by Brian Nisbet on October 2nd
Fairtrade Flowers are gaining increasing focus and market share within the UK, and with a retail market currently worth £2.2 billion in the UK alone, and over 85% of our flowers imported in, there is significant potential for producers and retailers carrying the Fair Trade Mark.
Fairtrade flowers that carry the mark give the guarantee that they have been produced according to strict standards that cover environmental, social and economic development indicators. The standards cover 75 different flower categories, including lilies, carnations and sunflowers. Flower farms have to show that they meet basic environmental and labour standards to achieve the accreditation and also must commit to demonstrating ongoing commitment to further developing their practices, all of which is monitored by the dependent certification body for Fairtrade - Flo Cert.
Workers on Fairtrade Farms can negotiate with managers on their employment terms and conditions and also join trade unions. They must receive fair payment, and have the right safety equipment and conditions at work. This ensures that workers are treated fairly and decently. A premium also goes to developing community projects such as micro loan schemes and education. Currently, over 10,000 flower farm workers are employed on Fairtrade Farms, and with an average of seven dependents per worker, the benefits of Fair Trade also greatly extend to their families and communities.
For this reason, customers that pay the small premium to ensure that their flowers carry the Fairtrade accreditation can feel happy that their beautiful blooms aren't tainted with unsavoury working practices and unfair conditions for foreign workers that produced them. This increased awareness and demand for such ethical blooms helps to promote the Fairtrade accreditation scheme to other foreign producers, and help expand the scheme.
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