Fairtrade and Lavender Green Flowers proudly champion women flower workers at Chelsea Flower Show 2021

Fairtrade and Lavender Green Flowers proudly champion women flower workers at Chelsea Flower Show 2021

The Fairtrade Foundation is excited to announce a partnership with leading London florist, Lavender Green Flowers, and celebrate the women behind the blooms at its first ever exhibit at the world-renowned Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show (21-26th September).

Lavender Green Flowers will unveil an exclusive design at Soane House as it becomes the first company to join Fairtrade’s Florist Scheme, an initiative enabling florists to boost their sustainability efforts by using quality Fairtrade stems in their bouquets.

Visitors can enjoy a display of 12,000 Fairtrade roses featured in three beautiful floral sculptures and learn about the difference Fairtrade makes for flower workers in low-income countries. The exhibit will share powerful imagery and inspiring stories about the women who grow flowers and how the lives of individuals, families and communities can be transformed when UK consumers choose Fairtrade.

Colin Gray, Lavender Green, Managing Director, said: ‘Whilst sustainability has traditionally been a challenge for the floristry industry, we now have a unique opportunity to do better and if you look at what can be achieved at a time of crisis it should inspire us all. Lavender Green has long been committed to upholding the values of integrity and we are thrilled to partner with Fairtrade to make sustainability integral to our work.’

In 2020, the British public bought 93 million stems of Fairtrade flowers generating more than £700,000 for flower farm workers to invest in projects such as education for their children, as well as living wages and better working conditions. This investment – the Fairtrade Premium – supports flower farm workers (46% of which are female) in East Africa and Ecuador. It provides funds for workers to make collective investments in whatever they think will benefit their communities the most, from education for children living in flower farm communities, to adult learning that enables many women to realise their dreams.

Anna Barker, Fairtrade Foundation, Head of Commercial, said: ‘We’re proud to announce our partnership with the incredibly talented team at Lavender Green. It’s vital to work with businesses to drive sustainability in the industry and as we launch our innovative new Florist Scheme at the biggest horticultural event of the year, we’re delighted to champion the women who work so hard to grow the flowers we love.

‘Fairtrade has stood by workers in crisis throughout the pandemic – our flowers are sourced to the highest ethical and environmental standards and contribute towards a system that is working hard to deliver dignified lives for people. Find out the difference this makes for thousands of women behind the blooms by coming along to our exhibit at Chelsea.’

The roses featuring in the design, which includes a woman flower worker, a tree sculpture and a desk, all representing the impact Fairtrade has, have been grown on flower farms in East Africa and Ecuador, and were donated by Fairtrade partners, JZ Flowers and FleuraMetz. FleuraMetz has joined the Florist Scheme as the first wholesaler providing florists with the opportunity to source fully traceable, sustainable and quality Fairtrade blooms year round.

NOTES TO EDITORS

We are able to provide press packs, facilitate interview requests, case studies and imagery. Please contact Susannah Henty, Senior Media and Communications Manager on mobile +44 (0)7419 343324 or via Susannah.henty@fairtrade.org.uk

Visit our website for more information: Chelsea Flower Show – Fairtrade Foundation

About Lavender Green

Lavender Green Flowers produces creative displays for the country’s top galleries, museums and historic houses, as well as private clients and corporate events. With robust ethical values that aim to embed sustainability in the core aspects of their business: design; purchase; legacy; and waste, Lavender Green Flowers use traditional methods for creating designs profiling seasonality with zero waste where possible. They have robust sustainability commitments including working to reduce floral foam, initiatives to reduce their carbon foot print, working with a preferred British grower list and Fairtrade, as well as the removal of single use plastics.

About Fairtrade Flowers

Fairtrade is the industry-leading sustainability solution, and on certified farms its Standards protects flower workers’ rights, advocate for fairer working conditions and higher wages, and ensures working practises do not harm the environment nor workers. Fairtrade means dignified employment to around 70,000 flower workers from 74 Fairtrade certified organisations across seven countries. 

Every single UK purchase makes a difference; farms receive a premium of 10% for every stem sold, which provides a collective investment for workers’ benefit. During the COVID-19 pandemic as exports were halted, flowers were dumped and, as a result of cancelled orders, thousands of people lost their jobs, Premium was used to provide emergency relief. More than €500,000 of Premium paid for masks, disinfectant and soap and for vouchers or parcels of food to those in need.

In addition to the opportunities Fairtrade provides for workers, the system advocates for higher wages in an industry beset by low prices and cheap labour where communities without strong social safety nets faced destitution during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, see our report.

About Fairtrade’s new sourcing programme

The Florist Scheme is an innovative new sourcing initiative that enables florists to support workers by including Fairtrade flowers and make their bouquets and arrangements even more sustainable. Following a pilot launch in February 2020, the project was put on hold due to the need to provide critical support for Fairtrade farmers and workers impacted by COVID-19.  The partnership with Lavender Green at RHS Chelsea marks its official relaunch and any florists interested in registering for the scheme can contact the organisation via flowers@fairtrade.org.uk

Fairtrade flowers are currently available from a number of retailers and online. As more florists sign up, consumers can choose Fairtrade flowers for every occasion.