a dozen red roses at the local corner store to $20 at the supermarket, to more
than $90 at a high-end florist.
A dozen red roses from different vendors may sound like the same flower, but they may not
all, figuratively, smell as sweet.
Indeed, they can be significantly different, says Gregg Weisstein, co-founder and chief
operating officer of - a marketplace for more than 2,000 local florists.
While you can save money by buying flowers at a grocery store, Weisstein says, "That's the
stuff the florists don't want to work with."
Some markets, like Wegman's, won't sacrifice quality, and as a result, don't sell bargain
roses, McBride says.
Grocers also keep their prices lower, he says, by not offering delivery, ordering earlier and
getting shorter stemmed roses.
Length of stem is a key factor in pricing, in addition to quality. Long-stemmed red roses
measuring 60-70 centimeters cost about 95 cents per stem wholesale compared to a
medium-stemmed rose of about 50 centimeters, which costs about 75 cents, McBride says.
In early February, prices surge to about $2 a stem for the longer-stemmed and about $1.50
for the medium-stemmed flowers.
So, it's possible to see a $15 bouquet on the street corner with shorter stems, inferior quality,
and a shorter time upright.
At Reuters' request, BloomNation examined the prices of hundreds of florists in New Y ork,
Chicago and Los Angeles - coming up with the average price that shops in America's largest
cities are paying for long-stemmed red roses at wholesale, and then selling at retail, both
before and on Valentine's Day.
Here's what BloomNation found: Roses are cheaper in Los Angeles, where local growers
supplement the import market and drive down prices, and are most costly in New Y ork.
Prior to Valentine's Day in Los Angeles, florists pay an average of 70 cents per stem. That
rises to $1.85 per stem for Valentine's Day. The retail price? About $3 to $6 per stem.
In Chicago, the $1 per stem florists pay regularly shoots up to $2.25 for Valentine's Day.
Consumers can expect to pay $4 to $6 per flower, BloomNation found.
In New Y ork, the $1.50 wholesale price swells to $2.50. Retail prices rise from $5 to $8 per
Expect prices to vary by about 20 percent, depending on supply and quality.
More than just the price of the rose factors into the final tag of an arrangement, McBride
He figures on paying $1.95 per stem, so his price for 12 would be $23.50. Throw in some
babies' breath ($2.50), ornamental greens ($4), a water tube for the stems ($1), labor ($4),
wrapping paper, floral preservative and a tag ($3) and the grand total is $38 in cost to the
florist. Using a vase instead will tack on an additional $3.50, he says.
The price at retail will, for those flowers, be around $89 at a floral shop, McBride says. That
includes the cost of shrinkage - flowers that were bought but not sold - as well as other costs
of doing business and, of course, profit.
Online sellers offer a wide range of rose options.
At the online seller, a dozen long-stemmed red roses in a vase will cost
you $79.99, while they'll leave you lighter by $99.95 through Teleflora.
Those companies and online sellers typically also charge service and delivery fees of $15$20. Teleflora tacks on an extra $4 to its usual charges for Valentine's Day deliveries and adds $5.
Those sellers will offer discounts - typically 25 percent to 30 percent off - to those who order
weeks ahead of Valentine's Day, says Ken McGill, owner of, a
website that collects offers from the big national brands.
Prices can fluctuate sharply on the sites if you wait until the last minute, he says.
Sure, buying roses can be a thorny process, but Sullivan, who has been presenting the
blooms to his wife their entire married life, cannot imagine stopping the tradition now.
It makes them both happy, he says.
(Editing by Lauren Y oung and Bernadette Baum)
Sweet-smelling success for Valentine’s Day
by dean stiles
February 18, 2014
Miami, FL, US: For the second consecutive year, CrowleyFresh, stored 1,027 pallets of fresh Colombian and Ecuadorian
roses in advance of Valentine’s Day for the Sunshine Bouquet Company, a flower supplier based in Miami,
The fragrant but perishable cargo was handled in CrowleyFresh’s 1,700sq metre coldstore and the flowers were
released to the US market in time for this year’s holiday.
CrowleyFresh is a partnership between Crowley and Customized Brokers that bundles individual cold-chain storage and
logistics offerings into one solution. The cold storage facility features multiple humidity and temperature-controlled
coolers and is open 24/7 to accommodate perishables imported and exported to and from Latin America, the Caribbean,
South America, Europe, Asia and the Far East and South Florida.
“The team did an excellent job once again in delivering these perishables to market in time for Valentine’s Day,” said
CrowleyFresh’s Eduardo Campos, director. “When you’re shipping temperature-sensitive goods, every minute counts.
“Shippers of perishables need a reliable and committed cold-chain logistics partner who has industry-leading
specialised equipment and experience. We love that we can offer this and more, including a diverse suite of additional
logistics capabilities, such as Customs brokerage, air freight and trucking services, any day of the year, but especially on
Valentine’s Day”
The team is already preparing for the next impressive flower influx, which will bring in more than 125,000 boxes of roses
and carnations for Mother’s Day. Scheduled to come in around mid-April, these floral products will be stored and
distributed in advance of the May holiday.
TED Case Studies
I. Identifica tion
1. The Issue
As with many of the products Americans buy and consume, the story behind the
production of the roses we buy is most often unknown by the average American
consumer. When holidays, such as Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, and Secretary's
Day, arrive, we frantically run to the nearest florist and buy our loved ones a
bouquet of flowers as a symbol of affection, not ever stopping to think about
where they came from or whether they were grown organically or not. What most
don't realize is that an increasing amount of the roses and other cut flowers we buy
have been imported from developing countries, where they were grown under
unsafe conditions, both for the environment and for those who work in the
greenhouses. American pesticide producers are exporting pesticides everyday that
fail to meet regulation standards set by American agencies. For the rose industry in
Ecuador, America's blindness as the consumer and lack of responsibility as a
"leader" in the world, has been taking its toll.
2. Descr iption
Throughout history and across the globe, roses have been appreciated not only
for their esthetic value but also their role in cultural traditions of various societies.
The ancient Greeks crowned their heroes of battle with crowns of leaves and
branches adorned with roses and other delicate flowers. For the Greeks, the
power of the rose went beyond its inherent beauty and took on a medicinal value.
They used the peddles in certain ointments and aroma therapy. The Romans
thought nothing of carpeting their banquet halls with rose petals, and it is said that
Cleopatra once received her beloved Marc Antony in a room literally filled kneedeep in rose petals. By the nineteenth century rose cultivation had become an art
form. People prized their rose gardens, making them into brilliant displays of
alluring creations that attracted the romantics. New varieties were explored and
rose cultivation began to expand. The international market was introduced to the
rose and its many varieties. Today, there are more than 30,000 varieties of roses
and no other flower has as complicated of a family tree.
In the 1960s and 70s, the Netherlands rose to overwhelming dominance in the
world of cut flowers, but more specifically, roses. Its European neighbors were
slowly eliminated as competitors in rose production and were transformed into
consumers. Today, one out of every five commercially grown roses is grown in
Holland, but the market has been expanding to the South, including many countries
in Asia, such as Thailand and Malaysia, Africa, such as Zambia, Tanzania, and
Mauritius, and in South America, such as Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. For the
Third World, roses have been treated by international market analysts and
development experts as the "miracle crop" (Majaraj and Dorren).
Flowers are not a product for small farmers and it is becoming increasingly limited
to large producers. The industry has become extremely fast-paced, capitalintensive and vulnerable, requiring a high capital, technology and management level.
The South provides the industry with the ideal conditions necessary for successful
production returns. Geographically they offer the correct temperature and space to
produce large quantities of roses. In the industry, it is the easy supply of
international capital in combination with rock bottom prices for labor which
provide the conditions to make the business flourish.
The cut flower industry, including roses, is the latest export crop. The "miracle
crop" creates unhealthy employment at only the lowest wages. In addition, the
flower businesses are predominantly run by foreign ownership, which creates a
questionable basis for these developing countries to earn the hard currency
dictated by structural adjustment conditions. Yet, "given the multiple pressures of
conventional economic wisdom, debt repayment and the low prices for traditional
agricultural export crops, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the only path to
redemption is through the rose garden." (Majaraj and Dorren) Flowers are
emerging as a stable and very marketable international crop, earning up to five
times per acre what fruit crops bring in.
The flower industry in Ecuador has grown significantly within the last decade. The
Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) passed in 1991 removed trade barriers
from drug producing countries, such as Ecuador and has enabled Ecuador's flower
trade to take off in the world market. According to COLEACP, a document
distributed at Floriculture Seminar Trinidad and Tobago in 1994, Ecuador was
ranked number ten in the world in cut flower exports in 1992. As indicated in
Table 1, in 1993, Ecuador exported 38,058,000 USD in cut flowers, 22,446,000
USD of which from roses. In 1997, Ecuador exported 131,010,000 USD in cut
flowers. Ecuador's export plantings now total more than 2,000 hectares, or about
5,000 acres. This growth is partly due to the more efficient harvesting techniques
on the plantations and the ideal climate of the highland region surrounding Quito,
but it is largely the result of the absence of pesticide regulations that has separated
Ecuador's market from that of other markets that have been more encouraged to
follow such regulations.
Table 1
Cut Flower Expo rts
(.000 US$ FOB)
About 60 varieties of roses are commercially grown in Ecuador, including red varieties, yellow
varieties, purple-colored Ravel and pink-blossomed Anna Nubia and others. Cut roses are
bundled into bunches of 25 stems and packed 10 bunches to a box for shipping. These are then
transported to the airport where there is refrigerated storage provided and they are off to their
importing countries.
The United States is Ecuador's main trade partner,
accounting for 46% of Ecuador's exports in 1997 and the
origin of 33% of goods imported to Ecuador. One plantation
is Ecuador ships 62% of its cut flowers to the United States
alone (McLaughlin). The Andean Trade Preference Act
allows Ecuadorian products, with the exception of textiles,
canned tuna, flat leather articles and rum, to enter American markets free of tariffs through the
year 2001. The US is the number one importer of Ecuador's roses. In 1997, the US imported
51.7 million USD in roses from Ecuador, nearly 45% of the total cut flower exports from
Ecuador that year. In imports from Ecuador, the US is followed by Canada, Germany, Holland,
Austria, Chile, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Flower growing is a very fragile business. The quest for the perfect rose is a complicated
process. It takes from 45 to 57 days to produce a market-quality rose in a greehouse,
depending on the variety, time of year, and especially the light conditions. Sunlight is one of the
rose grower's best friends since roses need an ample supply of sunlight to bloom properly. This
has played a key role in the success of the flower industry in the tropical South where it is
temperate and sunny year round. It puts growers in the South at a natural advantage, because
they don't have to invest in heating systems nor lighting systems for the greenhouses during the
winter months. A rose bush that is planted in a greenhouse is grown 365 days of the year and is
generally kept in production for 5-7 years before being replaced. These plants, cycling on a 6-8
week schedule, produce about six crops per year, whereas rose plants used to only bloom once
a year [Roses Incorporated].
Today's roses are the result of centuries of genetic
reshuffling, the work of both nature and man. Rose
hydridizers have been able to combine and recombine
genes for constant improvement. The results have been
new colors, forms, textures, and fragrances, more vigor
and disease resistance. Despite the perfect condition of
the product when it leaves the plantation, it could be
valueless when it arrives to even the first stage of
shipping if the necessary details are not paid attention to.
If there is a slight delay in flight times, the product may
be ruined by the time it arrives to its destination. Large
sums of money can be lost quickly in this business because it is such a fast-paced trade. In order
to compensate for these factors, growers have to keep their costs extremely low.
To meet the high aesthetic standards of the international market, especially the American
market, and to kill insects possibly harbored in the plants, growers use any means at their
disposal, including banned and unregistered pesticides. This accounts for approximately 20% of
pesticide use. According to Wayne Burnett, import specialist with the Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Services Plant Protection and Quarantine Division, the risk of having valuable
shipments rejected by customs because of insect infestations stimulates people offshore to
increase their pesticide use. There is a lot of economic pressure to keep those shipments from
being rejected. Dorren and Maharaj, authors of "The Game of the Rose", note that floriculture
consumes more pesticides than any other agriculture sector. Floral workers, sprayers and
handlers suffer the brunt of the trade's pesticide use. Richard Wiles, vice president of research
for the Environmental Working Group, says that consumers are buying roses that, toxicity levels
suggest, should be handled by workers wearing gloves. Wiles suggests that pesticide residue on
the petals of imported roses is fifty times that allowed on food imports.
Rose producers in Ecuador use an average of six fungicides, four insecticides, and three
nematicides (nematode poisons), along with several herbicides. Many of these compounds are
applied frequently in order to chemically "sanitize" the greenhouses [World Resources Institute].
Some of the toxic insecticides and nematicides, including methyl parathion, terbufos, and
aldicarb are restricted heavily in the United States because of the health hazard they pose
[World Resource Institute]. Methylbromide, an ozone destroyer and a category1 acute toxin, is
also heavily used and is among the most dangerous toxic substances known. These are not the
only chemicals used that pose health threats. There exists a wide array of other pesticides with
know health risks. Some fungicides used, such as mancozeb and captan are suspected
carcinogens, and such herbicides as paraquat, is extremely toxic through any route of exposure,
whether absorbed through the skin, inhaled, or somehow ingested. [World Resource
Institute]These chemicals alone are dangerous enough, but when coupled with the method of
usage and the conditions in which they are utilized, their danger is multiplied. Many of these
substances are applied daily in warm, poorly ventilated greenhouses, where high levels of toxic
vapors can accumulate and where contact to these pesticide residues is close to impossible to
avoid by workers [World Resource Institute].
The labor force of the rose industry in Ecuador is dominated by women, who often make up
nearly80% on any given plantation. This puts women particularly subject to pesticide poisoning.
Many women have reported health problems ranging from headaches, blurred vision,
intolerance to light and nausea to more
serious problems, such as experiencing
still births, sterility and birth to children
with abnormalities and defects. These
problems do not include the intrusion of
the industry on the personal lives of the
female workers who are forced into the
position of working long, rigorous
hours in the green houses in additions
to making sure the needs of the
household and family are met. The
extremely low wages they receive for
their labor are hardly adequate for providing these women and their families with quality living
conditions and proper nutrition, let alone sufficient medical attention if someone was to become
According to the World Resource Institute, a study of 80 women working on flower
plantations in Ecuador revealed heavy exposure to organophosphates and carbamates, two
classes of pesticides well known for their toxicity. The women were expected to continue their
tasks while pesticides were being applied. The majority of the women who participated in this
study received little or no training or information on the proper pesticide use and the need for
safety equipment. Some 40% of the workers had received no protective equipment, and the rest
only occasionally received gloves, boots, and glasses. The few times when they were given
equipment, it was inadequate or poorly maintained.
The effects of the pesticides are felt even further, extending to the livestock in the surrounding
fields. Pesticides and fungicides are chemicals designed to kill life forms that have been proven
to prevent agriculture products from reaching a certain level of perfection that the market
requires. Environmental problems arise when run off from fumigation of flowers with these
chemicals is not properly treated. Not only endangers the lives of the people who live in these
hills by simple inhalation of the fumes and ingestion through their contaminated water sources,
also through their food sources. The entire eco-system of the region is affected by the use
these chemicals and the careless disposing of them.
In the hills surrounding the greenhou ses where
flowers are grown, cattle belonging to the local
peasants roam freely. These animals are a source of
income as well as a source of food for many of the
peasants and when the cattle are becoming ill from
the poisonous toxins they are consuming, the same is
likely to occur for the peasants who depend on these
cattle for their food supply. In addition, the same
water is used in the vegetable gardens of which the
peasants depend on for food also. For a region that
was once dominated by agriculture and cattle
ranching, this is a very heavy burden.
A large of the pesticides used in rose production in the
South are not produced domestically, but rather in the
United States, where they are usually heavily restricted or
completely banned from the American market due to their dangerous levels of toxicity. The Federal
Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act is the most significant federal law in the United States regulating
the production and use of pesticides and claims that pesiticides can be very harmful to humans and the
environment because they never can effect solely the target pest that they are intended to destroy (Megara).
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) generally prohibits farmworkers from working in greenhouses
shortly after fumigation, but each pesticide has a specific interval of time that must elapse before workers are
permitted to reenter the harvesting area and handle the products. On December 18, 1996, EPA granted the
rose industry a limited exception to the early entry prohibition. No other agricultural industry has been given
such an exception to the regulations prohibiting early entry into pesticide treated areas. Although these
regulations are for within United States borders, they set the scene for the American market's lack of concern
for the origin of their imports. In fact, the United States compounds the problem by exporting pesticides, such
as methyl bromide,that are illegal for use within its own borders to countries like Ecuador. About 25% of US
pesticide exports involve unregistered pesiticides, according to a 1989 GAO report.(Export of
Unregistered Pesticides in Not Adequately Monitored by EPA, GAO/RCED-89-128).
US pesiticide manufacturers generally claim that they do not manufacture and export pesicides that have
been denied registration in the US. They claim that more stringent export controls for unregistered pesticides
counld unfairly prohibit the export of products for which there is little evidence of environmental risk
(Schierow). They argue that some pesticides, unregistered in the United States, may be approved by
regulatory agencies in other countries. Other pesticides may not be registered for economic or marketing
reasons or because target pest are not a problen in this country, they need not be registered in the US. "The
Global nature of pesticide production and distribution further complicates the issue: a US law cannot prevent
the manufacture and use of pesticides in other countries" (Schierow). Environmentalists argue that any
pesiticide product not registered in the United States has not been approved by the EPA and is potentially
unreasonably harmful. Thus, they support proposals to prohibit exports of unregistered pesticides as a means
of protecting the global environment and the working conditions of harvesters globally [Congressional
Research Service].
The problem lies in unrestricted markets.
If countries like the United States were to set guidlines for
pesticide residues on flowers, producers in the South would have incentives to lower their chemical use.
Some European countries are already establishing cooperatives with growers concerned about pesticide use
and worker's health. America is lagging behind Europe in this trend of market restrictions and labor quality in
producing countries.
Many believe that although the flower industry has grown and become quite lucrative over the past few
decades, the market is very unstable. The flower industry is very susceptable to changes in demand in the
North. Any slight changes in temperature in the North could mean a drastic drop in demand from Europe and
North America. Seasonability is a key factor in demand for Third World flower producing countries. Flowers
are largely in demand from tropical countries during the winter months in the North, when their production
costs are very high, but during the summer months for the North, local producers are able to fulfill the
demand. It is a market determined almost exclusively by current consumerist culture. The market is analyzed
and then the growers are instructed what to grow and how to grow it. Besides the more widely celebrated
holidays, such as Christmas, Easter and Valentine's day, when producers know in advance what varieties and
colors are needed, there are the one-off events that demand unusual colors. Growers have to be very
knowledgeable and be constantly communicating with their buyers in the North. In addition, roses, and most
cut flowers, are a symbol of wealth. They are luxury products and are bought only by a limited percentage of
the population. In most countries, luxury products, such as roses, are not on the list of top priorities of
products to import. Flowers are traditionally purchased for special occasions, such as weddings and Mother's
Day. Right now, supply is rising faster than demand. One veteran flower-marketer from Kenya stated that,
"Flowers are being overdone. The market is becoming saturated" (Maharaj and Dorren).
3. Relate d Cases
Keyword Clusters
1. Trade Product: AGRIculture
2. Bio-Geography: TROPical
3. Environmental Problem: HABITat loss, Water Polution
4. Dr aft Author :
Laura Holt, April, 2000
II. Legal Cluster s
5. Discour se and Statu s: Agreement and in-progress
6. For um and Scope: Ecuador and Andean Community
7. Decision Br eadth: Free trade of cut flowers
8. Legal Stan ding: no laws standing
III. Geogr ap hic Cluster s
9. Geogr aphic Locati ons
a. Geographic Domain: South America
b. Geographic Site: Ecuadorian highlands
c. Geographic Impact: Ecuador
10. Sub-Nati onal Factor s:
Yes. The desperate social and economic factors of the Ecuadorian peasants coupled with the favorable
climate made the highlands in Ecuador a target location for the rose industry.
11. Type of Habitat:
IV. Tr ad e Cluster s
12. Type of Measur e:
Roses and other cut flowers produced in Ecuador and in other rose producing countries in the Andes region,
became a free trade product in 1991 with the passing of the Andean Trade Preference Act of 1991. This
agreement removed trade barriers from drug producing countries, such as Ecuador and has enabled
Ecuador's flower trade to take off in the world market.
13. Dir ect v. Indir ect Impacts:
Direct and indirect impacts. The rose trade in Ecuador has been able to openly trade with key trade partners,
such as the US.
14. Relati on of Tr ade to M easur e to En vir onmental Impact
a. Directly Related to Product: YES. flower
b. Indirectly Related to Product: Pesticides
c. Not Related to Product: None
d. Related to Process: YES. Habitat
Contamination of water table, which then causes polution-related illnesses in livestock and peasants. Specific
toxins used are ozone destroyers and others have fatal effects on the soil and crops growing in the
surrounding areas.
15. Tr ade Pr oduct Identificati on:
Cut flowers, but more specifically, roses produced for primarily export to developed countries.
16. Economic Data:
Ecuador Rose ExportsEcuador Rose Exports
$ '000
Nether lands 13,194
Ger many
$ '000
Austr ia
Po rtugal
The rose industry is relatively new to the world market. Ecuador is ranked 10th in the world for cut flower
exports. In 1993, Ecuador exported an estimated 22,446,000 USD in roses.
17. Impact of Tr ade Restr iction:
No trade restrictions apply to this case, because of the Andean Trade Preferance Act (ATPA).
18. Industr y Sector :
19. Expor ter s and Impor ter s:
Flower Exporters
Netherlands 5,505,983
Products from the South are showing to be in more demand in the North than products from the North. This
is due to the lower production costs and more temperate climates in the tropical South. Some of the key
importers of cut flowers are: the United States, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Austria, Finland, Israel,
Japan, Switzerland, and the UK.
V. Envir onmental Cluster s
20. Envir onmental Pr oblem Type: HABITat Loss and Water/Air Polution
21. Name, Type, and Diver sity of Species:
Name: Rose
Type: Market roses
Diversity: Over 30,000 species
22. Resour ce Impact an d Effect:
23. Ur gency and Lifetime: low and lifetime of rose
24. Substitutes: Other flower industries are under similar conditions. The only substitute is for
farmers to make the switch to organic harvesting methods.
Florinsa rose farms in Ecuador are leading the path for innovative and organic techniques for producing roses
for the international market. They were instituted 12 years ago by Hans Maarschalk of the Netherlands.
Today he has two production farms, Exflodec and Florinsa, which produce on 22 hectares. Florinsa's main
goal is to produce long stems and big flowers, but by using producing technique that have less of an
environmental impact. Instead of using chemical fertilizers, they are using compost made from organic
such as rose residue, waterhyacinth, manure and black soil. Controlling the pests and diseases,
several biological and chemical products are used. Control only takes place after the problem is identified,
rather than fumigating as a preventative measure.
Some European countries, especially Germany, are exercising their market power to urge flower plantations
in South America to meet the "green stamp" requirement, which, simply put, is a seal of approval once a
business has demonstrated that they cause minimal environmental degradation. The flower label is a German
trademark for developing countries' flower production carried out with care for humans and the environment.
One of Flower Label's criteria is waste seperation. This is to ensure that pesticides, plastics, and other
chemicals are disposed of in a manner least expected to harm the surrounding environment. Switzerland has
also developed an environmental code of conduct with the Flower Campaign [Eco-Americas].
VI. Other Factor s
25. Cultur e: No
26. Tr ans-Boundar y Issues: Environmental destruction, improper use and handling of
dangerous toxins
27. Rights: Human Rights
28. Relevant Li ter atu r e:
Ecuador Exports.
Maharaj, Niala and Dorren, Gaston. The Game of the Rose. The Netherlands; International Books. 1995
Meer, Marga van der, "Pioneer in Ecuador Pursues Inovation" December 1997.
Megara, John M. "The rose industry exception for early entry into pesticide treated greenhouses: Romance in
regulation", Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. Vol. 25 (Summer 1998) p. 941-988.
Rembert, Tracey C. "Dangerous beauty: Flower farm may threaten workers and the environment." The
Environment Magazine. Monday, July 12, 1999
Roses Incorporated.
Schierow, Linda-Jo (Environment and Natural Resources Policy Division). "95016: Pesticide Policy Issues"
Congressional Research Service Report for Congress.
Thrupp, Lori Ann. "Bittersweet Harvest: Pesticide Exposures in Latin America's Flower Export Trade"
World Resources Institute, 1998-99
*Photographs and Map provided by RoseElite Group, Roses and Fresh Cut Flowers of Ecuador

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