LONDON, UK: The Fairtrade Foundation, in association with London florist, Lavender Green Flowers, celebrated the women behind the blooms at its first-ever exhibit at the world-renowned Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show that took place between 21-26 September.
Lavender Green Flowers unveiled an exclusive design at Soane House as it becomes the first company to join Fairtrade’s Florist Scheme, an initiative enabling florists to boost their sustainability efforts by using quality Fairtrade stems in their bouquets.
Visitors enjoyed a display of 12,000 Fairtrade roses featured in three beautiful floral sculptures and learnt about the difference Fairtrade makes for flower workers in low-income countries. The exhibit shared powerful imagery and inspiring stories about the women who grow flowers and how the lives of individuals, families and communities can be transformed when UK consumers choose Fairtrade.
Colin Gray, Lavender Green, Managing Director, said: “Whilst sustainability has traditionally been a challenge for the floristry industry, we now have a unique opportunity to do better and if you look at what can be achieved at a time of crisis it should inspire us all. Lavender Green has long been committed to upholding the values of integrity and we are thrilled to partner with Fairtrade to make sustainability integral to our work.”
In 2020, the British public bought 93 million stems of Fairtrade flowers generating more than £700,000 for flower farmworkers to invest in projects such as education for their children, as well as living wages and better working conditions. This investment – the Fairtrade Premium – supports flower farm workers (46 per cent of which are female) in East Africa and Ecuador. It provides funds for workers to make collective investments in whatever they think will benefit their communities the most, from education for children living in flower farm communities to adult learning that enables many women to realise their dreams.
Anna Barker, Fairtrade Foundation, Head of Commercial, said: “We’re proud to announce our partnership with the incredibly talented team at Lavender Green. It is vital to work with businesses to drive sustainability in the industry and as we launch our innovative new Florist Scheme at the biggest horticultural event of the year, we’re delighted to champion the women who work so hard to grow the flowers we love.
“Fairtrade has stood by workers in crisis throughout the pandemic – our flowers are sourced to the highest ethical and environmental standards and contribute towards a system that is working hard to deliver dignified lives for people. Find out the difference this makes for thousands of women behind the blooms by coming along to our exhibit at Chelsea.”
The roses featuring in the design, which includes a woman flower worker, a tree sculpture and a desk, all representing the impact Fairtrade has, have been grown on flower farms in East Africa and Ecuador, and were donated by Fairtrade partners, JZ Flowers and FleuraMetz. FleuraMetz has joined the Florist Scheme as the first wholesaler providing florists with the opportunity to source fully traceable, sustainable and quality Fairtrade blooms year-round.