Sustainability in the Flower Industry Blooms Through Organic Bouquet


With Valentine’s Day approaching, not everything is so rosy Earth wise in the flower industry. Quite the contrary. Those unblemished roses come with a price of increased pesticide use, workers illnesses, low wages, and land infertility.  During GT’s interview with online retailer Organic Bouquet CEO Robert McLaughlin explains how his company’s sustainable practices has changed the flower industry for both the environment and workers.

Listen to the audio podcast or watch the video below.

The Current Flower Industry

The $40 billion flower industry is supported  by women.  (74% women, 26% men.)  They mostly buy flowers and plants for gifts.

During the interview, McLaughlin spoke about how poorly the workers are treated in the industry using an example of how some workers were charged  80% interest rate loans.   Sadly, he stated that due to pesticide use miscarriage has increased among the workers.

To make matter worse, in 2007, the Associated Press reported researchers’ findings of development delays among workers’ children.

“But researchers have found some disturbing data: The Harvard School of Public Health examined 72 children ages 7-8 in a flower-growing region of Ecuador whose mothers were exposed to pesticides during pregnancy and found they had developmental delays of up to four years on aptitude tests.”

In Columbia, one of the largest cut flower growing country, 65% of the workers are females.

The environment also suffers from the current flower industry.  The large influx of  pesticides, fungicides, and fumigants used to create perfect blooms can polluted water sources and neighboring lands.

So, it begs the question.  Should we continue to support an industry with such environmental and social issues?

The Flower Industry must put the workers & Planet 1st.<– Click to Tweet


Organic Bouquet Offers a New Flower Biz Model

The Company’s products are third party certified to insure environmental and social responsibility.  In fact,  sustainability standards are employed throughout the Company’s product line and company practices.   Even the packaging is sustainable.  However, not all the flowers are grown organically;  McLaughlin notes currently there aren’t enough flower farms in order for his Company to sell organic flowers exclusively. Given McLaughlin’s determination and passionate, an all organic products company will some day become a reality.

What you will learn in the video interview:

McLaughlin’s interview is compelling of how the current flower industry is no longer sustainable.  Listen to him explain the following:

  • The damage the current flower industry is causing to the Earth
  • The social and economic issues surrounding the industry especially the workers.
  • How the Company products remain competitive with their competitors.
  • Customer loyalty retention through their monthly deals and the Company’s Ecopoints.
  • More about the sustainable standards employed for their packaging, products, carbon offsetting, and company practices.

How Organic Bouquet is Making the Green By  Being Green

In Part II of the video, McLaughlin will explain how his company has survived for over a decade with keeping to its sustainability principles.

Join the Conversation:

  • Where you aware of the issues in the current flower industry?
  • If so, how have your changed your buying behavior about flowers and plants?

Picture courtesy of Organic Bouquet.

Disclaimer:  I became an affiliate of Organic Bouquet since I believe in their mission.  GT receives a small portion of money from product sales.

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