Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Fair Trade

Economic action to create a just global economy for farmers and artisans

Flowers

flowersFair Trade flowers are the newest addition to Fair Trade Certified™ products that are available in the U.S.! In addition to fair wages and labor practices, the Fair Trade flower certification ensures that farms comply with rigorous environmental standards governing the use of pesticides, conservation of water, treatment of wastewater, protection of ecosystems and more. There is an extensive list of agrochemicals that are completely prohibited on Fair Trade farms, and others that must be phased out over time.

 

Fair Trade Flower Cooperative

flower farmers Agroganadera Espinosa Chiriboga SA

Ecuador             

photo and profile provided by TransFair USA 

Agroganadera is located almost 3,000 meters above sea level in the south of Ecuador in a sector called Piedra Colorada. This 145 member cooperative focuses on cultivating roses. The Fair Trade price has enabled workers at Agroganadera Espinosa Chiriboga SA to establish various social and productive programs

Education: Fair Trade premiums funded a computer class for 30 workers.

Productive Investment: Workers at Agroganadera created an animal husbandry project and a home gardening project in which workers receive chickens and pigs and start small gardens for home consumption and the local market.

Environment: Agroganadera workers have contributed to a local reforestation initiative.

Home Improvements: The Fair Trade premiums were used to purchase hot water heaters for workers' homes.

Women's Empowerment: Leadership positions equally represent women. New mothers receive 12 weeks of paid maternity leave, and upon return, are given breaks and a quiet place to breastfeed.

"Because of Fair Trade I have been able to take a computer course to better understand my tasks at work. I have also helped my son to learn how to use a computer as well." -- Nancy Segovia

 

More about flowers:

  • Close to 70% of cut flowers sold in the USA are grown overseas, where growing conditions are better, labor is cheaper and pesticide regulation is more lax.
  • Flowers grown with traditional methods are doused with insecticides, fungicides, growth regulators and fumigated with toxic methyl bromide.
  • Studies in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives have found symptoms of pesticide poisoning in workers in Colombia and Ecuador, which produce 59% and 19%, respectively, of the cut flowers imported into the USA.
  • In Ecuador, nearly 60% of flower workers surveyed showed poisoning symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, trembling hands and blurred vision.

 


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