Florverde Celebrates 10th Anniversary

February 9, 2007 - 09:28

The Colombian Association of Flower Exporters (Asocolflores) is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Florverde, its certification program that was created to improve the lives and living standards of floral farm workers and their families; to preserve and protect the environment; and to ensure high-quality, affordable flowers for consumers year round. Currently, more than 160 farms, comprising half of the acreage devoted to growing flowers, have qualified for, or are in the process of qualifying for, Florverde certification.

To mark Florverde’s anniversary, Asocolflores is launching a new Web site: www.florverde.org. The Web site includes information for growers, buyers and the public about the living standards.

"The Colombian flower industry is extremely proud of the work we have done and the advancements we have made since the inception of Florverde. Today, the Florverde label is recognized among commercial flower buyers in the United States and Europe as assurance that our flowers are grown in compliance with international social, environmental, labor, and occupational health and safety standards," said Augusto Solano, president of Asocolflores. "We want American consumers to be assured of this as well."

Florverde-certified farms' uses of agricultural chemicals are consistent with U.S. regulations. Workers are educated and trained in the safe use of these chemicals and provided appropriate safety equipment. Access to on site medical care, dining areas and hot meals are provided. Some farms even offer childcare, housing subsidies and literacy programs. Certification is verified by SGS, an international independent third party audit company in Switzerland.

Colombia exported $906 million worth of flowers worldwide in 2005. Floriculture and related industries in Colombia create 111,000 direct and 94,000 indirect jobs. Including their families, close to one million people depend economically on floriculture. Sixty percent of floral farm workers are single women who are heads of households.

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