Fair Trade Roses
by Jeanne Lesher, Floral Buyer
Bristol Farms is proud to be part of a Fair Trade Rose program that supports our supplier’s floral workers and families. Our very own rose provider, Flowerlink, brings us this opportunity to be part of the fair trade program.
Florecal, the farm that produces flowers for Bristol Farms and Flowerlink, has always gone the extra mile to ensure they have a sustainable business that not only is friendly with the environment but takes care of its employees, which they acknowledge is a key part of the business. “There is a lot of people and work involved behind every single flower we receive. Growing, processing and packaging flowers is a very labor intensive work, so Florecal strives to be a second home for its employees,” says our Flowerlink representative. A good example of this is the daycare the farm founded a few years ago where they care for the employees kids ages newborn to 5 . This is a project that makes Florecal very proud, even though it hasn’t always been easy to maintain.
Along these lines, Fair Trade seemed to be a perfect fit for the farms; they started the process to get certified at the end of 2011 and got their Fair Trade USA certification in February of 2012. The way it works is that 10% of the cost of the flowers goes back to an employee fund. The employees then, with supervision from Fair Trade and Florecal, decide on a project that will be beneficial for all. The first project the employees chose was a food project, where they used the money to purchase food in bulk at a lower price and then every single employee could buy these goods at a lower price in smaller quantities. This project started with one item which was rice and currently handles 5 items. This project no longer needs additional money, since it’s self-sustainable, so the employees are getting ready to start their second project which is to build a computer room where they could all have access to computers and receive classes to learn how to use them.
Since the Fair Trade program was started at Florecal, there is an increased sense of pride among the employees to work there and handle every single stem that is sold as “Fair Trade”; they know those stems will bring an additional benefit for them. The pride of the program is ultimately passed on to consumers who buy these flowers and have a sense of responsibility to support and purchase goods that are good for society and the environment.
Bristol Farms’ Fair Trade Rose program brings to our customer a dozen roses with 70 centimeter stems. I highly recommend these roses as I purchased a dozen for my own home and they lasted well into 10 days or more. I have attached a few photos of the roses taken in my own home. Support this wonderful program and come back to let us know how you enjoyed your roses in home!