Every Valentine’s Day and, especially, every Mother’s Day, we see a few stories in the press about the environmental and social impact of the cut-flower industry. Usually, the stories focus on imported flowers, and usually, they are negative. The positive side of the story just doesn’t make the news in the same way.
And yet, there is a story to be told. Is it credible? How can buyers know whether the flowers they purchase were grown, harvested, packaged and shipped with due regard for environmental and social responsibility?
The answer lies in the fair-trade labels that provide a high degree of reliability and transparency. The labeling programs are legion—almost too many, really. They exist, in part, because of the demanding European market—which is far ahead of the U.S. in terms of awareness and market responsiveness.