Where did your flowers come from for Mother’s Day?  

I didn’t receive flowers this year and when I send, I go directly to florists in those areas (mostly small towns in Ohio when I so send flowers). I don’t want to worry that I’m helping to perpetuate this sort of thing:

A 2005 study by ILRF and Ecuadorian NGO partners [in RFWW folder Ecuador] found that over 55% of Ecuadorian flower workers have been the victims of sexual harassment. Many women said that they had been asked out by their bosses or supervisors, who offered to improve their jobs in exchange. Alarmingly, we also learned that 19% of flower workers had been forced to have sex with a coworker or superior and 10% had been sexually attacked.

About 65% of Colombian flower workers and 50% of Ecuadorian flower workers are women. They are commonly required to take a pregnancy test or show proof of sterilization as a condition for hiring, as employers hope to avoid providing paid maternity leave.

While child labor has been successfully eradicated in Colombian flower plantations in recent years, it remains a serious problem in Ecuador. Pesticide exposure affects children more severely than adults. The ILO estimates that 20% of the 60,000 Ecuadorian flower workers are children.

But, don’t worry, you can actually buy fair trade certified flowers, they are out there. In fact, there’s a site dedicated to these beautiful flowers which are made even more beautiful by simply knowing that the workers weren’t abused, harassed or seriously exposed to pesticides


You can even watch their video

From their site, here are just a few locations where you can purchase Fair Trade Roses:

Online Retailers:

1-800 Flowers Online
Organic Bouquet

Supermarkets Near You:

GIANT Food Stores
Roche Brothers

I hope that if you received flowers this weekend for Mother’s Day that you can be even happier knowing that a mother in another country did a great job in providing those beautiful flowers to you. It seems to make the receipt just that much sweeter.

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