Here’s How to Avoid Roses That Support Violent Labor Abuses This Valentine’s Day – Culture – GOOD

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New to me. Seems like a great place for socially conscious thoughts and actions and — like the article below — socially conscious purchasing. I’ll keep my eye on this on and sign up for their daily email alert. Copied the entire post below or link to the Good entry.

Here’s How to Avoid Roses That Support Violent Labor Abuses This Valentine’s Day

  • February 9, 2011 • 2:00 pm PST

flowersecuador
Valentine’s Day is coming up, and that means a spike in American flower sales. Unfortunately, despite their romantic connotations, a lot of flowers sold in America have ugly, cruel, and, occasionally, violent origins.

In Ecuador and Colombia, for instance, which furnish a large bulk of America’s flowers, many flower farm workers—most of them female—are subjected to sexual harassment, poor wages, and unsafe working conditions. One worker interviewed for Frontline documentary about flower abuses said her employers used to fumigate greenhouses while she and her colleagues were still inside. They also refused to pay her when she became pregnant.

On Kenyan flower farms, workers have reported being forced to work 12-hour days for less than a dollar in wages. Others say they’ve been raped while on their dangerous, dark routes to work at five in the morning.

On Kenyan flower farms, workers have reported being forced to work 12-hour days for less than a dollar in wages. Others say they’ve been raped while on their dangerous, dark routes to work at five in the morning.

What makes these abuses particularly upsetting is that they needn’t exist. There are many fair-trade flower producers in business around the world, and they’re creating sustainable flowers while offering workers competitive wages, daycare programs, and safety. The problem is getting major flower distributors to sell them.

Currently, 1-800-Flowers offers not a single fair-trade stem, nor will the company tell activists where its wares originate. And a search of FTD’s website also returns nothing fair-trade certified.

This Valentine’s Day, if you want to make sure your token of affection doesn’t also support violence against women in the third world, try getting roses from one of these companies, which stamp all their flowers with the “fair-trade certified” seal: One World FlowersWorld FlowersInbloom Group

Help spread the love.


Culture Editor

photo (cc) via Flickr user Andrea Guerra

Also see Calling All Conscious Crafters: Put a Cap on Infant Mortality

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One Response

  1. […] Immense distese di rose crescono floride in grandi serre. Le coltivano e le raccolgono le donne. Guadagnano poco o niente, non sanno dove lasciare i figli durante le ore di lavoro e sono costrette a respirare anticrittogamici. Sì, perché i fiori vengono irrorati di antiparassitari quando le lavoratrici sono ancora nelle serre. Come se non bastasse, a queste condizioni si aggiungono le molestie sessuali a cui queste donne vengono continuamente sottoposte. Donne che vengono abusate, che vengono discriminate e abbandonate a se stesse se restano incinte, che devono accettare massacranti turni di lavoro di 12 o più ore al giorno. In Ecuador, Colombia, Messico e in Kenya la storia è sempre la stessa, ed è una storia di povertà e violenza. […]

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