28 April 2010

Fairtrade Flowers And The Volcano - An Update

Fairtrade Flowers And The Volcano - An Update

This is the response I got from Sainsbury's on Fairtrade Flowers:

"Thanks for your email.  I have looked into the issues you have raised and have found Sainsburys did not directly compensate Fairtrade supliers [sic], or farmers during the Volcanic ash disruption period.

We did however try extremely hard to get the flowers into stores and we looked at every possible travel option to get products into stores.  At the beginning of the flight ban we had flowers flown into south Spain, as the ban didnt apply there and we then drove the produce by truck into the UK.

We thoroughly enquired into every possible supply route to get these items into store.  We are not aware of any products being destroyed due to the flight ban."

Which conflicts with all the reports about the impact of the ash on Fairtrade flower farmers in Kenya where Benjamin Gatland of South African Fairtrade Network said "Kenyan Fairtrade rose growers alone lost approximately one million flowers a day" - see http://www.ipsnews.net/africa/nota.asp?idnews=51229.

Who's correct? I think I know who...