Fairtrade flowers: why buy them and a quick shopping guide

Danielle Alvarado

February 4, 2021

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Fairtrade Valentines Day Flowers
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*Updated January 18, 2022

This post is all about Fairtrade flowers.

During colder months, most of the flowers we buy in western countries come from across half the world. How else would it be possible to satisfy such a rise in demand for roses in the middle of February?

If you can’t imagine going without some colourful flowers to decorate your home, worry not – there are some great sustainable options for buying flowers and bouquets. Among these, one of the best is to choose Fairtrade flowers.

fairtrade flowers
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How exactly are Fairtrade flowers more sustainable?​

Why choose them in the first place? Before we get into where you can find them, let’s talk about what makes buying your flowers Fairtrade so important:

1. Reduced water use​

It takes a lot of water to produce flowers – Fairtrade is finding innovative solutions to saving as much of it in the process as possible. Rainfall collection and water recycling are just some of the example of how this is being done.

That way, the water can be reused to water the plants time and time again, perfectly in line with circular economy principles.

2. Protecting vulnerable habitats​

Pesticides and other chemicals from flower farms can leak into the surrounding environment and pollute natural habitats. Fairtrade is finding ways to keep pests away without endangering these habitats, thanks to the use of gentler pesticides and improved waste management.

3. Fair wages and harassment protection​

One of the amazing things Fairtrade is doing for communities worldwide is the promotion of female empowerment and entrepreneurship.

The working conditions on non-Fairtrade farms are poor and the workers – mainly women – in the supply chain aren’t paid a fair wage. Fairtrade is changing this by improving working conditions, promoting the importance of fair wages and fighting against harassment.

4. Investing in a fair product​

Fairtrade flowers do come at a higher price than their non-Fairtrade counterparts. When choosing between the two, it’s important to remember that the extra money you spend on Fairtrade flowers isn’t going into the pocket of a rich CEO – it’s invested into improving worker conditions and reducing the environmental impacts on Fairtrade flower farms.

Where to find Fairtrade flowers?​

Once you’ve decided to choose Fairtrade flowers for the next bouquet you’re gifting, it’s time to look for where you’re going to buy your Fairtrade flowers from.

Buy online​

One of the easiest ways to do so is to hop online and see if there are any flower delivery services delivering to your desired address that stock Fairtrade flowers. For example, Arena Flowers in the UK offers a range of Fairtrade flowers and so does Sense Equador and Whole Foods in the US.

When ordering online, it’s a good idea to also see the delivery practices of the brand you’re buying from, such as packaging or carbon offsetting, and look for the most sustainable one you can find.

Search in your area​

In some area, this will be easier than in others. For example, Whole Foods in the US and Co-op in the UK are two large national store chains which regularly stock Fairtrade flowers. However, don’t restrict yourself to these options, as availability will largely vary by your region.

Support small businesses​

If you have a choice between buying your Fairtrade flowers from a small business instead of a large chain, we certainly recommend that you do so. By choosing to support a small, independent store in your local area that sells Fairtrade flowers and bouquets, you’re not just helping raise the standards in the supply chain – you’re also making sure a lot of the money you invest is going directly back into the community and economy of your home town, city or village.

This post was about sustainable & Fairtrade flowers.

Hopefully this guide to Fairtrade flowers helped you make more conscious decisions this holiday season! If you are looking for an epic Valentine’s Day gift guide, check our sustainable guide here.

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