say it with (fair) flowers

“Say it with flowers”  words you tend to hear quite a lot around this time of year and who doesn’t like to wake up to a beautiful posy.

In a world where we are becoming more aware of where our food and cotton comes from, and where a growing interest lies in how products can be grown sustainably. It’s time to give a thought to cut flowers. Like food, of course there are many sourcing challenges. 90 % of the Uk’s flowers are imported.

From energy costs, transportation and pesticide use, it is worthy of a thought as to where you buy your bouquet of roses from this Valentines.

Fortunately there are some sustainable options out there. A growing number of florists are making progress, changing the way in which flowers are grown and exported at every step throughout the supply chain. From local schemes being made available to growers in areas such as the Oserian Flower farm in Kenya which lies on the banks of Lake Naivasha, one of the highest lakes in East Africa.

Around 6,000 workers are employed at the farm which also provides them with housing, healthcare and schools for their children. Being Fairtrade certified means the farm complies with Fairtrade standards for hired labour, which provides social and economic benefits for workers.

Certified fair trade farms guarantee agricultural best practices are shared with other growers to ensure the long term sustainability of both the large farms and the small subsistence farmers who live in the area. This can involve things like:

learning to breed pest killing insects to avoid the use of pesticides.
using thermal energy to heat water. This can then be passed through the greenhouses to stop the growth of mould, which in turn means that less fungicide is needed.
using organic fertilisers to decrease the volume of chemicals that might find their way into the lake.
improving irrigation efficiency so as to use a lower volume of lake water.

Arena flowers offer’s a range of Fairtrade flowers along with Serenata Flowers and Interflora.

Of course, not to be forgotten, there are also the beautiful flowers that are grown on our doorstep. By buying British you are buying seasonal flowers, granted you may not be able to find exactly what you are looking for but British flower farms help biodiversity. The flowers you buy from The Great British Florist have already provided food and habitat to a huge variety of butterflies, bugs, and bees its a win win.

Check out The Great British Florist and help support the 10% of flowers that are grown in the UK.

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Zoe Gale