Posts Tagged ‘Fairtrade flowers’

Fairtrade Flowers And The Volcano – An Update

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

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

Who’s correct? I think I know who…

Fairtrade Flowers And The Volcano

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

One of the consequences of the volcanic ash is that food and flowers from the developing world is not being flown in.  Now I don’t buy vegetables out of season nor do I buy flowers out of season, but I worry about the impact this flying ban is having on the farmers themselves.  One particular concern I have is for the Fairtrade flower growers in places like Kenya – those gorgeous roses are grown to peak just in time but are now either being picked and trashed or going over on the plant, not good enough for sale.

So I say if you care about Fairtrade, start asking the major retailers what they are doing about it?  Ask them are they compensating the Fairtrade flower growers for trashed flowers?  Are they working with the flower growers to find a solution, eg flying into Spain and then road haul?  Will they pick up any incremental costs or will it be passed onto the consumer, ie the retailer never pays for anything really?

Or is Fairtrade just skin deep for them – we’ll (that’s Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Interflora, Waitrose, Interflora etc) love Fairtrade when its on message for our strategy but stuff it when events get in the way!  I’m asking so why not email, blog, Tweet or whatever you fancy to their PR departments and show you care and so should they.