Wake Up Call: For the whereabouts of that dozen red roses

Wake Up Call: For the whereabouts of that dozen red roses

“Truths and roses have thorns around them.”

One of the things that can say “Te amo” to someone we care about is a dozen red roses. Through the scent, color, texture and meaning of roses we try to make our beautiful message loud and clear. It’s one of those things that speaks what we think. Still, have you ever wondered where that dozen red roses came from?

These roses that tell our thoughts travel thousands of kilometers and are worth $100 billion worldwide. According to Fairtrade Canada, the Netherlands is the largest exporter with 55% of the trade, followed by Colombia with 18% and Ecuador and Kenya with 15%. After their long journeys, these roses arrive at their destination and become refrigerated goods distributed to wholesalers and stores before reaching the hands of those to whom we give them.

But what about the hands of the one who cut them off first? As stated in a study by International Fund for Labor Rights, in Ecuador and Colombia 66% of flower workers, who are mostly women, have health problems such as respiratory diseases, skin rashes and eye infections due to toxins. 200 kilograms of pesticides are used per hectare, which is double what is used in the Netherlands and 75 times more than conventional agriculture in developed countries. Unfortunately, the flower industry is notorious for poor working conditions, low pay, overcrowded housing, and serious problems related to worker exposure to fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, and hazardous chemicals.

And what about the soil in which they are grown? Research by the UK’s Cranfield University shows that the intensive cultivation of roses can have a negative impact on the environment. For example, the carbon footprint of rose farms in the Netherlands and Kenya in 2016 shows that 12,000 Kenyan roses released 6,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide, and the Netherlands generated 35,000 kilograms for the same number of roses. That is, producing those Kenyan roses is equivalent to driving a car for 10 days straight. In the case of Dutch roses, the production equals the energy used by one household for 2 and a half years.

Now, don’t disappear. Green and sustainable movements in the floral industry are growing. Awareness blooms. Findings from Fairtrade Canada show that there is a visible increase in consumer demand to know where the product they buy comes from and whether it is ethically sourced. Retailers are also playing their part to flourish fair trade flowers, where products are certified to offer a better deal to participating farmers and workers.

“Won’t you come to the garden? I would like my roses to see you.”

#Wake #Call #whereabouts #dozen #red #roses

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *