By David A Vise I am currently in Australia doing…
Corporate Social Responsibility, accountability of suppliers and Fair Trade – these are just some of the terms we are seeing more and more of in the news. However, the number of goods such as beverages, food and clothes that are tagged with a label informing the customer they were produced and sourced according to ethically correct standards, increases. Companies are aware of the importance of ethical trade and commit themselves to meet a variety of regulations when it comes to the production of their goods, especially when they collaborate with suppliers from overseas and source their raw materials. Ethical sourcing includes the prohibition of child labour, appropriate working hours and avoidance of overtime, as well as safety issues.
In terms of the production of food and beverage, environmental friendliness and ecologic cultivation are the big issues producer and supplier have to deal with. What are the reasons for more and more companies to focus on fair trade? One point might be that customers expect and attach great importance to ethical behaviour. Their awareness of ethics in food and beverage increased, also in Ireland and the UK. Especially Irish shoppers demand high ethical standards. 41% said they prefer ethically sourced products while in the UK 24% stated ethical standards are important to them. When it comes to the choice of where to shop, 57% of Irish consumers think a company’s effort in CSR influences their decision while in the UK 27% emphasized that ethical sourcing plays a role when shopping.
Additionally, companies of the flower industry want to ensure high ethical standards. First of all to meet customer’s expectations and second to secure flowers are grown under fair conditions in terms of environmental and working issues.
This is why we from Flowers Made Easy entered the initiative Fair Flowers Fair Plants (FFP) in 2007 and are proud to adopt the FFP logo since then for our ethical Lilies and Orchids. With Fair Flower Fair Plants we don’t just ensure that our flowers are traceable and our suppliers are accountable. We want to make a contribution to a better living environment by trading and selling flowers and plants that have been produced in a way that respects people and environment.
But how can a florist get the FFP logo? What are the international standards that have to be met? FFP flowers are flowers from growers which fulfil strict environmental and social requirements. Production methods and means are taken into consideration for the environmental certification. The quality and quantity of crop protection agents, fertilizer, energy, and of the separation of waste water is assessed. Initial company audits and regular producers’ registration reports are necessary to control and ensure the required standards. Additionally, social requirements are essential to be fulfilled by the participants and defined in 10 statements. These include, among others, the freedom of association and the right of collective bargaining. Discrimination is strictly prohibited, as well as children or forced labour and the grower must ensure minimum wages are paid. Another area is the protection of the environment and use of pesticides that needs to be reduced to a minimum and used responsibly. If the grower meets all those regulations they will get the certification and are fully accepted FFP participants.
Flowers Made Easy saw this initiative as a way to increase its environmental sustainability and corporate responsibility that we already emphasize with the help of different activities, such as sponsorship, charitable donations and recycling. Together with our products that are Irish Grown we offer our customers the ability to choose more sustainable and local products which reduces our impact on the environment and pushes Ireland’s economy.
To have a look at our range of Fair Flowers visit our Online Shop.