Letter: Those Imported Fresh Cut Flowers

To the Editor:

I read the article “Notes From the Garden: Those Cut Flowers May Have Come From Far Away” and was surprised that the author made general assumptions about the international fresh cut flower industry by only reading a book from an author who visited only one country (not the largest growing region) and made statements about all growing countries that are not true.

About 60 percent of the imports come from Colombia, and a majority of those flowers are grown on farms that are socially and environmentally conscious. These farms are part of Florverde, which is a program that was started 17 years ago by an industry that was doing the right thing for the right reasons. The over 170,000 jobs that are provided in Colombia by the flower industry have benefits that surpass what any U.S. company provides. Employees have 100 percent Social Security coverage, employee contracts, above minimum-wage compensation, medical and dental doctors available on site, day-care facilities on site, transportation and many other employee programs.

Colombia bans more chemicals from its flower farms than does the United States. Farms are very environmentally conscious and also committed to employee safety.

Christine Boldt

Executive Vice President

Association of Flower Importers of Florida



Notes From the Garden: Those Cut Flowers May Have Come From Far Away

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Conventional wisdom has it that most cut flowers come from Central or South America, many grown using underpaid, poorly treated laborers and toxic chemicals that are banned in the United States. I decided to look into the cut flower industry, and started by reading Amy Stewart’s book, Flower Confidential. It’s a good read and very informative. I also spoke to …