Popular Online Florists Now Offer Fair Trade Flowers

Two major online florists, FTD and 1-800-FLOWERS have announced a new selection of fair trade flowers.  While there are many specialty florists that offer fair trade or eco-friendly flowers, this is a new step for these mainstream flower companies, and a victory for both labor rights' activists and ethical consumers.

Cut Flowers: A Thorny Industry
The cut flower industry has come under attack in recent years by activist groups such as Change.org, who have exposed the inhumane working conditions and environmental hazards of flower farms.  Most cut flowers are grown outside of the U.S. in countries such as Ecuador and Columbia, where severe violations of labor rights and human rights have been reported.  Choosing Fair Trade flowers means your money goes to support flower farms that pay their workers a fair wage and provide safe working conditions.

The New Fair Trade Flowers
FTD has introduced five rose bouquets that are Fair Trade certified.  The Fair Trade roses are slightly more expensive than non-Fair Trade bouquets, but not so much they should persuade consumers away from the ethical choice.  There are certainly still far more non-Fair Trade bouquets available from FTD, but it's a start.  FTD also offers eight other eco-friendly bouquets, some of which are certified by Rainforest Alliance or Veriflora, two eco-labeling organizations that evaluate environmental impact.

Following in FTD's footsteps, 1-800-FLOWERS, currently the largest online florist, has recently announced they will introduce a line of Fair Trade flowers for Mother's Day 2011.  In addition to the new Fair Trade bouquets, both FTD and 1-800-FLOWERS have agreed to be more transparent about their flower sources, and to develop standards for their suppliers that will reduce the labor abuses of the cut flower industry.

This is not the first time 1-800-FLOWERS has offered Fair Trade flowers.  Back in 2008, the company introduced a small line of Fair Trade flowers and organic gift baskets, calling them “Planet Friendly” selections, but the line was discontinued.  Only 72 hours after Change.org launched their petition against 1-800-FLOWERS in 2011, the company responded and agreed to reintroduce Fair Trade flowers.  Perhaps under the watchful eye of Change.org, 1-800-FLOWERS will not falter in their good intentions this time around.

Photo Credit:  Athena's Pix